English winemakers are reporting a good quality harvest for 2004, which is being matched by growing demand from consumers and an improved public image.
Many vineyards had a record yield and good alcohol levels, with rising average temperatures removing the need for chaptalisation (addition of sugar) in some cases.
The anticipated yield could top 25,000hls (3.3 million bottles), a jump from the average yield in 2003 of 14,500hls (1.93 million bottles), according to English Wine Producers (EWP).
English Wine Producers said sales were at an all-time high, following the success of local sparking wines in international competitions, and increased vineyard planting was planned for 2005.