Those of you who live and work in one of the world’s most renowned wine producing countries might be surprised to learn of the extent and the growth of the UK wine industry.
It is actually one of the fastest growing sectors in UK agriculture – in the last ten years, the acreage planted with grapevines has grown by 135 per cent, and this year’s new vine planting will yield an extra two million bottles.
It is for its white wines, and especially sparkling wines, that the UK is beginning to be noticed and receive acclaim. The soil of the chalky downlands of southern England is perfect for producing sparkling whites, so much so that some of the famous French Champagne houses have been buying up land to mitigate against rising temperatures in their heartlands.
Nyetimber and Ridgeview in Sussex, and Camel Valley in Cornwall, regularly win taste tests against sparkling wines from around the world – and from personal experience I can recommend them all!
So it’s great to see the Hotel du Vin chain getting behind the UK industry and partnering with the new UK Wine Awards. It would be wonderful to see more hotels around the world offering UK wines on their lists. Wherever you are in the world, have a chat with your wine merchant and ask to try a top end UK sparkling or white wine. You won’t be disappointed.