UK Vineyards Continue to Expand

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The most recent Wine Standards Branch (WSB) figures for vine varieties grown in the UK have just been released and show a jump from 2009’s total of 1,215 ha to a new total of 1,323.5 ha – a jump of almost 9%. The increase is a result of new plantings of 111 ha with around 2.5 ha of vines having been grubbed. However, as WSB figures traditionally lag behind reality by at least 12 if not 24 months, the true planted area is probably nearer 1,500 ha, with the Champagne varieties topping 650 ha.

New plantings are predominantly of the three classic Champagne varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier – which have risen by 17.5% in one year, from 468 ha to 550 ha, with Chardonnay overtaking Pinot Noir as the most widely planted variety. Seyval blanc, also used widely in UK sparkling wines, put on another 4 ha to bring it to 93 ha, making it the fourth most widely planted variety, followed by Meunier with just under 4 ha. Other varieties to increase include Solaris, Rondo and Ortega.

WSB press release also confirms that the area under production is now 1,095 ha – up from 946 ha – and that there are now 404 commercial vineyards and 114 wineries. There are also an additional 74 “amateur” vineyards who do not sell wine.

HM Revenue and Customs figures show that sales of UK produced wines continue to increase. Duty payments of UK wines grew in the latest 6 months for which figures are available (January-June 2009) by 43% from 7,683 hl (1.024 m x 75 cl bottles) to 10,993 hl (1.466 m x 75 cl bottles) for the same period in 2010. 2009’s total of 23,965 hl (3.195 m x 75 cl bottles) looks like being comfortably overtaken and ought to top 30,000 hl (4 m x 75 cl bottles). These figures do not include wines sold under bond i.e. exports, sales to ships, embassies or embassies.

Rank

Variety - 2010

Ha

1

Chardonnay

249.30

2

Pinot Noir

247.77

3

Bacchus

128.35

4

Seyval Blanc

92.99

5

Reichensteiner

85.38

6

Muller Thurgau

61.39

7

Meunier

52.58

8

Madeleine Angevine

47.03

9

Rondo

44.91

10

Schonburger

42.03

11

Ortega

29.67

12

Pinot Blanc

21.34

13

Phoenix

21.19

14

Regent

19.49

15

Dornfelder

18.54

16

Pinot Noir Précoce

18.39

17

Huxelrebe

17.44

18

Triomphe

15.04

19

Siegerrebe

12.79

20

Orion

10.76

 

Others

87.11

 

UK Total

1323.50

 
 

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