Corks are popping at English vineyards with sales of English fizz in particular set to reach an all-time high in 2017. Sales have surged 16% at Naked Wines in the past year leading the company to commit £1m of investment into new English Winemakers.
However, analysis of regional demand suggests that the palate for the British bubble isn’t consistent and the appetite for home-grown sparkling wine either ‘bubbles over’ or ‘fizzles out’ depending on where you live in the UK…
New figures from, Naked Wines, the crowd-funded wine retailer, show that English wine sales are booming in London and the Home Counties.
In this region, English fizz has been appearing more and more on dinner party tables from local vineyard visits – and now online demand is following. If you live in London or the Home Counties – home to some of the UK’s best-known vineyards – you are 10 times more likely to choose English as your fizz of choice than the rest of the UK. Sales in these regions account for 51% of all Naked Wines English sparkling wine sales in the UK.
Nottingham has also emerged as a surprise English fizz hotspot. The city famous for its lace industry now has the highest volume of English wine sales outside of London.
The rise of English sparkling has gone hand in hand with the rise in the UK’s average temperature. This has created prime growing conditions for English wine whilst the Champagne region of France, conversely has become hotter than ideal. In addition, a run of droughts, frosts, hail-damaged crops in France – plus the fall in Sterling – have meant that English wine is not only great value, but the quality is giving the rest of Europe a run for its money.
Naked’s 190,000 Angel investors have been backing Britain by investing in British winemakers. Naked Wines’ best-selling English fizz is Old Winchester Hill Blanc de Blancs NV from the Hampshire vineyard of ex-banker Ian Kellett. In 2016, 1,200 Angels raised £112,000 to fund Charles and Ruth Simpson’s first English fizz from their Kent vineyard.
Eamon FitzGerald, MD of Naked Wines UK, said: “As a crowd-funded wine business, we invest where our customers tell us to, so it’s fantastic to see English fizz now bubbling over as one of their favourites. People are voting with their taste buds, backing British businesses and winemakers pursuing their dreams. This has given us the confidence to commit £1m of investment into English wine. We’re very proud to be backing Britain.”