Page 48

focus on english wine

not such little englanders There’s a new voice for the English and Welsh wine industry in the form of Wines of Great Britain. Does that matter to independent merchants? Well, yes, it probably does


ureaucratic changes in the wine

trade don’t normally set the pulse

racing, but the tidying-up exercise

at the top of the English (and Welsh) wine industry feels more like a coming of age – perhaps a statement of intent.

The creation of Wines of Great Britain

from the merger of English Wine Producers and the UK Vineyards Association means that the industry can now talk with one

voice, both in a marketing sense and as a lobbying force.

as a wine region at a dramatic pace and

and working with whichever vintage we

producer, there is experimentation and

into one particular style as a region. We can

so as we are continuing to establish

our credentials as a top sparkling wine innovation going on in that sector,” she says.

“I mean an aged Blanc de Blancs that’s

not been disgorged for umpteen years …

we’re still waiting to see the results of that. “We are seeing it too in the production

Reichensteiner on bemused visitors at the

of some of our still wines. Who would have

already lobbied for its own PDO, and is

Kent, for example?

awaiting sign-off from Brussels.)

Wine gb hasn’t been set up to impose rules about yields, permitted grape

varieties or harvest dates. England is

still in growth mode, and while the big noise is inevitably coming from the

Champagne-style wines that are gradually winning a global following, there is still

experimentation and innovation going on. So says Julia Trustram Eve, head of

marketing at Wine GB. “We have evolved

terrific back stories.

“We’ve got some unbelievably talented

winemakers. New talent comes in and

existing talent is reaching out to produce

new things. It’s an exciting and heady time.”

“We’ve outgrown One Great George

quite like to be bound by the kind of

just to feel more authentic. (Sussex has

discover and ultimately that makes some

Lindley Hall in London for the first time.

These days, the English wine industry is

regulations that exist in mainland Europe,

still innovate, we can still experiment and

on Thursday, April 26 takes place at RHS

farm gate have been over for some time.

there’s almost a feeling that some would

“We’re so lucky in that we are not set

This year’s annual English wine tasting

The days of eccentric amateurs forcing

becoming so slick and so organised that

have and making something wonderful.

thought 20 years ago that Chardonnay

would produce such an epic still wine in “There’s some Albariño now being

produced by Chapel Down and in Wales at Ancre Hill. We’re seeing some wonderful developments with Pinot Gris; in great

years you’ve got some great Pinot Noir still reds.

“Actually I think there’s still some

traction to be gained in Bacchus being a signature grape variety.

“Winemakers are using oak, allowing the

wine to age for a bit longer before release, keeping that balance of acidity and fruit


Street,” says Trustram Eve. “We love it but

we’ve had to move because we’ve got new producers coming in all the time and we wanted to give them the opportunity to show their wines.

“Fortunately the size of our industry is

such that we can still have a central table.

So expect to see more wines and some new producers. We are also starting to focus on regions so people can get to know them a

little bit more. We will be doing a series of seminars and industry briefings.

“There’ll be an opportunity for the

trade to come along and find out what

the industry body is all about and what it can do for them. They can ask questions

and we’re going to have some interesting debates as well.”

The Wine Merchant issue 67  

The Wine Merchant issue 67

The Wine Merchant issue 67  

The Wine Merchant issue 67