English wine enjoys record number of new producers and vineyards in past year

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A record number of new English wine producers and vineyards launched their business in the past year, a study shows.

The figure of 64 new entrants to the market was 73% up on the previous year, but English wine only accounts for 1% of sales in the UK despite the increase, said accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

Its research found that 204 producers and vineyards have opened in the past five years, adding that the fall in sterling because of Brexit is expected to benefit English wine producers as the cost of exporting booze from Europe rises.

James Simmonds of UHY Hacker Young said: "English wine production, in particular English sparkling wine, is now being taken seriously on both a local and global platform which has enabled the industry to thrive.

"As the cost of exporting to Europe falls and with imports rising, English sparkling wine has an opportunity to become a real contender for Prosecco and Champagne in the global market.

"With Brexit now on the horizon, it is more important than ever to support local industry and to cement the UK as a globally recognised exporter of high quality goods."

Almost 400 new breweries have opened in the past year, up by 58% on the previous 12 months.