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English wine

bottiglie di vino inglese
Written by EFW Staff

English wine and the grape harvest in Great Britain

A strong production that has grown in the recent years and that in the 2013 exceed the 33 thousands hectolitres, also Great Britain is becoming a good producer of wine. A unimaginable result that is the effect of a process of climate changing at a global level and that is moving to the north the geographical areas suitable for the wine production.

History of English wine and the climatic change

The history of English wine can be dated back to the conquest of the Romans that planted and cultivated the vines also in the ancient Albione.

Later, the history of the English wine experienced phases of stop, probably because of a difficult weather and because of the economic advantage to import it, but later there has been a slow recovery. On its side, the weather and its changings played an important role to explain the different phases of the production of English wine.

Vigne di vino inglese - EFW

In particular, the climate changing in the direction of the global heating pushed the people in the ‘50s to try to plant some resistant grape varieties able to survive to a cold and humid climate. But it is in the last decade that the production recorded a consistent increasing with special grape harvest as 2010 and 2013 on one side, and bad ones like 2008 and 2012.

2014 has been characterized by a hot and dry summer that caused a further increasing in the wine production. As for times and techniques, September and October are the months of the grape harvest, followed by the process of vinification. In other circumstances, to accelerate or start the process of fermentation, it can be necessary to inoculate external yeasts.


Main English vineyards

There are today, more than 1400 hectares of soil addressed to the cultivation of the vine in Great Britain, besides that more than 400 vineyards brought back the production to a level reached only during the Romans, with a production per year of 5 millions of bottles. The greater part of the English vineyards concentrated in the area of the west and east coast on the south of the cities of Birmingham and Norwick. In this area, pretty spread, the current of the English Channel mild the climate making it less cold, pretty similar to the Mediterranean one.

The English Wine Route starts form London and cover some of the most suggestive areas of Great Britain in the region of Bedfordshire, of Cambridgeshire, of Suffolk, Essex, Sussex, Hemshire, of the Island of Wight, of Commerset, of Gloucestershire and of Herefordshire.

The main types of English wine

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The British microclimate and the degree of humidity make this soil particularly suitable to produce dry wines, particularly refined and strong, with a fruity and floral perfume. More than the 98% of the wine produced in the English vines is white and realized by some main wines.

Among them, the Wrotham Pinot is a clone of the Pinot Meunier, discovered when a bunch of grape grew on a wall of stone close to the city of Wrotham, in the south east of England. Pinot Noir started to be produced in 2006 whereas for a long period of time they produced only Blanc de Noir.

The vine variety Muller Thurgau, the only autochthone plant, cultivated in almost all the vines of the country, it is a white berry plant created artificially by the crossbreed of Riesling of the Rhine and Chasselas. The vine Siegerrebe, finally, is a variety obtained crossing Gewurtztraminer with red table grape.

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EFW Staff