Sooner Than The Vine: Vintners in the United Kingdom
Wine has a rich history in the United Kingdom, spanning centuries and ethnicity to become the symbol of opulence, pleasure and good taste that it is today. Creating such an artistically and culturally significant culinary staple requires much knowledge and expertise. Central to this necessity is the legacy of the vintner.
Understanding The Profession
A vintner in the UK is entrusted with the task of creating quality wines through mastery of the major areas of winemaking. They must be fully competent in the scientific aspects of the process such as grape maturity, proper storage, and laboratory testing as well as the creativity needed to experiment with various flavors, textures and colours. They must also work with others including viticulturists and marketers to achieve the best product.
Combining the precision of a scientist and the inventiveness of a tastemaker, vintners have woven a tapestry of differentiation among areas of the United Kingdom based on the kind and method of wine production.
History of Wine Trade in the United Kingdom
Likely introduced by the Romans in the first century A.D., winemaking has taken hundreds of years to become as established in the region as it is today. It was used for religious and recreational purposes well into the Middle Ages. During this time nearly one third of England’s import trade was in wine, and largely governed by The Vintner’s Company beginning in 1363.
It was not until the early 1950’s that the industry bloomed into the modern era, when John Edginton began his experimental work in viticulture spanning decades. John planted what are now the oldest living specimens of his own signature grape variants and inspired the revival of this historical art. New vineyards sprang up throughout the United Kingdom well into the 21st century, many building on the techniques that Edginton had pioneered.
Wine Industry in the UK Today
Today the winemaking industry has expanded throughout the British Isles and UK vintners are taking advantage of the opportunity, establishing themselves on the global wine scene with increasingly popular regional specialties in sparking wines. The market is responding, over half of the UK’s population of adults prefer wine over other alcoholic beverages as of 2015 according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
Thus the legacy of UK vintners continues to flourish and is likely to play an increasingly significant part in the future economy