UK set to plant 1m vines in 2017

The UK’s wine industry will plant one million vines this year with popularity forcing the industry to launch a new competition in recognition.

The 625 acres of vines will fill the equivalent of London’s Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined and the inaugural UK Wine Awards will be led by Susie Barrie, master of wine, expert Oz Clarke and wine writer Hamish Anderson.

Clarke said: “What a year to initiate our new UK wine Awards. The French finally admit they like our wines.  New York decides that English bubbles are the next big cool wine 'thing'. And we are planting a million new vines in our nation this year.  We are bubbling with confidence.”

Wines from across the UK will be judged blind over two days and the results will be announced on Wednesday 31 May as part of English Wine Week celebrations.

Over the past 10 years the acreage of vines planted in the UK has grown by 135% and there has never been more vines grown in a single year in the UK than projected for 2017.