The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has launched an English Wine Trail in a bid to boost drinks tourism and celebrate the nation’s grape growing excellence.

The WSTA said that its team was inspired by the success of the London and Scotland Gin Trails and consequently they drew up a map showcasing “some of the fantastic English vineyards and their winemakers”.

Each stop on the trail welcomes the public to sample and buy still and sparkling wine. Some vineyards run tours and others have restaurants, cafes, shops, visitor centres and accommodation available, explaining English wine’s broader ‘halo’ effect for the local rural economy, according to the trade body.

The idea behind the trail is to encourage tourists to explore the UK countryside and learn more about the rapidly growing English wine industry.

In 2015 there were 502 commercial vineyards registered in England and Wales and 133 registered wine producers. In the last ten years the area of planted vines has more than doubled and is set to grow by a further 50% by 2020. Production is set to double to 10 million bottles per year by this date.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said: “English wine has never been in a better place. Our wine producers are now gaining global recognition for making some of the best wines in the world. Post Brexit there are opportunities which could see the English industry grow even more than predicted, and without fear of production limits imposed by EU red tape.

“We hope that Theresa May’s government will pick up where the last government left off and continue the drive to serve British drinks at all government and state events.

“It is high time that our stunning English vineyards are recognised as tourism hotspots – they are now not only places to drink great wine, but also to eat fantastic locally sourced food and stay in top class accommodation. And that’s why we have produced the WSTA English Wine Trail.

“When you visit one of England’s finest vineyards you can be left in no doubt that the English wine industry has a sparkling future.”