Not that you ever need an excuse to crack open a lovely bottle of wine! But we really want everyone to be drinking British at the moment – supporting local vineyards, and the British economy.
And, in case you needed a reason to try some excellent wines, here’s a few to get you going!
There has never been a better time to support British.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and even if you have!), you’ll know that the Covid-19 situation has hit pretty much every industry in one way or another.
When it comes to the UK wine industry, the impact has been widespread.
One of many vineyard’s main revenue streams comes from vineyard tours – from the ticket sales, to the wines visitors buy from the cellar door. Obviously the lockdown has meant all vineyards had to close – the ones that have started to open have had to take extra safety measures. There are still plenty who haven’t been able to – running an indoor wine tasting requires enough space to enforce social distancing rules, and it’s just space some vineyards don’t have. It’s costly to run sessions, and it doesn’t make financial sense to do them just for a couple of people – many have had to stay closed.
Many vineyards sell their wines to local bars & restaurants – those of course aren’t open, and therefore have no need to buy wines. Selling to local stores such as garden centres has also been impossible.
The problems aren’t just income-related – trying to hire seasonal workers to help in the vineyard has been difficult to say the least.
If you’re looking to buy wine to enjoy this summer, there has literally never been a better time to buy wines from the UK and support our British economy.
(Image - wine tasting at Chilford Hall - we highly recommend!)
The carbon footprint is lower than wines imported from other countries.
The UK consumes huge volumes of wines from the likes of Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile – all excellent wine-producing countries.
But think about the journey those wines make – wine coming from New Zealand has likely taken a journey of up to 17,000 miles! Travelling via shipping container across three oceans, plus several hours of road travel both in New Zealand and in England, all adds up.
How about wine produced closer to home? Surely wine made in France or Italy is “better” (in the carbon footprint sense!).
Wines in Europe tend to travel via road rather than sea – whilst this carries a higher carbon output per mile than sea freight, the journey is a far shorter one than somewhere like New Zealand or Australia.
However, if you’re conscious about your carbon footprint, there is no better choice than English or Welsh wine – it’s been made right here! It won’t have travelled more than a couple of hundred miles – there is no closer place to get great wine from!
(Image - wine producing countries across the world)
You’ll be supporting smaller businesses.
As I referenced in my previous blog post here, there are huge requirements that come with supplying a big retailer. If you buy your wine from somewhere like Tesco, the chances are your wine has been made by a big wine producer, imported via a large corporation. (Not saying their wines are bad by the way!). Almost certainly, if you buy your wines from a big retailer, you won’t be drinking wine made by a small family business.
Meet Beacon Down Vineyard in Sussex – Paul & Al are a husband & wife team who made the plunge one day, and left the rat race of London to live their dream of running a vineyard and making their own wines. Their Blanc de Noirs won Silver at the Sommelier Wine Awards earlier this year. We think their Bacchus-Gris will be winning gold next year – it’s absolutely amazing.
Colin & Charlotte are wine enthusiasts who founded Gwinllan Conwy – a vineyard set against the stunning backdrop of Snowdonia in North Wales. Growing grapes in a climate like North Wales, turning them into award-winning wines and doing a great job of building the profile of Welsh Wines is no mean feat – we think Colin, Charlotte and the team at Gwinllan Conwy are pretty incredible – and their wines too!
Would you rather support a large corporation, or a small, family owned business founded by people with a passion for making wine? By buying British, you’ll be supporting small teams like the teams at Beacon Down or Gwinllan Conwy – we absolutely love the stories of British winemakers! Every wine has a story!
(Image - Paul & Al from Beacon Down)
We are producing some absolutely incredible wines!
Don’t read all of this and think that by supporting the British economy and lowering your carbon footprint, you’ll be somehow compromising on the quality of what you get in the bottle – England and Wales produce some GREAT wines!
We’ve been winning awards for years, but England really made shockwaves throughout the wine industry when Winbirri’s Bacchus from Norfolk won “Platinum Best in Show” at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2017. The international wine community couldn’t believe that “the best wine in the world” was a) English, and b) less than £15 a bottle! (If you haven’t tried this wine, you absolutely should – it’s jaw-droppingly delicious!)
England’s main wines are English Sparkling Wine (many of which are very similar to Champagne – the soil composition of much of the South of England is nearly identical to that of the Champagne region, and most are made using the same method), and Bacchus – a white grape variety that produces wines similar in profile to Sauvignon Blanc.
But that’s not all we’re good at making!
When we founded The British Wine Cellar, we wanted to make sure that whatever your taste in wine, we had something British for you to enjoy. Like delicate rosé? Try Silent Pool Rosé. Like full bodied red wine? Discover Winbirri’s Reserve. Like fresh, fruity white wine? You definitely need to try Sixteen Ridges’ Bacchus.
English and Welsh wine really is one of Great Britain’s best kept secrets! And there has truly never been a better time to drink British than today – discover your new favourite wine now!