English Wine or British Wine?
Although these terms sound similar, there is a marked difference between the two:
English or Welsh Wine is made from fresh grapes grown here in England (or Wales) and produced in UK wineries. All of the vineyards listed on this website grow grapes to produce this type of wine.
British Wine is not the same thing at all. It is the product of imported grapes or grape concentrate that is made into wine in Britain and usually sold at a low retail price. 'British' wines are not wines as defined by the EU which specifies that wine can only be the product of fermented freshly crushed grapes. You may also find British wines labelled as United Kingdom Wines or wine from the UK.
Protected Geographical Status
The European Union has developed a new system of food labelling to protect the reputation of regional foods, eliminate unfair competition and prevent consumers being misled by non-genuine products.
Under this new labelling regime, the naming of a protected geographical location (e.g. a town, region, or country) acts as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin. Many foodstuffs produced in the European Union now carry a protected geographical status eg. Gorgonzola, or, Melton Mowbray pork pies. Such foodstuffs advertise “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO) or “Protected Geographic Indication” (PGI) on their labels and may carry the European Union logo as well. This system is also being expanded internationally via bilateral agreements with non-EU countries.
Protected geographical status has just been introduced for English and Welsh wines. Look for UK still and sparkling wines that are labelled with “Protected Designation of Origin” or “Protected Geographic Indication” – they will have passed certain taste and analytical parameters under wine schemes sponsored by the UKVA, The producers must also prove the geographical origins of the grapes - PDO wines comply with more stringent rules on the origin of their grapes than PGI wines.
For further information including a full list of English Wines that have attained PDO/PGI status please see www.ukva.org.uk