WineGB, the national association for the English and Welsh wine industry (www.winegb.co.uk/) organized a Technical Conference on June 24th, 2019 at Denbies Winery. Lallemand Oenology, as one of WineGB sponsors, was invited to the event. Nathalie Sieczkowski, Research Director, and Sigrid Gertsen-Schibbye, Area Manager UK and Scandinavia, participated as speakers.
128 Winemakers, cellar operators, winery owners and students attended this major event for the UK wine industry. 20 of them were Canadians from British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Both Lallemand Oenology contributors showed them how non-Saccharomyces yeast and wine bacteria could be used as biological tools to preserve and enhance freshness and aromas in wines. They were also explained how active yeast add security to prefermentative cold maceration to protect the wines against oxidation and how specific inactivated yeast help maintain quality during barrel-ageing and international transportation.
The UK wine industry is currently booming. There are now over 500 commercial vineyards and 165 wineries operating in Britain. Last year the industry enjoyed its largest harvest on record – equivalent to £15.6m bottles – an astonishing 130% volume increase on 2017. Sales of English and Welsh wines doubled last year and exports also doubled.
English and Welsh wines are now exported to 40 countries and the wines are doing particularly well in the US and Scandinavia, which currently account for 65% of all exports. The area under vine in the UK has increased by 160% in the past 10 years to 7,000 acres. Last year, 1.6 million vines were planted with a further 2 million expected this year. 65% of the wineries produce sparkling wines and 31% still wines. At its current growth rate, the UK could be producing 40 million bottles by 2040.