With the weekend heralding the start of this year’s English and Welsh Wine Week, we round up the best ways to immerse yourself in the UK’s buoyant wine scene.
Organised by industry body Wines of Great Britain (WineGB), this year’s English and Welsh Wine week runs from 25 May to 2 June.
Shining the spotlight on English and Welsh vineyards, the event coincides with the late May bank holiday, encouraging retailers, restaurateurs, hoteliers, winery owners and bar staff to promote homegrown wine throughout the long weekend.
Last year, the UK wine industry had a record year, with a total of 15.6 million bottles produced in England and Wales. This trumped the previous record (6.3 million bottles in 2014) by 9.3 million bottles.
Part of the increase can also be attributed to the ambitious vine planting programme. There are now more than 500 commercial vineyards in Great Britain. The area under vine in England and Wales has increased by 160% in the past 10 years to reach 2,888 hectares, with a further two million vines due to be planted this year.
In order to promote English and Welsh wine and to boost oenotourism, a number of regional groups such as The Wine Garden of England (Kent), Surrey Hills Vineyards, Vineyards of Hampshire and Sussex Wineries have been established in order promote county collaboration.
Commenting on this year’s event, Julia Trustram Eve, marketing manager of WineGB, said: “English Wine Week has become a popular and well-established campaign within the trade – it’s great to see what an effective promotional tool it is for retailers and the on-trade to highlight English wines to their customers.
“Year-on-year, the campaign uptake and reach have grown consistently, through outlets but also media coverage and a massive increase in social media reach and engagement. It is creating a real buzz!
“What really resonates is that sales of English wine not only spike during the week but sustain a good level of growth long after the week is over. This really is a campaign that gets results and we are so delighted to be working with such a broad scope of retailers, wholesalers, on-trade and of course highly supportive wine producers.”
For our round-up of the best ways to celebrate English and Welsh Wine Week, click through.