Recent research, by scientists at the University of East Anglia and Vinescapes has identified land across England and Wales that could rival the Champagne region of France in terms of quality and scale for viticulture. However in a cooler climate location, such as England, site selection is critical to ensure the commercial viability of a vineyard.
Although global warming is providing increased temperatures, without the correct land attributes English vines will not thrive. For farmers and investors, knowing the location of this prime land is key and Vinescapes are launching a platform to help, VineMAP (Vineyard suitability Mapping and Assessment Platform). This state-of-the-art online land assessment tool evaluates fields, land and climate across England, in an instant, to determine its viticulture suitability.
A growing industry
According to WineGB, the UK wine industry is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors in the UK, with over 800 vineyards already established, an expected 2.5 million vines to be planted this year and output predicted to increase from 16 million bottles in 2018 to 40 million bottles and £1 billion in sales by 2040 (data from WineGB/Wineintelligence).
Land price impact
Recently the UK has seen an increase in competition for UK farmland driven by the growing wine sector. Vineyards can now be found as far west as Pembrokeshire and as far north as Yorkshire with suitable land, according to agents, attracting market values from £12,000 to £20,000/acre. Strong rents of up to £350/acre are also being paid by wineries on a 25 to 30-year basis for farm tenancies.
New online capability
The ultra-high resolution online VineMAP tool, created by leading viticulture and climate experts, provides the ability to understand overall site suitability for viticulture together with the below key attributes, each of critical importance to vine growing:
υ Topographic suitability and land grading
υ Climatic conditions & frost risk
υ Land use & flood risk
υ Soil suitability
υ Proximity to transport networks & protected designations
If you would like to know how suitable any field or land parcel in England is for viticulture, VineMAP will be available from 1 June, please visit our website www.vinescapes.com for more information.