English vineyards have reason to celebrate this holiday season and in the years ahead

According to research featured in the latest edition of Vineyard magazine, English vineyards have reason to celebrate this holiday season and in the years ahead. And if you’re looking for the best still wine vintages, go for 2018, 2020 and 2022, say researchers.

Studies from the University of Reading show that climate change may enable expanded production of high quality still wines from grapes such as Chardonnay, across over 20% of the UK, by 2050.

Lead investigator Alex Biss explained that a temperatures rise in the coming decades, prime vineyard locations will shift northwards – “with the southeast and east of England emerging as ideal areas for still wine.”

“English sparkling wine has earned global renown,” said Biss. “And our research suggests the future for still wine production looks equally bright!”

So while climate change poses many difficult challenges, some regions may see agricultural benefits. New opportunities to grow white grapes that are traditionally grown in places like France, are opening up.

Using a method developed at the University of Reading, the researchers assessed the quality of still wines produced in England over recent years. They found that the vintages with the best profiles for mean temperature, Cool Night Index, and total precipitation come from grapes harvested in 2018, 2020 and 2022.

“There’s cause for Christmas cheer and hope this year,” remarked Dr Biss. “So let’s raise a glass, be thankful for today, and celebrate the promising future of English wine.”

Primary sources are:

Biss, A., & Ellis, R. (2021). Modelling Chablis vintage quality in response to inter-annual variation in weather. OENO One, 55(3), 209-228 https://doi.org/10.20870/oeno-one.2021.55.3.4709

Biss, A. J., Ellis, R. H. (2022). Weather potential for high-quality still wine from Chardonnay viticulture in different regions of the UK with climate change. OENO One, 56(4), 201-220 https://doi.org/10.20870/oeno-one.2022.56.4.5458

Related content

Leave a reply

Food and Drink Technology