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Black Chalk tweet evolves into support initiative for English wine industry

Published:  03 April, 2020

Black Chalk winemaker Jacob Leadley has inadvertently started a support initiative for the English wine industry.

In a tweet posted last Friday, Leadley said: “If every person in the UK that loves English or Welsh wine bought a bottle direct from their favourite producer I think we might secure an entire industry and their workforce on one very enjoyable evening.”

Since then, this has inadvertently evolved into the hashtag #theBIGenglishwinegoodfriday, which has been circulating on twitter since where it has 

So far, the initial missive has been retweeted more than 100 times and received more than 250 likes.  

Several English wineries and the industry at large have now agreed that #theBIGenglishwinegoodfriday will take place on Good Friday from 7pm.

A number of winemakers, including Leadley and his assistant winemaker at Zoe Driver – will produce short videos to be released across social media channels, along with tasting notes and commentary posted by wine writers, sommeliers, retailers and other industry figures. 

It is hoped that momentum will build in the coming days to encourage consumers to order a bottle of English or Welsh wine either direct from the vineyard or from a retailer or agent in time to enjoy on Good Friday evening.

Keen to stress that this is about supporting the whole industry and is “not a specifically Black Chalk initiative”, Leadley said: “I really didn’t expect this to escalate as it has done. But the original tweet seemed to resonate with the industry as I think we are all searching for some positives right now.” 

It had been “so encouraging” to see all the messages of support from fellow winemakers, such as Charlie Holland (Gusbourne), Brad Greatrix (Nyetimber) and Tony Milanowski (Rathfinny) and everyone else involved in English and Welsh wine”, he added. 

Julia Trustram Eve, marketing manager of Wine GB, said: “This is a fantastic initiative that’s bringing together and growing a wide community of English wine lovers. It’s also encouraging consumers to shop local and great to see the support that it has already generated from our friends in the industry and trade. 

“We wholeheartedly support this initiative and congratulations to Jacob. In fact we will be rolling out more online events such as this on the following Fridays – keeping #Englishwinenight and #theBIGEnglishwinegoodfriday front of mind.”

WineGB has set up a Shop Local campaign page for consumers to find vineyards that will deliver direct to their home and which flags up special offers.