Production figures for the 2010 harvest in England have just been announced by the English Wine Producers; 30,346 hectolitres were vinified, equating to just over 4 million bottles. This is the highest volume ever produced, breaking a previous record of 3.5m bottles.
The increase reflects the rise in planting over the last five years. Since 2004, vineyard hectarage has increased by nearly 75 percent, to 1323.5ha. (This figure understates the true position, as official figures do not account for all the hectarage planted but not yet in production, which, it's estimated, will add another million bottles to the total in a few years.)
Sparkling wine leads the way. In 2009 approximately 50 percent of total production was intended for sparkling wine, and based on the level of growth of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier plantings over the last five years, the trend will continue: These three varieties account for almost 50 percent of the total area.