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"Keep calm and carry on," says Hatch Mansfield MD

Published:  24 June, 2016

A top figure in the wine industry has cautioned the trade "not to over react".

Patrick McGrath MW has told the trade to stay calm in the face of overwhelming economic uncertainty, pointing out that the economy will not stay permanently in a state of flux.

"We need to wait for the markets to calm down and not to over react. This is a volatile period, but we have a strong economy and it will stabilise. There's a lot of emotion flying around, but we have to keep calm and carry on. This isn't the end of the world. " he said.

His sentiments are echoed by Simon Bladon, owner of Hampshire-based English sparkling wine Jenkyn Place.

Bladon said that after the initial adjustment period, the wine industry will continue to grow - just like the grapes.

"Let's remember that no one has told the vines about Brexit. We will continue to produce world class wines, and people are still going to want to drink it," he said.

However not everyone agrees.

Hal Wilson at Cambridge Wines, is concerned that suppliers may be less interested in working with the UK.

Poised to take a step into the "unknown" Wilson looked at both the short, medium and long-terms effects of a UK exit.

He said: "Short term implications: a weakened pound, rising costs and shrinking profitability; a new right wing prime minister and government; an economic recovery stopped and put into reverse.

"Medium-term implications: an unpredictable renegotiation with European countries, none of whom want to suffer contagion and are likely to make it tougher for us to trade with them. I fear that suppliers may be less interested in working with the UK, particularly the smaller ones we work with, making our own negotiations tougher. Uncertainty again makes it tougher to invest in your own business, borrow money and plan for growth.

"Long term implications: instability in Europe will affect us, and if the EU ends up dissolving the UK will be blamed for it, which can't be a good thing. Young people voted to remain, so what will they do in 10-20 years time?"

Richard Cochrane of Felix Solis said today's result was a, "Success for democracy, but nothing else".

However, he added that the Spanish winery would continue to grow even in these challenging market conditions.

He said: "Already the impact of adverse foreign exchange rates can be seen, with a significant drop against the Euro, but of course we are seeing larger falls against the US$ and other key currencies, which may perversely help, relatively, Euroland sales in the UK.

"Looking ahead to the 2016 vintage, Spain is showing early signs of a strong vintage and has suffered less from the adverse effects of frost and hail that impacted many of Spain's nearest neighbours. Likewise, as the New World faces the challenge of the 2016 vintage (2015 in California), outside Australia and New Zealand, Spain is positioned well to grow in 2017."

"Felix Solis is committed to the UK and our focus remains the same for our largest and most important market," he added.

We would welcome any comments from those in the trade on this morning's turning of events - or anything else you would like to discuss.

To get in contact call Jo on 01293 590057 or email