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English Wine

The fermented juice of grapes grown in England, as distinct from 'Made Wine' and 'British Wine'.

Denbies Vineyard, Dorking, Surrey
Photo: Peter Trimming

The Domesday Survey of 1086 lists about 50 vineyards in southern England. By the time of Henry VIII there were perhaps 200. While wine growing has never died out completely in England it certainly declined, perhaps due to a cooling climate, until a revival in the late 19th Century. Although there are now some 1,500 acres under vines in England, most are very small, often an acre or less, with Three Choirs in Gloucestershire and Denbies at Dorking being among the few large concerns.

As of 2010 there were 362 registered vineyards in the UK, producing about 3.3 million bottles of mostly white wines from the Reichensteiner, Bacchus, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Müller Thurgau and Seyval Blanc grapes. This accounts for about 1% of the UK wine market.

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