Viticulture and winemaking in England and Wales boasts a long and rich history – from pre-Roman times to the present day, there has been winegrowing in Britain.
The term British wine is commonly used to describe a drink which is made in Britain by fermenting grape juice or concentrate that can originate from anywhere in the world and so is not used for wine in the legal sense which must be freshly produced from grapes.
The United Kingdom is a major consumer, but only a very minor producer of wine, with English and Welsh wine sales combined accounting for just 1% of the domestic market.
The limestone soils (technically chalk), Kent and other regions of southern England are suitable for growing the grapes used to produce sparkling wine, and particularly on south facing slopes, the climate, at least in recent years, is warm enough. At the last official count, the United Kingdom Vineyards Association reported that there were just over 400 vineyards over 1300 hectares producing wine throughout England and Wales.