English vineyards are forecasted to double in capacity and production over the next seven years, British MPs have been told.
The prediction was revealed as politician’s toured one of the UK’s biggest wine producer’s, the Rathfinny Wine Estate, where they also heard about the Sussex winery’s application to the EU to have the county fully recognised as a wine appellation.
Tim Loughton MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Wine and Spirits, said it opened MPs eyes ” to see at first-hand what an important British success story our domestic wine industry is becoming.”
Lewes MP Maria Caulfield, Huw Merriman MP (Bexhill and Battle) and Stephen Hammond MP (Wimbledon) also toured the winery.
The latest figures show that English Vineyards have been growing on average 11 % a year over the last 10 years. If this trend continues land under vine in England and Wales will double in the next seven years.
There are currently 470 vineyards and 135 wineries producing an average of 3.15million bottles a year in the UK. In 2013 there were 1,884 hectares under vine.
Miles Beale chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “Rathfinny are a shining example of how English Vineyards are on the up, growing on average 11 % a year over the last 10 years.
“It is fantastic to have MPs taking a real interest in the industry and seeing the benefits it delivers to local communities and the wider economy.
“The English Wine industry has the quality and technical capability to compete globally and – with capacity increasing rapidly – it represents great export potential for our economy,” he said.
Source: The Drinks Business