Whilst the UK has been under lockdown, one of the unexpected boosts has been to our homegrown wine scene – according to latest figures from the country’s largest wine specialist, Majestic Wine. Volumes of English wine have been up over 100% against April and May last year at the retailer.
As bars and restaurants remained closed, more and more of us have been taking the opportunity to refresh our wine racks and seek out something different. Wine grown on these shores has been one of the biggest benefactors, with an increase in interest across different styles, beyond sparkling wine, now growing demand by over double.
With English Wine Week underway this week, the trend is set to continue. Experts believe this could be a defining era for our homegrown wine industry.
“The last few months have been challenging for everyone connected with our industry.” explains Robert Cooke, Chief Commercial Officer at Majestic. “But one of the few positives has been the way in which customers have really used this as an opportunity to branch out and try something new. Perhaps because they’ve been faced with a more restricted routine – wine has been one way at least in which they can broaden their horizons. And to see English Wine as one of the key areas they’ve chosen to explore has been fantastic”.
Majestic has responded accordingly, boosting its range with the introduction of a number of still wines from Simpsons, Chapel Down and sparkling additions such as Pommery and Hambledon. Still rosé in particular is one area in particular Majestic highlighted as being an exciting frontier with plenty of potential room for future growth.
The key question remains whether or not the UK can now build upon this increase in demand to create a lasting legacy. The signs look good, according to Majestic.
“It’s no coincidence that we’ve seen a boom in interest. The quality is there, and with the excitement around English Wine Week and new suppliers and styles coming into play all the time – there’s plenty of headroom to go at. It’s just been a case of giving consumers the right insight and time to delve in. This could well be a golden summer for English wine, particularly if vineyards are allowed to open their doors to those of us thinking of staying in the UK for our holidays. It’s a hugely important time to support winemakers everywhere, and our advice to anyone who wants to help make a difference at home is try something British!” adds Cooke.