There are about 400 vineyards located throughout England and an additional 100 wineries that produce commercial wines. However, Plumpton College is the only college in Britain that actually teaches wine production.
Professional winemaker in Plumpton, Peter Morgan, stated that many grape growers sell their produce directly to wine produces and there is a large demand for grapes. He explained that others contract local wineries to produce their wine while still others make their own wines within their own wineries.
In order to be viable, Morgan believes that vineyards should be 4ha because any vineyards that are under this size will not produce enough grapes to make mechanized harvesting techniques pay off given their expense.
In general it is expensive to get into the business of owning a vineyard commercially given it takes around £25,000 per hectare just for planting, preparation, trellising, and proper drainage. This is not even counting the real estate costs of finding a location that is free-draining and facing the south.
Every year England produces about three million bottles of wine which means the country contributes about two percent to wine production on a worldwide scale. However, experts believe that England’s wine production will reach upwards towards five billion bottles by the year 2015.
One reason for the predicted growth is that British wine seems to be more popular due to marketing efforts by English Wine Producers that have left buyers, restaurants, and supermarkets starting to realize that there are some high class wines manufactured within England’s own borders. At this moment, the concentration is on sparkling wines due to the fact that these sell for a higher price on the market.