When people think of wine they will immediately think of France. They will think of the vineyards and the traditions associated with the production of wine. This is something that has been changing though, as competition from the rest of the world begins to increase.
The UK is not known as a great wine making country, the export of UK wine accounts for only about 1% of all the wine in the world. This one percent is relatively high compared to the figures that the country has been making in the past.
It was back in Roman times when people first started to try and grow wine in the UK. This was problematic though as the climate was not suitable for the grapes, it was just too windy and cold. The grapes that were grown died out and they were not replanted.
The climate in England has been changing however, and this has meant that wine can now be produced successfully in the UK. The rise in temperature has meant that the country is actually capable of producing some good wines. Modern day wine growing first occurred in the 1930s where one man, George Ordish, found that growing grapes for wine was possible. It was not until the 1970s however, that vineyards really started appearing in the UK.
The UK now has some 350 vineyards and the largest of these are located in Kent and Surrey. Before the 1990s most people thought that wine should come from countries with a history in wine making. This changed in the 1990s, when several excellent wines started being produced by the ‘new world’ countries like New Zealand and South Africa. This made people realise that wine does not have to come from the ‘old world,’ and led to a welcome boost for English wines.
Unfortunately because of the way tax is organised in the UK, drinking English wines is more expensive than importing wine from abroad. The tax on wines in France is very much less than in the UK. Buying local produce has become very popular in the UK recently, and this has given a boost to local wine makers.