Prosecco remains top of the pops but English sparkling wine is creeping up the charts

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s annual Market Overview reveals which countries were top of the pops in UK fizz sales for 2016.

Prosecco has held on to the number one spot proving its sparkling remains a hit with the Brits with around 85 million bottles sold in the UK last year.

Champagne held on to second place (around 31 million bottles) and Spanish fizz predominantly Cava, remains in third (around 23 million bottles), but for the first time English Sparkling wine has climbed two places to become Britain’s fourth bestselling fizz (3.5 million bottles).


Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, said:

“Jumping two places to the UK’s fourth favourite fizz is another amazing achievement for English wine. Production is small compared to more established wine making regions, but the quality of English wine is shining through. Wine lovers have woken up to the fact that English sparkling wine is a premium product which tastes great and can compete with the best. We hope that the new government realises the potential of English wine and lowers the UK’s excessively high wine duty to encourage growth and investment.”


Duty on a bottle of sparkling wine was increased by 10p in the March Budget to an eye-popping £2.77.

English sparkling wine sales were up 11% in 2015 and grew a further 8% last year. This trend is expected to continue as vineyards grow and more wine comes onto the market.

HMRC figures out this week show that during the last financial year (2016-17) over 350, 000 more bottles of English sparkling wine were released onto the UK market than the previous year, a rise of about 25%.

The WSTA Market Overview shows English sparkling wine has overtaken Cremant and Australian fizz, which experienced a small dip in sparkling wine sales over the last two years.

Australia remains top of the still wine sales leader board with almost 300 million bottles sold in the UK in 2016. In second place the USA sold just over 200 million closely followed by France which sold over 180 million bottles of still wines to the UK last year.


In 2016 there were 503 commercial vineyards registered in England and Wales and 133 registered wine producers.

The south of England’s chalky soils and climate are similar to that found in the Champagne region meaning that UK has ideal conditions to make sparkling wine is made in the traditional method. The success of these wines has led Champagne houses, like Taittinger and Pommery, buying land and investing in vineyards in the UK.

In the last 10 years the area of planted vines has more than doubled and is set to grow by a further 50% by 2020.

Production is set to double to 10 million bottles per year by 2020.



Notes to Editors


Below are the UK sparkling wine sales by origin from the WSTA Market Overview 2015 and 2016. The sales in Italy are almost exclusively Prosecco, in France (non-Champagne) sales are predominately Cremant and in Spain it’s Cava.


‘Data for the 2017 WSTA Market Overview kindly provided by the IWSR’


The WSTA is the UK organisation for the wine and spirit industry, representing over 300 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wine and spirit1s. The WSTA works with its members to promote responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

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Harriet Talbot [email protected]

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