The UK wine industry is one of the country’s fastest growing agricultural sectors and three million vines have already been planted this year, which is nearly double that of 2018.

The record number of vines planted this year – equating to an additional 690 hectares of vineyards and a 24% increase in the overall land now under vine – also makes the UK one of the fastest expanding wine regions in the world.

The total of three million vines is nearly double that planted last year (1.6 million) and three times the one million vines planted in 2017.

Much of the planting is taking place in the counties of South East England (Kent, Sussex and Hampshire) but the spread of vines now also includes Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Devon, Somerset, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Wales.

Simon Robinson, chairman of WineGB, said: “This impressive figure of three million vines represents another milestone in the growth of our fantastic industry. Last year we set out our vision that in the next 20 years, at the rate of current growth, we could be producing some 40 million bottles per year. We are certainly heading towards that. This is a thriving British industry.”

These growth figures come off the back of the UK’s most successful vintage last year, following the good summer weather and harvest of 2018, which yielded 15.6 million bottles, up from the annual average of 5.5 million bottles.

The news coincides with English Wine Week, which will see events and promotions across the country in vineyards, retailers, restaurants and pubs to promote an awareness in English and Welsh wines.