The changed fortunes of United Kingdom viticulture?

G. Spellman, K. Field

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The notion of a successful and thriving viticultural industry in the United Kingdom was fuelled by the rapid increase in the area under production in the 1980s and the prospects that global warming could render the British climate more suitable for grape-growing. Already experts agree that the UK does indeed produce high quality wines, although in comparatively small quantities. This article reports on a questionnaire-based survey and examines the current state of the UK viticultural industry. It also contrasts the results with a similar study undertaken in 1983. The main changes included a shift from small 'hobby farm' producers to larger more commercial operations. This has been due to the ageing of the original growers and the 'weeding out' of those sites originally established in unsuitable locations. There is evidence that growers are becoming much more informed and experienced in viticultural and vinification techniques. The main criticism was that European Union regulations were not supportive of the sector, especially with respect to the growing of hybrid varieties that have performed very well in the UK. It is suggested that a future growth area could be the production of sparkling wine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-330
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2002


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