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Introduction to the United Kingdom

England and Wales are countries within the United Kingdom, which is in northern Europe. Their geography is similar to that of Champagne (France) and Germany. As you’d expect, this means that the most important wines are sparkling or German-style wines (that is, wines that are light, unoaked, high acidity, low alcohol white wines made from grapes that ripen early even in cool climates – such as Muller-Thurgau, Bacchus, Reichensteiner, Seyval Blanc, Dornfelder, and even Pinot Noir).

Classifications

There is some geographical hierarchy (under United Kingdom Vineyards Association or UKVA):

  • English Quality Wine - similar to France's AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) in that it restricts grape types used and yields;
  • Regional Wine - similiar to France's Vin de Pays, it allows more flexibility than English Quality wine;
  • UK Table Wine similar to France's table wine, they are not allowed to display name, vintage, grape type or vineyard on the label.