Everyone’s talking about UK Wine

– so what's the deal?

Importers of wine, sure. Drinkers of wine, absolutely.

But producers of wine?

When it comes to wine and wine drinking, one thing we know for sure is that the UK loves its wine, yet we often forget when choosing our Friday night tipple or when selecting a bottle at dinner, that we are well established as a nation at producing our own wine.

The UK sits outside the traditional areas for producing high-quality grapes and wines. We have a cooler climate, yet our daylight hours are longer during harvest enabling grapes to ripen slowly and produce complex aromas and flavours.

Soil is also an important factor when growing grapes. The UK has a rich diversity of soils, some high in chalk and greensand, and others rich in clay. The majority of Vagabond's grapes are sourced from Yew Tree Vineyard (clay over limestone) and Clayhill Vineyard (London clay).

Among the most common grapes grown in the UK are:

  • Pinot noir
  • Chardonnay
  • Meunier
  • Bacchus
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Ortega
  • Solaris

And what about the styles of wines we make?

Traditional method sparkling wine might first come to mind when you think of UK wines, but the industry is expanding every day, and so is the growth and production of still reds, whites, rosés, and sweet wines.

Our vineyard areas are still relatively small and often located in the Southeast, Sussex, and Kent, but the industry is growing. We now have around 800 vineyards in the UK. In the past five years, we have seen a 70% increase in the area under vines (WineGB). Wine industry experts have forecasted the bottles of wine produced in the UK could rise to 40m in the next 20 years, up from 8.7m in 2020. More and more of us are planting, with a growing number of vineyards in Essex, Cornwall, and Wales.

We have seen an unusually dry growing season this year, with rainfall at a minimum, and sunshine hours higher than average. All these factors can impact the quality of grapes resulting in a year of exceptional fruit.

What does this mean for Vagabond Wines? We're making a still Chardonnay to follow on from our 2020 Decanter platinum award-winning Chardonnay. Using the Pinot Noir grapes from Clayhill Vineyard in Essex to make a still red. Something that's not possible every year.

Have you tried UK wine before? If not, get down to a Vagabond near you and let us know what you think.

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