English Wines Taking the World by Storm
In recent years, the English wine industry has been gaining momentum on the global stage. With a surge in quality and recognition, English vineyards are now producing wines that rival some of the finest in the world.
Although not traditionally considered a strong wine-growing nation, England is seeing huge opportunities to grow their wine industry. In fact, according to recent data from WineGB, wineries across Britain have increased 74% over the last five years and that’s expected to continue growing.
In this article, we’ll explore the future of English wine and how Advanced Liquid Product Recovery (“Pigging”) Technology has the potential to contribute to the success story of the industry.
The Resurgence of English Wine
Today, the vineyards of England produce a diverse range of exceptional wines, from crisp sparkling varieties to rich reds.
While the roots of English winemaking stretch back to Roman times, it’s only in recent years that the industry has truly taken centre stage.
According to a report by WineGB, the representative body for the UK wine trade, exports have surged from 4% to 7%.
Projections indicate that production will soar to between 25 and 29 million bottles by 2032, driven by the cultivation of 7,600 hectares of vines, a substantial increase from the current 4,000 hectares.
The Global Landscape of Wine Production
While English wine continues to enjoy its share of the spotlight, it’s important to acknowledge the global landscape of wine production.
Countries like France, Italy, Spain, and Australia have a long history of making unique wines. Each of these countries offers a distinctive tapestry of grape varieties, terroirs, and winemaking traditions.
From the renowned Champagne region of France, some 90 miles east of Paris to the prolific wine region of Tuscany, Italy. Each of these regions has made a lasting impact on the world of wine.
With centuries of refined expertise and deep-rooted cultural connection to winemaking, these countries continue to set the standard for excellence. As English wine gains global recognition, it joins a rich and diverse global community, contributing its own unique flavour to the world of wines.
What’s Causing the Growth of English Wine?
So, what’s causing the huge growth of English wine?
The rise in English wine can be attributed to a combination of factors. One of the most notable factors is climate change. Although the changing climate poses a significant threat to some traditional wine-producing regions, it is shifting production to other regions such as the UK where conditions are more favourable.
The shift has meant that English winemakers are now able to produce a wide variety of still and sparkling wine featuring grape varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling that were previously not possible.
English sparkling wine, often compared to Champagne has gained particular acclaim. The chalky soils of regions such as Sussex and Kent are similar to those found in the Champagne region of France, making them ideal for sparkling wine production.
The Demand for High-Quality and Sustainable Wine
Another factor contributing to the growth of English wine is due to the increasing demand from British consumers for locally sourced, eco-conscious products.
As highlighted by WineGB, English wine features distinctive attributes, including its exceptional quality, and commitment to sustainability. For the domestic market, English wine is local and widely available.
Additionally, on the global stage in markets such as the United States, Canada, Japan and other regions, the image of British quality and craftsmanship is also driving the demand for English wine.
Investment and Technologies
Due to the unprecedented growth of the industry, the UK wine sector has seen increased investment, with some notable figures in both the wine and business realms showing interest in English vineyards.
This has led to further advancements in technology and winemaking techniques. An advanced technology already in wide use in lots of wineries across the globe is liquid product recovery technology.
Also referred to as “pigging”, this innovative technology ensures that every drop of precious liquid left in the pipeline is efficiently recovered, instead of it being wasted.
Download our free whitepaper on hygienic pigging for wine processors and manufacturers.
Wine Manufacturing and Pigging Technology
A wide variety of wine manufacturers and processors around the world are already using pigging systems. HPS has delivered many highly successful pigging and product recovery projects in this sector (here are some case studies on beverage pigging systems).
However, as the English wine industry continues its upward trajectory, it’s anticipated that mid and larger-scale wineries in the UK will increasingly invest in modern, state-of-the-art technologies like pigging.
Designed around specific needs, systems, and goals, HPS pigging systems optimise production processes, enhance efficiency, and significantly improve the quality of the final product.
Importantly, HPS pigging systems pay back extremely quickly, and on product savings alone, deliver ongoing high return on investment (ROI) year after year (here’s a detailed article on pigging system payback and ROI).
Tangible Benefits of Pigging Systems
Pigging technology offers a wide range of tangible benefits to English wineries. Here’s how it can significantly enhance liquid processing operations:
Improved Yields and Waste Reduction
Pigging systems recover residual liquid product from pipelines, ensuring that a higher percentage of the product reaches the bottling stage. HPS pigging systems typically recover up to 99.5% (and more) of product from full pipelines. The result? Increased yields and reduced wastage, ultimately boosting the winery’s profitability.
Reduced Product Cross-Contamination
Because the HPS pig reclaims so much product from the pipe, wineries can effectively clean and clear pipelines between different batches or varieties. This decreases the chances of flavour contamination, ensuring the integrity and quality of each wine.
Enhanced Cleaning Process
HPS advanced pigging technology with automated pigging process control streamlines the cleaning and changeover process. The technology reduces the time and resources required for thorough sanitation between production runs, resulting in faster changeover times, ultimately enabling wineries to increase their overall production capacity.
Preservation of Wine Quality
Another major benefit of pigging is that it improves product quality. By minimising exposure to air and contaminants during transfer and cleaning processes using a specialist HPS pigging systems, the technology helps preserve the original characteristics, aromas, and flavours of the wine.
Air contact is particularly problematic for wine as it may degrade the product i.e. increasing the dissolved oxygen (DO) content in wine. However, incorporating a double-pig pigging system prevents aeration, foaming, DO, and contamination.
Improved Environmental Sustainability
Pigging systems contribute to sustainability efforts by reducing waste, water, and cleaning chemical usage. The more efficient use of resources aligns with the environmentally conscious values of both wineries and consumers.
The implementation of hygienic and and sanitary pipeline product recovery can lead to significant cost savings through reduced product loss, waste reduction, improved cleaning efficiency, reduced labour costs, and enhanced production capacity.
Find Out More
Use our Pigging System Savings tool to estimate how much a pigging system could save your business.
Pigging technology represents a crucial investment for wineries in the UK and worldwide, providing a means to optimise production, improve quality, and meet the growing demand for high-quality, locally produced wines.
Contact HPS today to learn more about how pigging technology can contribute to the success story of the wine industry.
Alternatively, if you transfer liquids or wet products through pipelines and want to transform your processes, please do not hesitate to get in touch.