Number of British Wine Makers on the Rise
The British wine market has seen something of a reconnaissance in recent years as middle class drinkers have fuelled an interest in home grown wines and more niche markets as well as international buyers also paying more attention to the market.
Bart Wrzyszczynski, assistant manager of the Three Choirs vineyard in Gloucestershire, said:
“English wine is nothing like it used to be three or four decades ago – the quality now is so high that it’s talked of as being one of the foremost ‘New World’ wines. We are experiencing a huge demand, particularly for our sparkling varieties this year, and it’s fair to say the industry in this country is booming.”
According to research from accountants UHY Hacker Young, the amount of wine makers registered with the tax office has sharply risen in the year with 46 new producers now on the books from the 31st of March which is an increase of 31 from the 2012-2013 period bringing the total number of registered wine producers with HMRC to 135.
Roy Maugham, head of tax at UHY Hacker Young, said of this growth:
“Consumer interest in boutique products continues to grow. Food products such as artisan cheeses and organically reared meats, and drinks such as craft beer and artisan spirits, have been the focus of increased demand. Now, we’re seeing the same thing in the UK’s once-mocked wine industry. English wines have enjoyed a genuine renaissance over the last couple of years and are now being taken seriously on the international stage.”
These comments also seem to ring true in other markets such as beer production as micro-breweries and producers of other spirits have also seen a rise with craft beer really seeing a dramatic upswing as craft breweries have increased by 188% in the past five years.
Many have pointed to the government’s removal of a minimum Research and Development investment requirement in order to qualify for tax relief which has meant that smaller wine producers have found their business model far more viable. Previously firms had to spend a minimum of £10,000 on R&D to qualify for tax relief.
Mr Maugham said of this:
“Many wine producers will be doing a considerable amount of R&D activity so the tax credits are giving them an opportunity to expand their businesses in other areas.”
A long hot summer will have also aided this year’s wine crop as growers will now be harvesting for this year’s vintage which looks set to be a bumper one for British growers who tend to favour white wine because of the grapes durability in colder, wetter weather.
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