Monday, 4 January 2016

Environment Secretary Announces First English Wine Summit

The Ideal Wine Company has learned that UK environment secretary Liz Truss recently announced that the first official English wine summit will be held in 2016.

Emerging wine maker

When someone mentions ‘first class fine wine,’ your mind might turn to celebrated wine making nations such as France. Certain regions in the western European country, particularly Bordeaux, have been making wine for centuries. If you want to see why Bordeaux is known for producing fabulous vintages, why don’t you buy the Chateau Latour 1983, a hearty red with subtle hints of cocoa, plums and chocolate, from the Ideal Wine Company today?

But France’s neighbour to the north, England, is rapidly developing a lucrative wine industry of its own. Traditionally England’s famously miserable weather hasn’t been conducive to wine making, but climate change has provided southern regions in the country, such as Kent and Sussex, with the environment needed to cultivate robust wine producing operations.

Wine summit

At present, there are 470 vineyards and 135 wineries in England. Statistics suggest that English vineyards have been growing 10%, on average, over the past decade, and that ‘land under the wine’ in England and Wales is set to double, if current trends persist, in the next seven years.

The industry’s growth potential has caught the eye of the UK’s government. Environment secretary Liz Truss, along with the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WTSA), the industry’s trade body, has said that a ‘wine summit’ will be held in the new year to promote English wine making.

Truss said that she wanted to “encourage the industry to grow,” and that she would hold a round-table with representatives of the English wine sector at the event to discover how to achieve this aim. The WTSA will also host a discussion at the event, in order to identify land suitable for viticulture in England, as well as encourage data collection and data sharing in the sector to promote growth.

Huge potential

Commenting on the announcement of the summit, WSTA chief executive Miles Beale, was quoted by The Drinks Business saying that “we are delighted to be part of this round-table discussion to drive support for the English Wine industry.”

Continuing, Beale added, “it is an industry which has huge potential and is proving to be one of the new faces of modern British agriculture.” He went on to note: “If properly backed by Government it will encourage the growth of highly skilled jobs, increase tourism in the UK, stimulate local economies and we hope to see a boost to the export market of another great British product.”

 Growing industry

The English wine making sector may be growing rapidly, but it’s still in its infancy. Unlike nations such as France that have been making world-class wine for centuries, English vintners don’t yet have the experience necessary to produce truly legendary vintages. This summit could provide English wine producers with the support they need to compete on the global wine making stage.