Beyond the concerns of producers who have to invest money without an immediate return because the crops tend to occur in the third or fourth year, or the fact that the grape production is highly variable due to climate, you should know that British wine has the following characteristics today:
- At present there are about 400 English vineyards producing about 2 million bottles a year.
- The so-called quality wines are subject to rigorous controls. However, the quality of table wines is not assured, but there are some “jewels” that can be found.
- Within the wide variety, white traditional English wines have floral aromas and a high acidity, which makes them very refreshing.
- As for red wines that were once thought impossible in England there is a solid offering, ranging from mild to vintages.
- Similar soils to those lands where Champagne is produced, implies the possibility of a good deal of English sparkling wines, as evidenced in international competitions blind tasting, where some English wines have beaten the best champagnes from France.
According to English wine producers there had been planted over 1.300 hectares in 2009, but with the important sparkling wine varieties being grown at present, is likely to exceeded 500 hectares in 2012 by far.
Since 2004, Seyval Blanc was the most widely grown variety, followed by Reichenstein, Müller-Thurgau and Bacchus. However,Müller-Thurgau has been downhill because from the 134.64 acres in 1996, has gone to 81.1 hectares in 2004.
Other white grape varieties include Chardonnay, widely cultivated, Madeleine Angevine and Schonburg. The main reds are Dornfelder, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, but the grapes tend to be slower growth, since only 5083Hl were developed in 2006.
Effect on the British economy
Most of the wine consumed in the UK is imported from abroad. Now that English wine is being produced in large quantities, more people in Britain it is buying it but the quantities produced are still very small for the markets size.
Supermarkets tend to sell all wines at market value, regardless of country of origin. Today, most of the English wines are priced ranging between 7 and 12 pounds, but there are sparkling wines that can go up to 45 pounds.
However, there are still several small vineyards throughout the country which continue to produce at a small scale, supplying local markets and shops where you can expect to pay as little as £6 for a bottle.
Wine labeling rules
There are several official categories of wine in the UK. PDO, Protected Designation of Origin, is the highest level and PGI Protected Geographical Indication, is the governing varietal wines. PDO and PGI wine should have a complete post-bottling analysis and excel at a tasting panel or win a prize in recognized competition.
While we expect that the United Kingdom?s production reach the quantity and quality of its European neighbors with more tradition, we recommend you a couple of great wines:
Terras Gauda is one of the Albariño with more pull in Spain.
A great Ribera by the hand of Arzuaga Navarro.