SALES of Hampshire wines have doubled in the UK since in the last five years and generating millions of pounds for the economy.

According to statistics released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), sparkling wine – which is predominantly made here in Hampshire –achieved strong growth in 2014.

Beer sales have also grown slightly following a period of decline from 2009 to 2012.

The UK sparkling wine industry has grown by a staggering 105.1% since 2010 with sales now totalling £6 million in 2014, more than double the 2010 figure of £2.9 million.

It follows a record-breaking 2014 harvest which saw 6.3 million bottles, of English wine produced – up 42% on 2013 – with almost 40 vineyards now operating throughout the county, and 500 in England and Wales.

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare said: “It is a very exciting time for both English sparkling wine and craft beer.

“While production of both continues to grow the demand is also on the increase as people are realising the fantastic flavour, quality and variety of local drinks and the benefits to all of buying locally.

“Several of Hampshire's vineyards have come away from recent international awards with multiple medals as the quality of the wine being produced in our county is now being recognised both in and out of the UK.

“Another drinks sector to keep an eye on is gin and other spirits with local distilleries setting up across the country.”