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British sparkling wine industry is fizzing as sales set to hit £100m

Bridgnorth | | Published:

Sales of English and Welsh sparkling wine are predicted to hit almost £100 million next year, helped by a perfect year of mild weather.

Sparkling Champagne-style wine now makes up 66 per cent of the UK's wine production and its is being exported to more than 13 countries.

Among the vineyards producing sparkling wine is Halfpenny Green Vineyards at Upper Whittimere Farm, Bobbington, near Bridgnorth.

Led by owner Martin Vickers, it produces Halfpenny Green Sparkling, Pink Fizz and Red Sparkling bottles and has won awards from the Mercian Vineyard Association and the UKVA.

Wroxeter Roman Vineyard, near Shrewsbury, has also produced a range of award-winning ranges including sparkling wines.

Both vineyards have enjoyed a bumper harvest following a 2014 that brought a mild winter followed by a long, warm summer.

Halfpenny Green Vineyards, which was first planted in 1983 and now has 30 acres under vines, is owned by the Vickers family, and produces about 80,000 bottles a year. The Wroxeter vineyard was created when five types of grape were planted in 1991.

Statistics from the English Wine Producers show that with the ongoing growth in volume, sales of English and Welsh wine are forecast to grow to nearly £100m in 2015.

The acres of vines planted across England and Wales have more than doubled in the last decade and vineyards now cover more than 4,500, up from 1,879 in 2004, with 470 vineyards now open for business.

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Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: "This industry is fizzing. It shows our long-term economic plan is helping our exporters thrive and generate the jobs we need to secure the recovery.

These figures are testament to the hardworking can-do attitude of our world class food and drink industry and shows the UK is a place the world comes to buy trusted, quality produce.

"There has never been a more exciting time for the English and Welsh sparkling wine industry and I look forward to seeing it go from strength to strength, taking its rightful place alongside champagne."

Julia Trustram Eve, marketing director of English Wine Producers, said: "It is a very exciting time for English sparkling wine."

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