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About GBVG and British Vineyards

:The total area under vine in the UK including hobby and abandoned vineyards is approximately 1956 hectares. The productive area for the 2015 harvest is estimated to be approximately 1839 hectares

The majority of commercial vineyard plantings are situated in South East England with approximately 1186 hectares under vine in Kent, East and West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight. There are approximately 235 hectares in the South West (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

Kent contains the largest area under vine with approximately 311 hectares, followed by West Sussex with 290 hectares and then Hampshire with 230 hectares. Vineyards also extend into Essex and East Anglia, the Midlands, with some even further north. There are now almost 40 hectares of vines planted in Wales.

The main vine varieties grown in the UK are now dominated by the classic sparkling wine varieties, mainly Chardonnay (approximately 518 hectares) and Pinot Noir (approximately 483 hectares). The other classic sparkling varieties account for 194 hectares. The classic sparkling (PDO) varieties now make up over 60 % of the planted area within the U.K.

The longer established white varieties Bacchus, Seyval Blanc, Reichensteiner and Muller-Thurgau account for approximately 374 hectares, around 20% of the total area.

There are over 700 individual vineyards in the British Isles ranging from extremely small ones (the smallest only has six vines) to ones of almost 90-hectares (222-acres). Together they total around 2,000-hectares (4,942-acres). Some of the larger wine producers have multiple vineyards, Nyetimber being the largest with seven separate sites covering 171-hectares (423-acres). Other large producers include Gusbourne 93-hectares (230-acres), Denbies 90-hectares (222-acres), and Chapel Down 78-hectares (192-acres). Many of the larger producers - Chapel Down, Ridgeview, Camel Valley and others - also buy grapes from vineyards which are usually under long-term contract to them or with which they have grape supply agreements.

Overall there are 43 growers with less than 0.10-hectares; 50 growers of between 5 and 9-hectares and 37 growers of 10-hectares or more. Together, the largest 100 producers control around 75% of the UK’s wine production.

Under EU regulations, all vineyards of 0.10-hectares or more (0.25-acres) have to be registered with the Wine Standards Branch of the Food Standards Agency who issue a Vineyard Register (VR). In August 2015 this showed the UK as having 1,654 hectares (4,087-acres) of commercial vineyards, together with another 159 hectares (393-acres) of ‘hobby’ and ‘abandoned’ vineyards owned by 156 growers which make no commercial wine. The VR also shows there to be 131 producers with wineries and 342 producers without, a total of 473 producers. Unfortunately, owing to various factors, the VR is out-of-date and incomplete and cannot be relied upon to be 100% accurate

 

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