From TeamGB at the Olympics to WineGB in our glassware, as the two main British/English wine associations merge into one newly branded body.
Sales of English wine show that the sector is rising above the level of consumer curiosity to a serious pleasure proposition for British drinkers. There was a recorded 9% rise in sales across the board last year with Marks & Spencer showing a 15% increase.
The proliferation of wine production in England and Wales is largely a result of longer ripening times due to climate change, though wine producers here are still facing huge challenges from persistent or unseasonal weather events such as wet weather or late frosts.
On the flip side, the industry is also maturing and wines with age are starting to show fascinating character and complexity that will draw in more GB drinkers. More and more retailers are stocking English wine alternatives that are usually priced slightly beneath the well-known brands of Champagne and above those of prosecco or cava.
Cooler climate often means higher acidity in the wine which can lend itself to a “racey” character that perfectly suits aperitifs and parties. If you haven’t yet been tempted by WineGB then it might be time to delve in and fill your glass.
The new branding will also help establish the UK wine identity in foreign markets. At a time when foreign trade is front and centre on the national agenda, it maybe that WineGB can set sail on a wave of optimism. Let’s hope so!
Key industry events and activities include:
Wines of Great Britain Trade & Press Tasting – Thursday 26th April, RHS Lindley Hall, London SW1
English Wine Week and Welsh Wine Week – Saturday 26th May – Sunday 3rd June