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Brexit: A good day for English wine?

Published:  24 June, 2016

English wine might be the only clear beneficiaries of today's referendum debacle as importers look to the domestic marketplace instead of the Eurozone.

As the pound goes into free-fall, it is likely in the short term at least that importers will look to what English wine can offer, with dominant UK wineries such as Denbies and Chapel Down set to profit. 

Gavin Deaville, general manager of Handford Wines in London said the result was a "little scary" for them as business which imports wine predominantly from France, adding that they would inevitably turn to the UK wine market in the wake of immediate economic uncertainty.

"When Sterling has weakened in the past we have tried to buy more in UK. It's what we've always done. Ultimately, we will try to get the best deal for our customers. It will be difficult especially now, as imports will become more expensive and the cost always ends up being passed down to the customer.

"If the pound has fallen by 10%, then logic says imports will become 10% more expensive. A silver lining for English wine perhaps?"

In the short-term, Deaville believes English Wine companies will recieve a boost in term sof domestic sales, but adds that the future has a big question mark hanging over it.

"No one knows what going to happen in three to four years. It's all up in the air. We're based in South Kensington. The French Embassy is just round the corner. Traditionally this is a very French part of London and it's becoming increasingly Italian. The result will have a knock on effect in the city, which may or not be negative. At the moment it's unknown."

Hush Heath wine producer Richard Balfour-Lynn anticipates that the leave result will have a positive effect on English wine industry.

"Leaving the EU is a great opportunity for the English wine industry to reduce duty and encourage more home-grown sales. It may well mean that the prices of European wines increase here, and that English wine prices come down. Much of our export is to the US and Japan rather than the EU, and so there is unlikely to be a huge impact when it comes to the export of our premium English wines," he said.

However, Giles Cooke at supplier Alliance Wines, said the Old World countries will continue to attract customer in a post-Brexit climate.

He said: "Although it has grown quality and is exciting, English wine is still a niche product. France, Italy and Spain will continue to be the main stays of the European portfolio. England can't compete, irrespective of currency."