UK consumers bought four million bottles of English and Welsh wine last year leading to sales grow of 6% compared with 2017 according to the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA).

Last year producers made 15.6 million bottles of still and sparkling English and Welsh wine compared with 5.9 million in 2017.

The English wine industry planted 1.6m vines last year, with plantings expected to top two million this year, making the wine industry one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors in the UK.

According to IWSR drinks market analysis data, UK consumers bought more home-grown sparkling wine in 2018 than sparkling wines from Australia, US and Germany combined.

Italy was UK consumers’ number one favourite sparkling wine-producing country in 2018, selling around 117 million bottles due to the popularity of Prosecco, while French Champagne sold almost 24 million bottles. Spain was the UK’s third choice for sparkling wine selling over 23 million bottles. France sold just over five million bottles and the UK came in fifth.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “Everyone should take the opportunity to toast our talented English wine makers with a glass of home-grown fizz on St George’s Day. A bit like St George, against all the odds, the UK wine trade has come out fighting and proved it can compete with the best of the best at a global level.

“The government needs to do more to support this emerging British success story and the Chancellor can and should start bringing down his excessively high duty rates after he unfairly singled out wine for a duty rise in his last Budget.”

According to the report, English winemakers are looking forward to a bigger sales boost over the next couple of years from the wine made from grapes that was grown in summer heatwave of 2018 arriving in supermarkets.