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With English wine production set to double from five million bottles a year to 10 million by 2020, independent retailers must now get behind local brands.
That was the advice from Simon Stannard, European affairs director for the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), who told Retail Express that investment over the past 15 years had now reached a point where English wine brands are now available to retailers.
“Waitrose has been leading English wine in retail but M&S have the second-largest range after expanding in the past year. Tesco launched a Tesco Finest English Sparkling Wine last year so more retailers are waking up to the opportunity,” he said.
The majority of English sparkling wine vineyards are in the south of England in counties like Kent, Sussex and Hampshire, with more still wine vineyards further north.
“If you live near a vineyard, go and talk to the vineyard. There are several vineyards that are aspiring to produce more than a million bottles by 2022. Chapel Down and Gusbourne in Kent and Hambledon in Hampshire have strong aspirations. Nyetimber is probably the most popular brand,” Stannard added.
“English sparkling wine is bottle fermented and takes years to complete, so wines tend to be around £20 a bottle. It’s a premium product. Still wine is more competitively priced and there are very good products that can compete with wine from the rest of the world.”
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