UK wine production could thrive as a result of climate change

Parts of East Anglia could become as good for growing wine as France or Germany. Credit: PA

Climate change could mean a boom for the UK's wine production as temperatures get warmer, according to a new study.

Global warming has already contributed to a growing number of vineyards in the UK, with more than 800 found in the country.

Now a University of East Anglia study has found a larger area of England and Wales will become more suitable for reliably growing sparkling wine grape varieties within the next two decades.

Up to 2040, areas in East Anglia, Lincolnshire, south-central England, and parts of Wales are projected to have conditions similar to that of 2018 around 60-75% of the time - which was a notably good year for UK wine production.

Changing levels of temperature and rainfall could make counties like Essex the ideal place to produce wine.

It would see parts of the UK resemble famous wine-producing areas of France and Germany.

The ability to grow new crops seen as a positive impact of climate change.

Weather extremes will become more common however, with flooding and heatwaves expected to worsen.

The study's lead author, Dr Alistair Nesbitt, from Vinescapes, said: "[Warming temperatures] expands the area of suitability for Pinot Noir for sparkling wine production.

"But also, new areas will open up within the growing season temperature suitability range for still Pinot Noir production and for growing varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Semillon and more disease-resistant varieties, which are hardly grown in the UK at present."

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