English Wine Week – good to see English wine doing so well

According to Harpers sales of English and Welsh wines increased by around 30% in 2020 over the previous year, according to the latest industry figures released by Wine GB. 

Sales in the past year had not only been boosted by the increasing thirst among Brits for home-grown wines, but also by a “boom” in wine tourism and an increasing number of consumers buying direct from the winery, either online or at the cellar door, said Wine GB.

“There is a real buzz around the ‘Great British’ wine industry and this sales growth points very clearly to an ever-increasing love affair between British wine drinkers and their local vineyards and the pride we have in our own food and drink,” said Simon Thorpe MW, Wine GB CEO.

“There is also such genuine support and commitment from retailers and the on-trade to our producers as they inspire their customers with an ever more accessible choice of wines from the UK,” he said.

The release of the data follows multiple retailers such as Waitrose and M&S having reported soaring sales, with specialist retailer Majestic reporting a 99% growth in still wines, while The Wine Society saw its sales increase by 200%.

“The enthusiasm for English wine shows no sign of slowing down, customers are continuing to buy into our expanding offer,” said Rob Cooke, chief commercial officer, Majestic.

“Perhaps the most notable trend has been the acceleration in still wine sales, growing at 99% year on year, with still rosé growing at almost 200%.”

Independent wine shops are also seeing the benefits as consumers shop local, with the likes of The Oxford Wine Company reporting an increase of 86% year on year. 

In the last five years nearly 2,000ha of vines have been planted – doubling hectarage over that time – making wine production one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors in the UK.