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A vineyard in the West Midlands has slammed the level of alcohol duty in the UK as English Wine Week is celebrated across the country.

Blabers Hall Wine Estate, based in North Warwickshire, first harvested in 2018 and now produces 10 varieties of wine.

Owners, Clarke and Adele Adams, say the amount of duty they pay on their wine makes them “uncompetitive” in the global market, and they’re calling on the next government to change the system.

Clarke told GB News: “It’s the age-old thing, tax. Wines are heavily taxed with duty and VAT.

“When we compare it to our continental friends, they often pay zero duty, so we’re at a very big loss from the start, and that makes us very uncompetitive in global markets.

“It’s a massive cost and, unfortunately, we have to pass it on to our customers and it somewhat restricts when we’re competing against imported foreign wines and other drinks.”

Alcohol duty has been frozen by the Government in previous years, and recently reformed to be based on the volume of alcohol within the drink.

For Blabers Hall, that’s left them having to pay £2.67 in duty on every bottle, whereas across the channel in France, producers pay just 35 cents.

English Wine Week marks the chance for the growers across the country to show there are increasingly more high-quality wines being made in the UK.

Clarke and Adele say the popularity of English wine has never been higher.

Adele told GB News: “The interest in is huge, a lot of people say they've never tried but once they do, they're completely converted over to it.

“We do wine tastings throughout the year, and they’re sold out because people are interested, and they want to give local produce a go.”

An estimated 68 per cent of English wine sold is sparkling, and annual production of all varieties in the UK is projected to reach between 25m and 29m bottles by 2032.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs estimates vineyards are now the fastest-growing edible agricultural crop sector in England.

Adele added: “I think English wines are very different to European wines, they’re much cleaner and they're quite fresh tasting.”

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