Bottoms up: English and Welsh sparkling wine sales jumped six per cent last year with 4m bottles sold
UK sales of English and Welsh sparkling wine rose six per cent last year with 4m bottles sold.
UK consumers bought more British sparkling wine than they did sparkling wines from Australia, the US and Germany combined in 2018.
Italy was the top exporter of sparkling wine to the UK last year with 117m bottles sold thanks to the popularity of Prosecco, France was second with 24m bottles of Champagne and 5m bottles from other regions and Spain was third with 23m bottles – mainly Cava – bought by British drinkers.
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English wine sales could continue to grow in the next couple of years, following 2018’s vintage year for quality and quantity.
Last year’s sweltering summer led to production of a record 15.6m bottles of still and sparkling wine, up from 5.9m in 2017.
The sector is continuing to expand, with 1.6m vines planted last year and vine plantings in 2018 expected to exceed the 2m mark.
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Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, called for the government to support the industry by cutting duty on sparkling wine.
“The UK wine trade has come out fighting and proved it can compete with the best of the best at a global level. The government needs to do more to support this emerging British success story and the chancellor can and should start bringing down his excessively high duty rates after he unfairly singled out wine for a duty rise in his last budget.”
Sparkling wine attracts a duty of £2.86 plus value added tax in the UK, compared to just 7p a bottle paid by French consumers.