UKVINES - A guide to the Vineyards of the United Kingdom


Wine Making
Food and Wine
Wine Tourism
Grapes and Wine (Who grows what)
Books & background material
Where to buy wine online

From Planting to Sales

Visit a vineyard

Notes on Vineyard Visits in the UK
Grape places to stay
A vine day out in Britain
East Midlands wineries
Devon, glorious Devon (plus wine!)
Restaurants serving English and Welsh wines

UKVINES - The original UK viticultural website

This website was founded in the mid 1990s to provide a source of information for researchers, tourists and for people interested in setting up their own vineyard.It provides information on one of the fastest changing agricultural developments in Britain. In 1980, there were about 300 vineyards, mainly producing dry white wines in the south. Now, many of the original vineyards have closed as owners retired. However the new century has seen a vast increase in plantings, especially in the 'Sparkling wine belt' of Kent and Sussex, as well as new developments in Yorkshire and the Midlands. The current focus is on sparkling wine, for which Britain is now justly renowned.In ten years,as climate and tastes change, the whole industry will have to change with it.

Terroir or pure guesswork?

What is the best vine to grow?

It was Prime Minister Harold Macmillan who when asked what was the most difficult thing to cope with in his job is alleged to have responded ‘Events dear boy, events’. Vine growers need to think in a similar manner. Thirty years ago, if anyone had planted Chardonnay in Britain, they would have been regarded as mad- 'everyone' knew that the climate was too cold and the growing season too short.. Now, climatic changes and the increasing demand for sparkling wine have made both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir extremely viable, especially in the southern counties.. But for how much longer? France is increasingly getting too hot for its traditional grapes.In fifty years, this could also be true of southern Britain There was an article in the Guardian recently about vines in Sweden, where the growers are looking for a vine that will suit their climate. Currently, they grow Madeleine Angevine. Soon, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot? Given the speed at which climatic change is occuring faster than the experts predicted, and that viticulturalists need to look at least 10 years ahead to repay their investment, it may well come to that. A Scottish Riesling from the Great Glen may well be only a few years away!

So what is produced in England and Wales?

Still Wines

If this question had been asked 20 years ago, the answer would have included Muller Thurgau, Seyval Blanc, Reichensteiner and Triomph d'Alsace. Does it still do so? Click one of the links to see who is producing what in still and sparkling wines. All these can be purchased either directly from the vineyard or in local stores. Many vineyards have their own web sites- see VINEYARDS secion above for links

All the varietals by grape type- even White Pinot Noir!

  • All the sparkling wines

  • Who grows what?

    Thirty years ago, Muller Thurgau was one of the most common grapes grown. In 2015, more vineyards grow Bacchus than any other variety. See the list of Grapes and Wine in the main menu

    Where can you buy your wines online?

    An increasing number of the wines produced can be purchased online via the vineyard's own website. A brief list of these are included on the link below.This is by no means exclusive. If anyone wishes to be added to it, please inform the webmaster

    List of web sites with sales facilties

    And now for an amusing little wine with a slightly liquorish nose..

    What did the taste of wine remind you of- flint, fish,fat, farmyard? All the are terms used by wine tasters. But do they have any basis in reality?
    Some thoughts on Minerality in wines

    Independence for Sussex?

    Sussex producers are proposing setting up their own designated region- but will the customers buy it?

    Croeso I Cymru

    Wales now has its own vineyards association currently led by Richard Morris of Ancre Hills in Monmouth, from whom information can be obtained.Log into
    their web site. They also have touring leaflets that can be printed off.

    What sheep will match your vineyard?

    For even more information- see the English Wine Producers comprehensive guide to the English and Welsh industry

    Note: All information on this site is printed in good faith and is available on other sites or in reference books. E&OE. Any vineyard owner who wishes information to be removed or changed please contact the author. It is not a sales site and any emails from companies wishing to sell products to the site will be treated as spam.