I also read the article.
English wine has several issues.
The first is that most wineries are very small and cannot produce the volume to meet the cheap price bracket UK consumers want (around £6.00 a bottle). They are therefore making wines for a niche market that spends £15-35 on a bottle. It has entered a very crowded market and apart from top restaurants in the SE rarely appears on restaurants lists particularly the pub sector. Most of them are reliant on cellar door/online sales plus a few sales in local small retail outlets.
As for the recent huge expansion; that worries me. The mantra that we can now ripen Pinot noir, Chardonnay etc., because of climate change is a dilemma. Climate change is globally bad news. It is also not linear. Last summer bad spring frosts and a dreadful September were two factors that contributed to a very poor harvest. But even now, our cool damp climate means a constant fight against rot and mildew. Heavy spraying is inevitable. Also relentless green harvesting a leaf stripping adds to vineyard costs.
As for investment and profit, please go and look on companies house website at balance sheets and P&L of the major players. Many of them do not make happy reading. As for the latest project mentioned in the VM article, I suspect the owner will not see any return on its huge investment for 20 years. The accounts filed so far show a year on year ever increasing loss.
Having tasted many English wines I think there are some very good ones, but quite a few mediocre and indifferent efforts. From what I have read, and tasted, there are I suspect quite a few who have planted vineyards in the last few years who don’t really know what they are doing.
The VM article left me with the impression that WineGB thinks the recent increase in vineyards and wineries is “a good thing.” Regrettably, I think that for quite a few recent entrants it will end in tears.
I am sorry to sound pessimistic. I know from my own experience that there are some very good English wines, and some very good winemakers. Whether they are making any money is a different matter. I wish this latest £100m venture in Kent the very best of luck. It is going to need it, and a lot more besides.