February 9th, 2017
To show MPs why the UK wine industry needs their support, The Wine and Spirit Trade Association laid on 12 of the best English wines at a tutored tasting at the Houses of Parliament on Monday.
Award winning wine makers were invited by the WSTA and the All Parliamentary Group (APPG) for wine and spirits to showcase their top tipples at the English wine masterclass hosted by One of the world’s leading wine experts and Daily Mail wine columnist, Matthew Jukes. Wines included Bolney Wine Estate, Gusbourne, Exton Park, Chapel Down, Furleigh Estate, Hambledon, Hattingley Valley, Nyetimber, Ridgeview, Hush Heath, Plumpton Estate and Rathfinny.
The message delivered to the politicians as they sampled the south of England’s finest blends was clear –help English wine blossom.
Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said:"It was fantastic to have this opportunity to educate politicians on the successes of English wine and also share the importance of the wider UK wine industry to Britain’s economy and jobs.
It is important that politicians see first-hand the breadth and value of the wine industry to the UK. This has not only boosted the rural economy in terms of jobs created directly through vineyard management and winemaking, but has also brought about a significant boost to rural tourism.
The success of English wine has seen the sector grow, both in the number of vineyards and area under vine. The UK has an impressive 502 vineyards, including 133 wineries and 180 vineyards open to the public. In the last ten years the area of planted vines in the UK has more than doubled and is set to grow by a further 50% by 2020.
Last year M&S increased their English wine rangefrom 20to 37 and have seen a 100% increase in sales of English wine.
Elizabeth Kelly, M&S English Wine Buyer, said: “It’s a really exciting time for English wine as the quality continues to go from strength to strength. We’re delighted to now offer a total of 37 English wines from up and down the country, and our customer’s appetite for English wine shows no sign of slowing down, with sales up 100% on last year. Our English fizz in particular has proved popular, with the Marksman Rose from Ridgeview up 200%. It’s really promising to see customers embracing the style and enjoying English wine so much.”
Waitrose also reported In the six weeks running up to Christmas for every 10 bottles of Champagne sold, they sold 1 bottle of English sparkling wine – which the supermarket said “surpassed all expectations”.