Off the top of their heads, most people will be able to come up with a few countries which are known for their wine making. We’ve got France, Spain, Australia, Chile etc., however, increasingly people are looking elsewhere for their wines, and we’re going to help you discover the Newest world!
Recent studies have shown that in twenty years’ time it will be too hot in Burgundy to grow their notoriously fussy Pinot Noir. They may have to replant with hardier grapes, such as Syrah from the Rhône, or Merlot from Bordeaux. Which would be a tragedy - to lose some of the most iconic wines on the earth in our lifetime is sobering, and frightening.
However, it does mean that sparkling wine production is likely to move to England. English wine is a bit of a Marmite product at the moment, people either “get it” or they really don’t. They’ve had a bit of a reputation for slightly sweeter styles due to the cooler climate, but this, as we well know, is changing!
Much like how Champagne production started, England realised that their still wines were not as good as those from the likes of Burgundy, so they introduced the Traditional Method, re-fermenting the wine in the bottle to make a sparkling wine, with the same grapes that are used in Champagne, with the same method! Last year England produced over 4 million bottles of sparkling wine, mainly keeping it for the English consumers (let’s not get started on the post-Brexit English Sparkling Wine market chat…) but more than 27 countries are importing it now (though still only 4% of all wine that is produced in England.)
Though the price may be a little off putting, we can assure you that these are just as good as many Champagnes we’ve tried over the past year. The Brut has won a Decanter Platinum award for the DWWA 2018, meaning we’re more and more likely to see English wine becoming more premium.
Thinking about the prospect of English wines becoming more mainstream, we should look to other countries which are fairly “new” to the wine scene. For example - a recent study from New Zealand highlighted that the domestic wine tourist spends 32% more than the average tourist, and that international wine tourist spends nearly 80% more than the average tourist. England is anticipating 7.8 million visitor nights for wine tourism by the year 2040, and is aiming to increase employment in wine by tenfold in the same time period. Currently it’s estimated that 2100 people are employed in wine in England just now, and it’s predicted that this will increase to 24000 by 2040!
We know we said that we wouldn’t get political, but with the uncertainty of the post-Brexit market, and the inevitability of climate change we have to consider English wines as a major potential player in the future of wine. So let’s raise a glass to our English fizz!