English Vineyards and Winemaking Regions

Believe it or not the English countryside is dotted with hundreds of vineyards; some of them very well-known like Breaky Bottom, Chiddingstone, Lamberhurst and Hidden Spring, to name but a few.

For many decades consumers never really equated Britain's climate with one suitable for growing grapes. After all, our weather can be appallingly unpredictable and pictures of vineyards are usually taken in some hot and sunny place where the earth looks parched. However, many English winemakers [and not forgetting those in Wales too], have been soldiering on and today there is a quite credible native winemaking industry. Find out how English wine compares with the imports.

With increased production the price of a bottle of English wine has fallen to one more commensurate with mid-priced continental imports. Somehow one feels that English winemakers are beginning to get their act together, albeit on a small scale when compared to the Americans, Australians and other new wine producing nations. Our climate is perhaps also changing to one more suitable to growing grapes.

In the past the Romans used to produce wine in Britain, and also during the Norman period. From the 14th century native production declined and wine was imported instead. But now there's a new generation of inspired English winemakers, although the number of producing UK vineyards - and the yield too - has gone down since the early 1990s. In 2001 the UK's 350 active vineyards output 1,581,700 litres of wine - or nearly 350,000 gallons [source: UKVA/EWP].

The main UK wine production areas are in the south on the country [dark yellow on the map below] while there are a smattering of producers outside this area [paler yellow areas], with even the odd one in the north of England such as Leventhorpe near Leeds.

WINE MAKING REGIONS OF ENGLAND & WALES

WINEGROWING REGIONS OF ENGLAND & WALES

CAMBS.
Chilford Halls
Coton
CORNWALL
Camel Valley
Lambourne
Polmassick
Porthallow
DEVON
Beenleigh Manor
Chudleigh
Clawford Holsworthy
Down St. Mary
Manstree
Oakford
Sharpham
Yearlstone
DORSET
Horton Estate
Partridge
Wake Court
ESSEX
Bordfield
Carters
Felsted
Gt. Stocks
Mersea
GLOS.
St. Augustines
Three Choirs
HAMPSHIRE
Court Lane
Danebury
Meon Valley
Northbrook Springs
Priors Dean
Wickham
Wooldings
KENT
Ash Coombe
Barnsole
Bearstead
Bidderden
Chapel Down
Elham
Harborne
Lamberhurst
Leeds Castle
Penhurst
Seddlescombe
Syndale Valley
Tenterden
MARCHES
Astley
Boderham
Frome Valley
Hagley Court
Tiltridge
Wroxeter
SUFFOLK
Bruisyard
Giffords
Ickworth
Staverton
Wyken
SUSSEX
Barkham Manor
Breaky Bottom
Chanctonbury
Chiddingstone
Davenport Vineyards
Hadlow Down
Hidden Spring
Nutborne Manor
Nyetimber
Ridge View
Rotherfield
SURREY
Denbies Estate
Godstone
Iron Railway
THAMES
Binfield
Bothy [Oxon.]
Boze Down
Hale Valley
Hendred
Boze Down
Sun
WILTSHIRE
Wylye Valley
WALES
Eryri
Monnow Valley
Sugar Loaf
Worthenbury
Wyecliffe

The list of English vineyards above is by no means comprehensive but will give
you a good idea of the spread of UK producers. You should also note that
'English wine' means that it is grown and bottled here while something which
calls itself 'British wine' is basically an imported wine bottled in the UK.

UK winegrowers are represented by the UKVA [UK Vineyards Association]
with marketing of the wines undertaken by English Wine Producers who have
their own website at www.englishwineproducers.com.

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