‘The people behind the English wine revolution’ – to be published on 3 August

The story of how a small group of determined people transformed English wine is captured in a new book by award-winning drinks writer Henry Jeffreys, to be released on 3 August.

Nobody could have predicted in the 1980s that not only would English wine become a multi-billion pound industry, exporting wines across world, but that it would beat the French at their own game by making sparkling wine to rival the best of Champagne. This is the story of the people who made this happen.

Based on interviews with dozens of the most influential people in English wine, past and present, Vines in a Cold Climate charts how the industry was transformed from an amateur affair made by retirees to the slick professional business we know today. In this illuminating and accessible account, Henry Jeffreys looks at how so much was achieved in such a short space of time, the major issues facing the modern industry, and where English wine might be going in the next 30 years.

Whilst it is a story about changing climate and technology, most of all it is about men and women with vision, determination and more than a little bloody-mindedness. From secretive billionaires to the single mother farming a couple of hectares in Kent, these are the people making wine in a cold climate.

Henry Jeffreys worked in the wine trade and publishing before becoming a freelance writer and broadcaster. He is the author of a number of books: Empire of Booze: British History through the Bottom of a Glass (2017), The Home Bar (2018) and The Cocktail Dictionary (2020), and in 2022 was awarded Fortnum & Mason drink writer of the year. He is currently features editor for the Master of Malt drinks blog and drinks writer for The Critic Magazine.

This is my favourite type of book. One that tells a story that you knew was happening but had yet to have the pieces put together by a skilful and engaging writer.’ Stephen Harris, Michelin-starred chef and writer

Henry Jeffreys is everything you want a wine writer to be: funny, knowing, unpretentious but also un-blokeish, funny, clever, refreshing, original, funny and inquisitive. And did I say funny?’ Craig Brown

‘Captivating, impeccably researched and endlessly entertaining. Henry Jeffreys embraces his subject like a scholar but with wry humour and a novelist’s knack for storytelling. It’s the best book on wine I have read.’ Russell Norman

‘Jeffreys’ entertaining, accessible and skilfully paced book helps us relish the English countryside’s delicious new calling.’ Andrew Jefford, wine writer and author of Drinking with the Valkyries

The book is published by Atlantic Books and will be available online and from all book stores.