The Oenophiliac

Bringing you stories from the world of wine and beer.

Do English wines do enough to support themselves in the local market?

 For the last few weeks we, at North and South Wines, have been trying to put together a one day English wine festival set for the 3rd of September.

Now with the recent level of interest from the media, continental wine producers and even our customers you’d have thought that our countries producers would jump at the chance to support our plans.

It’s a shame to say that it has been a struggle. With less than a month to go until our event kicks off, we are still unsure about what the day will hold.

So far we have had support from Gifford Hall, Ickworth Vineyard, Bolney Wine Estate, Bookers Vineyard in West Sussex and our sales rep from Liberty. That’s it.

I approached a well known English wine producer at a recent tasting to tell them of our plans. The marketing manager handed me her card, said it was an interesting idea and to get back to them the following week with an outlay of what I wanted.

‘Great’ I thought. So I sent my email requesting a representative to do a talk on the history of the vineyard etc, any promo POS and sample wines for our customers to taste, or if no rep can appear then send me the details along with the other items and I’d do it myself.

After a couple of days I finally got a response. “Sorry no representative can come. But you can sell our wines if you’d like.” . . . . . . . . .Gee thanks chaps. Not the kind of response I was wanting. Now I appreciate that they could be busy. After all, if Europe is heading for early picking season, the south of England could be following suit. Still, send me POS, send me info, send me samples, do something.


I was recommended by a noted wine journalist to speak to a company who deal in marketing English wines. After sending numerous emails we eventually called them. Result was we got very little help from them.

“Come on peeps. We’re trying to promote our countries wines (shakes fist in frustration).”

So what is it with the English wine producers and their seeming lack of cooperation?

Surely if the interest is there, and it has been very vocal, why not get out from behind the sofa and shout out who and where you are. Maybe I should approach the Duchess of Cornwall.

For the continental producers who have been coming over to, potentially, buy up land for future production, my advise to them would be to invest in existing properties and expand them. Maybe these guys would be able to market the wines accordingly and show more willing to promote the products.

Now, I’m not totally naive. I appreciate we are working within a very limited market place. After all the UK, in 2009, produced 23835 hectolitres of still wine. Compare that to France where the total production amounted to 48 million hectolitres. Bit of a difference. In a global list of 61 wine producing countries the UK came 58th. The level of support is always going to be tight but information is free.

So even though things are tough for the UK producer, you do need to give a little to get something back. I don’t want to be having a go but you’ve not exactly covered yourself in glory.

I’m not going to end on a sour note so here goes,

Our sparkling wines are great. World beaters. Just ask the good folk at Nyetimber. £29.99

The Sparkling Pinot Noir from Bolney is beautiful. £24.99

Also their Bolney Bubbly, yes, that is what it’s called, is fantastic. A blend of Muller Thurgau and Chardonnay. £20.99

What’s more, I sell them all. Plus Chapel Down’s Primrose Hill Bacchus and Nyetimber Rose. 



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This entry was posted on August 8, 2011 by in Magics Scribblings..

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