Last year marked the biggest ever grape harvest in Britain with around 20 million bottles set to be produced, according to the WineGB 2023 Harvest Report. 

Following previous reports of record breaking harvests from a handful of major English wineries including Chapel Down, Balfour and Ridgeview, data from WineGB’s members revealed that 2023 yields were up 50% on 2018 – Britain’s previous record year. The trade body attributed this success to the year’s favourable weather conditions with little frost and warmer temperatures in September and October. 

The report also noted a substantial increase in vine plantings over the past five years, resulting in higher yields. Warmer regions such as East Anglia, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset, saw the highest yields in Britain. 

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Meunier and Bacchus, which account for around 75% of planted areas, performed “exceptionally well”, with producers also reporting heavy crop and bunch weights. 

Viticulture consultant Stephen Skelton MW, who authored the report, said 2023 will be a “vintage to remember”, adding: “The excellent yields are attributed to not only the near perfect weather for grapes at key times of the growing season, but also comes on the back of more hectares than ever before coming into production, having seen nearly 75% growth in plantings in the last five years alone.”

Looking ahead to 2024, WineGB CEO Nicola Bates said interest in British wine is continuing to grow both domestically and internationally: UK consumers are drinking more and more home produce and at the same time exports are going up especially in the Nordics and Japan. We look forward to having more wine to present to our growing consumer base.”