British love in with Prosecco continues, as English sparkling wine sees strong growth
The British love affair with Prosecco is still going strong, with 85 million bottles sold last year, with Champagne sales trailing at less than half that volume, at 31 million bottles.
Spanish fizz, predominantly Cava, remains in third place at around 23 million bottles, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s (WSTA) annual Market Overview, which reveals which countries were top in the UK for sales of fizz.
However, for the first time English Sparkling wine has climbed two places to become Britain’s fourth bestselling fizz (3.5 million bottles). It is slowly increasing its share and now accounts for more sales than Cremant and Australian sparkling wine.
“Jumping two places to the UK’s fourth favourite fizz is another amazing achievement for English wine,” said the WSTA’s chief executive Miles Beale.. “Production is small compared to more established wine making regions, but the quality of English wine is shining through. Wine lovers have woken up to the fact that English sparkling wine is a premium product which tastes great and can compete with the best. We hope that the new government realises the potential of English wine and lowers the UK’s excessively high wine duty to encourage growth and investment.”
Duty on a bottle of sparkling wine was increased by 10p in the March Budget to £2.77.
English sparkling wine sales were up 11% in 2015 and grew a further 8% last year. This trend is expected to continue as vineyards grow and more wine comes onto the market.
HMRC figures out this week show that during the last financial year (2016-17) over 350, 000 more bottles of English sparkling wine were released onto the UK market than the previous year, a rise of about 25%.
Australia remains top of the still wine sales leader board with almost 300 million bottles sold in the UK in 2016. In second place the USA sold just over 200 million closely followed by France which sold over 180 million bottles of still wines to the UK last year.