England has not always been on the table as a serious wine producer, but new data confirms that English vineyards can now toast a record-breaking year.
Independent English wine producers had their highest ever turnover in 2016, bringing in £132m, according to analysis by Funding Options, an online business finance supermarket.
Growth of 16 per cent in the last year has attracted more people to enter the sector, with a record 64 new producers obtaining a licence for wine production in 2016.
Improved quality of the product and the continuing popularity of boutique alcohol production, seen in the rise of craft beers and gins, also helped the English sector to compete on the world stage.
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In May 2017, Norfolk-based Winbirri Vineyards’ Bacchus 2015 wine was named the world’s best white wine, winning the Platinum Best in Show at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Conrad Ford, founder of Funding Options, said: “The English wine industry is not only gaining traction amongst domestic consumers, but is now being ranked with wines from traditional white wine-producing countries such as France and Germany.”