Stephen Skelton on the UK Vineyards Guide 2008
This show was published 15 August 2008
Stephen Skelton MW is an expert on English wine and author of the UK Vineyards Guide 2008. We find out about the book and what's changed on the UK wine scene since the last edition was published in 2001.
The guide has history and statistics and a listing of some 360 UK vineyards and is an update of the previous 2001 edition. Since then there has been a big change in the grapes being planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay account for about 40% of the UK's 1250 hectares under vine and a move away from the German styles. The top 5 producers Nyetimber, Denbies, Chapel Down, Ridgeview and Three Choirs all have 100+ hectares. Sparkling wine is the focus for the UK wine trade and Bacchus will be taken seriously as the main still wine. The industry has undergone huge change. Only half of the 250 vineyards existing in 2001 still remain. Of the 360 in the 2008 edition, half are new. During the late 70s/80s producers were selling good quantities to the trade but the whole wine scene was changing and English wine came under pressure from Australian, New Zealand, South African and other new world wines which were becoming popular with consumers. They were turning away from the Germanic varieties which the English wines were based upon. Vineyards had to be grubbed up. The current expansion of UK vineyards is reflecting what the market wants now - sparkling wine. The UK is the biggest export market for Champagne and Cava, we drink lots of sparkling wine so it makes sense to get into the market. Must have a quality product with quality packaging and quality operations to satisfy the demands of the major retailers. Stephen hopes that in future the supermarkets will all be stocking English sparkling wine.
The UK Vineyards Guide 2008 is published on www.lulu.com priced £19.95.
The UK Wine Show is sponsored by ThirtyFifty. Our team of wine tasters are busy entertaining and educating UK consumers to help them get the most out of wine.
The music used for the UK Wine Show is Griffes de Jingle 1 by Marcel de la Jartèle and Silence by Etoile Noire.