The year 2020 provided an exceptional vintage for the UK’s 760 vineyards. Turbulent weather, much cursed by other sectors, actually proved perfect for vines. This was all good news for the UK wine industry, which was already one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
England in particular is undergoing a viticulture renaissance, producing wine at a rate not seen since the Middle Ages. It’s now considered one of the ultimate cool-climate wine regions, much like Oregon. It’s actually very comparable to the Champagne region at its peak; the growing conditions across the southeast are now so good, in fact, that famed French producers such as Taittinger and Pommery have quietly invested in land. A pretty remarkable shift in attitude and a huge vote of confidence in the quality of the growing conditions.
This new era has been led by some big players in the English wine scene. The likes of Chapel Down and Nyetimber have become household names, cropping up everywhere from fine dining to festivals and regularly appearing on the best wine lists around. Chapel Down has even supplied bubbles to Royal weddings and 10 Downing Street – not bad for a “local” brand. But the success of the big names has also had a fantastic trickle down effect on the whole industry – providing the perfect conditions for a whole new generation of wine growers and makers to step and make their mark.
At Penn Croft, we’re proud to be a part of this exciting renaissance. But we’re not just looking for the hot ticket – we’re taking it to the next level with our roots-up commitment to biodiversity and sustainability. The emerging perfect growing conditions in England are a privilege for all of us to enjoy and we want to keep it that way. Producing exceptional and exciting wines is obviously a high priority, but we’re placing equal importance on preserving and protecting the land which gives us so much in return. Fundamental to our approach is the idea that we work with nature in every way possible, laying the very best foundations for the generations who follow.
It’s been a long journey for the UK wine industry to get where it is today – but this still really only the beginning, and we’re in it for the long run. Cheers!
You can find out for yourself just how good English wine has become by visiting our vineyard or picking up a bottle or two online today.