Cheers to that! English wine is set for a record harvest thanks to a mild spring and sunny September
- Leading English fizz producer, Nyetimber, said this year will be biggest harvest
- Lack of winter frost and warm sunny weather in spring are responsible
Corks are popping for Britain’s sparkling wine makers, who have proclaimed their biggest ever grape harvest.
Nyetimber, a leading producer of English fizz, said this year will be its biggest harvest.
Some 865 acres (350 hectares) will be harvested, it said – up 7.7 per cent on the 325 hectares last year.
And Nyetimber isn’t alone – the wine industry in the UK overall has had a vintage year.
A lack of winter frost and warm sunny weather in spring during the flowering period has resulted in the bumper crop, growers said.
Corks are popping for Britain’s sparkling wine makers, who have proclaimed their biggest ever grape harvest
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Britain’s biggest wine maker, Chapel Down, said this week its 2023 vintage would be of ‘an exceptional quality and with a record-breaking volume and yield’.
It said sales were up 21 per cent to £8.4million in the six months to June 30 this year.
Vineyards are booming, according to industry body, Wine GB.
Its latest report said the area of vineyards in Britain has increased 74 per cent since 2017 with almost 4,000 hectares currently under vine.
And this is projected to reach 7,600 hectares by 2032.
The main grape varieties being grown are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Most wine growing goes on in England, with just 70.3 hectares in Wales and 1.9 in Scotland.
Kent, West Sussex and East Sussex are the counties producing the most grapes.
The chalky soil in the south allows similar conditions to the champagne region of France, and warmer temperatures in recent years have meant higher sugar content in the grapes, which allows higher alcohol content.
Nyetimber, a leading producer of English fizz, said this year will be its biggest harvest
One hectare can produce around 4.8 tonnes of wine.
Production of English wine has increased by 130 per cent in just five years, with 12.2 million bottles produced in 2022, 68 per cent of which were English sparkling wine.
Nyetimber’s Senior Winemaker Brad Greatrix said: ‘There are always a few hurdles to jump over before we can understand the final volume and, most importantly, the quality of the grapes.
‘We had only minor and localised frost events in the current season, and the weather was favourable during the flowering period.
‘This year, we will harvest a larger vineyard area of 350 hectares, compared to 325 hectares in 2022’.
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