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United Kingdom as a Wine Region

English Wines from the Young Winemakers

Wines from the United Kingdom, which are popularly called as English Wines or Welsh Wines, are produced more professionally by the young qualified winemakers of the United Kingdom.

Although these wines are ignorantly believed to be the worst wines by the British people, I would say they are among the world’s top-quality wines.

With more than 2,000 hectares of vineyards in the parts of the southern England and Wales, the UK is producing around 5.06 million bottles of wine every year.

Wines
Vineyards
Wine grape varieties

Now, let’s see in detail about the English wine industry here…

Vineyards and Vine Cultivation in the United Kingdom

The history of winemaking in the UK can be dated back to the ancient Roman period who introduced the wine grapes to the people of Britain.

However, the modern wine industry in the UK can be dated only to the 1950s.

As I mentioned above, most of the vineyards of the United Kingdom are planted in the parts of southern England and Wales on the sheltered south-facing slopes. I would say the vineyards at these latitudes will not yield vines if they don’t receive the moderating effects from the Gulf Stream.

As such, we can find the majority of vine cultivation in the regions of Kent, Sussex and Surrey. Due to the cool climate of England, only the early-ripening grape varieties can thrive here and almost all the grape varieties cultivated here are found to be relying on added sugars in order to get the acceptable alcoholic levels in the wines produced.

Wine Labeling Laws in the United Kingdom

The topmost quality wines of the United Kingdom are found to be labeled as Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO).

This is followed by the category Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). Apart from these two categories, there are also some varietal wines and sparkling wines.

It is to be noted that the PDO and PGI wines are subjected to the full post-bottling analysis and are required to pass a tasting panel.

These are being controlled by the two organizations, which are namely, the UK Vineyards Association and the UK Government’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

Wines from United Kingdom

From United Kingdom: Dessert Wine - Rosé Wine - English Wine

Vineyards
Breweries
Alcohol and Distilleries

Classification of the UK Wines by Location

Depending upon the geography, the UK wines are classified as follows:

English Wines: As the name suggests, these are the wines that are produced in England. Here, the soils are found to have limestone contents and are found to be suitable for growing the grapes for sparkling wines.

Currently, there are more than 450 vineyards in England.

Welsh Wines: These are the wines that are produced in the Wales and most of the Welsh wines are being produced in the South Wales part. There are just about 20 vineyards here, which are known to produce around 10,000 bottles of wine in a year. The wines that are being produced in this part of the UK are mostly whites, although few reds can also be found.

Scottish Wines: These are the wines from Scotland where the first commercial vines were planted during the year 2010. Here, lack of sunshine is found to be the major problem for vine cultivation.

British Wines: The term British wine can be used to describe any drink that is made in Britain by fermenting grapes. The most common type of British wine is the medium strength one which is more or less like our sherry.

Major Grape Varieties of the UK

Top Three Varieties:

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Bacchus

Other Major Varieties:

  • Pinot Meunier
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Reichensteiner
  • Müller-Thurgau
  • Dornfelder
  • Rondo
  • Madeleine Angevine
  • Schönburger
  • Huxelrebe
  • Ortega

Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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