England

Although England is a primary consumer of wine, it produces only a very tiny amount of wine for domestic use or export. For many years, England has suffered from the reputation of having a climate that is too cold to produce quality wines, however over recent years a series of warm summers have helped to restore the English wine industry’s reputation and global warming could possibly encourage further growth in the years to come.

The soils of Kent, Sussex and southern England are rich in limestone and are therefore ideal for growing the grape varieties which are used in the production of sparkling wines. The south facing slopes have an especially good climate for vine growing, and this has led to at least 450 different vineyards making wine on English soil.

The biggest wine producer in England is Denbies Vineyard, located in Surrey, and which has over 250 acres of vines. Another major producer is Chapel Down Wines which is located in Kent. Although most wine in England is produced in the south of the country, there are some commercially producing vine yards further north, with the most northerly being located in Leeds.

While internationally English wines are still most strongly associated with sparkling varieties, there are now a number of whites and roses being produced, and even a small number of reds (around 10% of the total production). However, since the yields on English soil are a lot smaller than the yields of major wine production regions like Italy, Spain and France, there are far fewer vintages and many sell out very rapidly. There are a handful of highly regarded pinot noir wines produced in England, however when buying English wines, it is often recommended to choose a young wine.


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