Next year sees the latest edition of Stephen Skelton’s authoritative UK Vineyards Guide and the author is seeking any vineyards that have been created since the last edition of the guide was published in 2010.
The guide, which serves as the handbook listing vineyards throughout the United Kingdom as well as containing articles on wine-related topics, is a must-have for any student, enthusiast and would-be grower in England and Wales.
Skelton, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree for services to English wine last year, has been prompted to produce the latest edition of his guide.
He says: “The last edition was in 2010 and since then there has been an appreciable increase in both the area planted and the number of vineyards. I have also just finished a part-time MA so can now devote some time to the update.”
He is appealing for new growers and producers to contact him to be included in the guide as he considers the numbers of vineyards in this country now exceeds the 614 vineyards he holds details on.
While this may be the largest-ever number of recorded vineyards in operation in the country, Skelton does not consider that this is any high-water mark for the industry.
He says: “A high water mark in one from which the water can only decline in height. In which case, no, I think there will be more vineyards in the future.”
As for future prospects for the industry, industry guru Skelton considers there is little to limit future growth for the sector.
He says: “Why should there be a ceiling? The UK drinks a huge amount of wine and the UK produces very little. As long as the climate remains in our favour (and I accept that the last two years might well put a brake on expansion in the short term) I see no reason why the area and number of vineyards cannot go on increasing.”