English sparkling wine sector set to fizz over the next decade

English Vineyards

Production of English sparkling wine will double over the next decade, the producer Nyetimber has predicted.

The company said it expected production to rise to at least 20 million bottles a year by 2030, including a doubling of its own output from one to two million bottles.

The forecast comes at the start of English Wine Week, run by WineGB, the national association for the English and Welsh wine industry.

Eric Heerema, owner of Nyetimber, said it was establishing new vineyards to support its growth and had planted on about 44 hectares so far this year, mostly in Kent.

Mr Heerema forecast increasing competition for land from French champagne houses, several of which have already moved into southern England in recent years as the climate warms.

“With global warming making champagne production ever more challenging in the coming decades, and given the high-quality reputation of English sparkling wine, this tendency is very likely to not only continue but rather to intensify,” he said.

He estimated that about 2,500 people were employed in the production of English sparkling wine at present and suggested this too could double over the next decade.