English sparkling wine sales reach 3.5m bottles in UK

02 June, 2017

For the first time English sparkling wine has climbed two places to become Britain’s fourth bestselling fizz, offloading 3.5m bottles to UK markets in 2016.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s annual market overview also revealed that prosecco is still the most popular sparkling wine in the UK with 85m bottles sold in 2016, and champagne remains in second having sold 31m bottles.

Chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale (pictured), said: “Jumping two places to the UK’s fourth favourite fizz is another amazing achievement for English wine.

“Production is small compared to more established wine making regions, but the quality of English wine is shining through. Wine lovers have woken up to the fact that English sparkling wine is a premium product, which tastes great and can compete with the best."

Duty on a bottle of sparkling wine in the UK has recently increased by 10p in the March budget to £2.77.

Beale added: “We hope that the new government realises the potential of English wine and lowers the UK’s excessively high wine duty to encourage growth and investment.”

The most recent HMRC figures show that during the last financial year (2016-17), more than 350, 000 bottles of English sparkling wine were released onto the UK market than the previous year, a 25% boost.

The WSTA market overview shows English sparkling wine has overtaken Cremant and Australian fizz, which have experienced a small dip in sparkling wine sales over the last two years.

Australia remains top of the still wine sales leader board with almost 300m bottles sold in the UK in 2016, and the US came second selling more than 200m bottles.

In 2016 there were 503 commercial vineyards registered in England and Wales and 133 registered wine producers, but in the last 10 years the area of planted vines has more than doubled and is set to grow by a further 50% by 2020, while production is set to double to 10m bottles per year by 2020.

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.