Department of International Trade Press Release: English Wine Exports


  • English wine producers are seeing increasing demand for bottles overseas

  • English wine exports could reach £350 million by 2040

  • The Department for International Trade is helping UK wine producers enter key international markets such as the United States, Scandinavia and Japan.

It’s English Wine Week and with wine production last year reaching a record breaking 15.6 million bottles, vineyards across the country will be promoting England’s burgeoning fine wine industry and celebrating international export success.

UK producers are taking the opportunity to capitalise on overseas demand by exploring exporting potential in new global markets. In 2017, Hattingley Valley’s ‘Classic Reserve’ became the first English wine to get a national listing with Whole Foods in the United States, after being sold in 420 stores across 40 states between November 1st and December 31st as part of its ‘Holiday Wine Programme’.

Overall sales of English wine increased by 31% between 2015 and 2017 and by 2040, the industry is predicted to be producing 40 million bottles a year, equating to a retail value of £1 billion. The industry has also identified that exports of English wine could reach £350 million within the same time frame.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) have supported many notable UK wine producers on filling glasses overseas, most recently at the Nantucket Wine and Food Festival, the premier showcase event for wine in the United States which proved to be a successful shop window for English wine.

Supported by the Food is GREAT campaign – the cross-departmental initiative between DIT and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), several UK vineyards exhibited at the event including Hattingley, Gusbourne and Chapel Down – the largest sparkling wine producer in England.

Nyetimber, another vineyard that came to DIT for advice and guidance and was also present at the festival, had its sparkling wine served to guests at Pippa Middleton’s wedding; giving it a near-royal seal of approval.

It has been an amazing year for English sparkling wine as producers across the country have picked up prestigious international awards for the homegrown tipple, including wins at the Decanter World Wine Awards, the International Spirits Competition (IWSC) and The International Wine Challenge (IWC).

Overseas buyers are recognising the strength of the sector and are beginning to see the UK as an emerging premium wine region, with the potential to be among the finest in the world. The UK wine industry has identified a doubling of English wine exports in 2018 with the biggest markets being the United States and Scandinavia which received 65% of total exports (Wine GB Survey Results 2019).

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:

“It is such an exciting time for the English wine industry right now. The potential for exports is going from strength to strength due to the rapid growth of the sector and an increased demand from overseas markets for high quality British wine.

As vineyards across the country celebrate English wine and its export success, I would encourage other UK wine producers to take inspiration and consider exploring new markets overseas. My international economic department has a network of expert International Trade Advisers on hand to help businesses navigate the entire exporting process.

 “Many vineyards have already benefited from the service that we offer, and we aim to support many more to cement the UK as the new premium wine destination of the world.”

 Wine GB Chairman & Hattingley Valley Chairman Simon Robinson said:

"Wine GB's strategy sees export growth as a key part of the industry's future by cementing the premium quality position which English and Welsh wine holds.

The acknowledgment of that quality has driven a rapid growth in export volumes, particularly to the USA, Scandinavia and Japan, and we look forward to that continuing, in no small part due to the very active support of DIT, the Food is Great campaign run by DEFRA and other government departments."



Notes to Editors

The Department for International Trade

DIT helps businesses export, drives inward and outward investment, negotiates market access and trade deals, and champions free trade.

We are an international economic department, responsible for:

  • supporting and encouraging UK businesses to drive sustainable international growth

  • ensuring the UK remains a leading destination for international investment and maintains its number one position for international investment stock in Europe

  • opening markets, building a trade framework with new and existing partners which is free and fair

  • using trade and investment to underpin the government’s agenda for a Global Britain and its ambitions for prosperity, stability and security worldwide.

 Export Strategy

  • The Export Strategy sets out how the government will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of the opportunities presented by markets around the world.

  • A government-led collaboration with business, developed after extensive engagement with a range of UK firms - the Strategy sets a new ambition from government to increase exports as a proportion of UK GDP to 35%.

  • It presents a streamlined and targeted offer for businesses of all sizes, set to raise productivity, boost wages and protect employment across the UK.

  • This is just the start – in the months ahead DIT will lead work across government to assess what more we can do to support UK business to achieve a step change in their exporting performance.

Wine GB

  • Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) is the national association for the English and Welsh wine industry. WineGB’s mission is to advance the multiple interests of all its members to establish Great Britain as one of the world’s great quality wine regions.