The area covered by vineyards in Britain is growing
Global warming is changing the landscape of the United Kindom.
"Vineyard at Wyken Hall - geograph.org.uk - 216836" by Bob Jones. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vineyard_at_Wyken_Hall_-_geograph.org.uk_-_216836.jpg#/media/File:Vineyard_at_Wyken_Hall_-_geograph.org.uk_-_216836.jpg / CC BY
Clouds disperse as the area under wine growing in the UK expands
The Guardian newspaper reports a significant
increase in wine production in Britan, especially sparkling wine. With the release of the final
production figures for the 2014 vintage, it is now clear that the equivalent of
6.3 million bottles of English still and sparkling wine significantly exceeded
the previous record of some 4.3 million bottles in 2013.
Previously the main characteristic of English wine in
general and sparkling wine in particular, has been its novelty value, but
increasingly it is being recognised for its quality and is winning prizes at
international tastings. Spurred on by this success the planted area of vineyards
in the UK has been increasing rapidly and over the past seven years the amount
of land devoted to wine growing has doubled and production increased by 43%. The
changing climate, with increasingly warm spring and summer temperatures, is
making it possible.
It is reported by the United
Kingdom Vineyards Association that there are now more than 2000
hectares of land under cultivation for wine production and this is not
restricted to the mild south-east of the country, where 145
vineyards are to be found, even if this is where the greatest impact on the landscape can be
noticed. The North of England region has 18 member vineyards of the Association,
Wales 22 and there are even four in Scotland.
The Sussex Wine Producers Association, representing
vineyards located within the rolling chalk hills of the South Downs, the
location of England’s newest National Park are in the last stages of preparing abid for the European Union’s protected
designation of origin or ‘appellation contrôlée’
status, so it can be assumed that UK wine growing is ‘here to stay’.
hills which make up the South Downs are part of the same geological formation which
runs through the French Champagne region some 88 miles (140 km) to the
south. And as the local sparkling wine producers are quick to explain, it was
Christopher Merret, an Englishman, who first described the secondary
fermentation technique - what has since become known as the méthode
champenoise - in a paper to the
newly established ‘Royal Society’ in 1662, at a time when the Champagne region
was only producing still wines.
Not since Roman times will vineyards
have had such a big impact on the traditional countryside of the British Isles,
but exactly what the extent of the landscape impact will be remains to be
The original LE:NOTRE Projects were co-funded by the European Union's Socrates and Lifelong Learning Programmes.
The LE:NOTRE Institute has been established by ECLAS as foundation under Netherlands Law.