The Telegraph has reported a huge surge in investment and the buying of English wine, made particularly stark in light of the Diamond Jubilee.
Ian Kellery of Hampshire, owner of his own winery, reckons that by the time his wine is ready to go on sale a massive £7m to £10m of investment will have arrived – testament to the growing confidence in the success and potential of the English wine industry.
Similarly, Mark Driver of East Sussex is also pumping money into his own project – a 400-acre vineyard that will become England’s biggest.
The figures being reported after the Jubilee highlight why these projects may not be so risky. According to the Telegraph, Waitrose’s sales of English wine over the 4 day Jubilee period were up 350% on their average and M&S sold 50 000 bottles of sparkling wines from Ridgeview and Chapel Down – up 50 times more than average.
Yet these figures are over a time period whereby one must expect spikes in sales, it may be harder to prove that this trend will stay on the rise. The volume of bottles of English wine that are sold are still minuscule in comparison to our French and Italian rivals. In 2011 across England and Wales only 3 million bottles worth of grapes were picked, whilst we import nearly 35m bottles of French champagne alone.
These are tough statistics but the atmosphere is that the industry will continue to grow. Awareness is set to rocket after English wine’s mention as a business plan on The Apprentice, whilst these new multi-million projects of the likes of Kellery and Driver are set to seriously increase production levels. Kellery reckons his vineyard will be able to produce enough grapes for 750 000 bottles and Driver for 1 million.
It seems English wine is certainly on the up, but it still has a hard task ahead.
For the Telegraph article click here