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Vine of the times as English wine booms

Harvest: Mark Driver at Rathfinny

ENGLISH wine producers are toasting a bumper year as their tipple soars in popularity.

Independent makers enjoyed a 16 per cent rise in turnover to a record £132million last year.

Growers have benefited from increasing interest in boutique UK tipples, also including gin and craft beer.

And it is not only at home that their wines are going down well, shows research by Funding Options, which finds investment for businesses. Producers such as Mark Driver, of Rathfinny Vineyard in East Sussex, are also taking on the big guns in the international market.

Conrad Ford, of Funding Options, said: ‘English wine is going from strength to strength. It is not only gaining traction among domestic consumers, but is now being ranked with wines from traditional white wine-producing countries such as France and Germany.’

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