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DEFRA approves application for Sussex wine PDO

Published:  24 November, 2016

Wine produced in Sussex is one step closer to gaining protected status on a par with Champagne and Bordeaux.

The application for Sussex to gain protected designated origin (PDO) status has been given the green light by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

This is the penultimate step in the process for Sussex Wine to be given EU-wide name rights under the European Union's Geographic Indication (GI) scheme, which would give a Sussex appellation the same status as that of Europe's preeminent winemaking regions.

DEFRA's decision means that wine produced in Sussex will be protected within the UK in the meantime, meaning that wine producers in Sussex must now meet strict quality standards in order to be able to display the name of the county on their wines.

The Sussex application will need top be ratified by the EU before it can become part of the GI scheme.

Sussex wine producers hope this will within the next six months, although it has been known for it to take years for such applications to be approved.

The English wine boom shows no sign of slowing, with 37 new wine producers and vineyards opening in England last year alone.

The application to raise the bar on Sussex wine has been somewhat divisive due to its separation of Sussex from English wine.

While the UK's wine production boom has largely been driven by Sussex with producers such as Bolney and Nyetimber leading the way, other leading wineries such as Denbies in Surrey and Chapel Down in Kent have made major contributions to this emerging market.