Paul Caputo calls for patriotic wine drinking ahead of English Wine Week
Unless you have spent the last decade living under a rock, you are unlikely to have missed the rapid rise of the English wine scene. Demand has surged and land under vine has doubled. The country is awash with elegant and refined sparkling wines, crisp dry whites and even some vibrantly fruity reds. It is what you might call a wine revolution.
Yet this is not just a crafty movement of mad fruit farmers. Much of the hype around English wine is being driven by dynamic businesses keen to establish themselves as international brands. Wineries such as Chapel Down, Nyetimber, Ridgeview and Hambledon are seeking to not only distribute a million bottles a year globally, but also pioneer an alternative UK wine culture and lay the foundations for a sustainable industry.
The key players have positioned themselves to challenge Champagne and have priced their wines accordingly. The reasoning is simple. The South East shares a similar climate to its French role mode, as well as the same iconic chalky. With investment and increasing experience in the vineyard and cellar, it is little wonder that certain English wines have found their way onto the lists of top restaurants.
The risk of difficult vintages is still the main challenge facing producers. Bad weather can undo years of hard work and the only way to mitigate this is with more customers and more sales. With English wine week fast approaching (28th May - 5th June), calls for consumers to drink with a little more patriotism are increasingly opportune.