Friday, August 30, 2013

How Many Wineries Are There in the United Kingdom Now?

Though I’ve visited the UK more than 15 times, including a semester abroad at Oxford during my junior year at university, I still haven’t had a chance to visit any of the British wineries. Such a trip is definitely on my bucket list. Believe it or not, there are now 124 wineries in the UK!

In the meantime, I was fortunate enough to have Joe Towner, who is assisting in promoting the UK wine industry, contact me about a new information source for wine lovers – a guide to UK wine. It is available at the following link and includes maps, statistics, and other fascinating information:

Joe also provided an excellent commentary on the state of the industry, as well as encouraging news on the number of gold medals British wines have won at recent competitions.

Guest Post by Joe Towner on UK Wine Industry

When people think of the great wine regions of the world, usually low down on the list, beyond the most well-known and the new world producers, is the United Kingdom. Even in the UK it’s difficult to find home-grown wine in restaurants and supermarkets, which is a great pity, because although the level of production is relatively low, around 4 million bottles a year, some fantastic quality wines are being made consistently.

This year’s International Wine Challenge awards saw 4 gold medals for English wines, three of which were sparkling, an area the UK does particularly well in with Ancre Hill Estates’ 2008 Sparkling Wine winning a best in the world award from Italian magazine Euposia. It was even deemed fit for royalty when a Chapel Down white wine was chosen to be served at the 2011 Royal Wedding.

With a growing industry and so many great wines to shout about, it seemed there was a need to communicate, in a way that could really grab people’s attention, just how interesting and vibrant the UK wine industry can be. Therefore, I decided the best way to kick off our new Appreciating Wine blog was with an infographic all about UK wine. It takes the form of a map which includes the most significant vineyards, wineries, festivals and shops across the country, as well as some useful statistics and a little bit of history.

The London and South East region is at the centre of the industry with its climate and chalky soil making it ideal for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes. In fact West Sussex based Nyetimber recently announced the launch of the UK’s first single vineyard sparkling wine, in a limited edition run of 2,500 bottles.

Though the industry remains a niche one, mainly due to the difficulty in producing consistent volume year on year, the high quality of English and Welsh wine is not in doubt. The UK is the fifth largest consumer of wine in the world, but unfortunately only 1% of that is currently home-grown. Perhaps with a little bit more excitement, recognition and cultivation, that number will start to grow.

For additional information, please contact Joe at


Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

16Wow, 124 does sound a lot for a country that's more popular for ales and pubs! I do keep my fingers crossed that the International Wine Challenge would raise awareness among wine fans of the fantastic wines being produced in the UK. Hopefully this will eventually lead to a consistent volume production of British wines.

Paul Roberts @