Celebrating English Wine Week
This week is English Wine Week and although it is being celebrated a little bit differently this year, there is still plenty going on!
What is English Wine Week?
Organised by Wines of Great Britain (WineGB), English Wine Week is a national annual celebration. Usually English Wine Week begins in the last week of May, however this year, due to the uncertainty around the Coronavirus, it was rescheduled to 20th to 28th June 2020.
Despite the delay, the aim of the week remains the same – to inspire people to learn more about the amazing wines being produced on our doorstep and ‘discover the taste of England‘.
There are lots of webinars, virtual tastings and promotions to enjoy, including:
- Monday 22 June at 6pm: Brandon Barnham of Ridgeview will be speaking about the history of English sparkling wine and the recent developments within the industry. He’ll also share Ridgeview’s story as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Register here.
- Tuesday 23 June at 7pm: Julia Trustram Eve of Wine GB will be hosting a virtual chat about wine. Register here.
- Wednesday 24 June at 5pm: Bolney Wine Estate will be offering live virtual tastings throughout the week, focusing on one of their award-winning wines. On Wednesday it will be a tasting of 2014 Cuvée Noir, their unique sparkling red. Register for an event here.
- Thursday 25 June at 8pm: Winetime London are hosting an Instagram Live event with Stopham Vineyard where they will be sampling their Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. You can join the event here.
- Friday 26 June at 4pm: Swirl Wine Group will be hosting a webinar with Oz Clarke, author of a brilliant new guide to English and Welsh wine. Oz will be talking with Master of Wine Sarah Abbott about his interest in the wines of Great Britain and how England and Wales are emerging as the latest new world of wine.
Impact of COVID-19 on the wine industry
During April and May the University of Edinburgh conducted a survey of WineGB members to assess how English and Welsh Vineyards were managing during the crisis.
The headline figures from the published report showed:
- Two-thirds have cashflow concerns and half have delayed strategic investment
- Half of larger vineyards have concerns about the availability of seasonal workers
- One-third of owners are experiencing supply chain issues
- Four out of ten owners are experiencing higher stress levels
However despite bleak short term financial prospects, many wine producers are upbeat about their long term survival prospects. Two-thirds of those surveyed already had an online presence and following the COVID-19 outbreak have increased online sales by 25% on average following the COVID-19 outbreak.
This is positive news and demonstrates the strength and resilience of the English Wine industry. The spotlight that English Wine Week brings is also a much needed boost that will help vineyards across England come out the other side in bloom!
At Carpenter Box we have been a champion of the English Wine sector for many years, working with start-up vineyards to internationally recognised winemakers.