UK wine domestic sales and exports up 50%

Latest figures from the UK wine industry revealed a record-breaking harvest for 2018 and a 50% increase in sales both domestic and international, with more land under vine than ever before.

A survey of the UK wine industry, conducted by Wines of Great Britain, in conjunction with data analysts Wine Intelligence, confirmed that last year 15.6m bottles were produced, 130% higher than the previous year’s crop in 2017.

Acreage of vineyards has tripled since 2000 with a further 2m vines set to be planted in 2019, confirming the wine industry as one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors in the UK.

Most of the acreage is now planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Bacchus, which between them account for 76% of all plantings.

Our latest survey acknowledges 2018 as a milestone year for the industry,” said Simon Robinson, chairman of Wines of Great Britain. “Our figures detail the considerable pace of growth taking place here in the UK and what exciting predictions and opportunities lie in the future. 

“As a sector we are bringing many developments in agriculture, tourism, education, investment and employment. This is now a thriving and confident British industry in which we can be justifiably proud.”

According to Wines of Great Britain, industry predictions are that at the current rate of growth, the UK will be heading for 40m annual bottle production in the next 20 years. 

Currently 2000 people are employed within the industry and over the next 20 years the industry is expected to create between 20,000 and 30,000 new jobs.  

The biggest export markets are the US and Scandinavia, which together receive 65% of total exports. Wines of Great Britain says exports may account for 30-40% of the total wine produced in the UK by 2040, yielding a potential value of £350m per annum.

The trend in sparkling wine production continues, accounting for 69% of wines produced. However, still red, white and rosé wines remain strong categories, seeing a marginal rise in its proportion of the overall production.

By 2040, Wines of Great Britain also expect wine tourism in the UK to generate an additional revenue of £658m per annum.