Home-produced sparkling wine was shipped to 27 countries, including Japan and Taiwan, to celebrate the beginning of 2017. That was about 30% more export destinations than the previous record set in 2015 (19).
Environment secretary Andrea Leadsom said the UK was taking its place among the world’s most renowned wine producers.
“The number of countries enjoying our wine has increased by a third this year, and with major producers on track to deliver a 10-fold increase in exports, we could soon be tapping into more countries,” Leadsom said.
‘10-fold increase in exports’
“Our vintners are set for huge success in 2017 with wineries growing and more bottles on supermarket shelves – I hope people across the country will join me in raising a glass to this incredible success story.”
UK-produced sparkling wine sales increased at home too, as Marks & Spencer doubled sales of its fizz. Waitrose sold 50% more sparkling wine before New Year’s Eve.
British vineyards have doubled in size over the past 10 years, with 30 vineyards opening over the past two years. Growing demand for wine drove the increased production, claimed English Wine Producers chairman Simon Robinson.
‘Boom-time for English wines’
“It’s boom-time for English wines,” he said. “The growing trend on the high street shows the retailers have really got behind them and the wine consumers of Britain are responding.
“Our export sales are also on the up, with new markets opening up around the world. We’re looking forward to even more wines coming on to the market next year. What better way to welcome in the New Year than with a glass or two of our own home-grown wines – there are plenty to choose from.”
The UK shipped its first two full containers of wine to the US last year, and producers have signed contracts with high-end restaurants across the world.
British sparkling wine boost – at a glance
- British wine exported to 27 countries
- Record number of destination countries
- Sales in UK up 50% in Waitrose, and 100% up in Marks & Spencer