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Wine GB unveils new initiative to support UK producers

Published:  30 April, 2020

Wine GB has unveiled a new initiative aimed at boosting sales of English and Welsh wines to help producers and growers hit by the lack of cellar door sales and the on-trade closure.

The #EnglishWineNight initiative comprises a series of online weekly ‘socials’ taking place every Friday at 7pm for an hour, with inspiration taken from the highly successful #theBIGenglishwinegoodfriday, which took place 10 April.  

Wine GB said it wanted to respond to the “immense support” for locally produced wines by continuing the community spirit and encouraging consumers to enjoy UK wines each week. 

“We’ve been hit pretty hard by Covid-19 and the lockdown, although as part of the agricultural sector we are permitted to continue some of our operations compared to some other industries,” said Simon Robinson, chairman of Wine GB.

“Many have lost significant business through closure of cellar doors and tastings and of course the shutting down of the hospitality industry which is a major source of income for some. However, we are greatly encouraged to see the increase in internet sales over the last weeks which is helping many.”

The series of 'wine nights' will include a focus each week on a different regional vineyard association in the UK. It kicked off last week with #WelshWineNight. This week moves to England with the first region, Wessex, in the spotlight.

Each evening includes online tastings, videos posted by winemakers, Q&A sessions and encourages followers to post photos of themselves enjoying English wines.

The move follows on from other Wine GB support initiatives, including the launch of a ‘Shop Local’ page on its website to highlight vineyards that are selling online, together with retailers that stock English and Welsh wines.

Other initiatives to be introduced over the next few weeks will include a series of ‘virtual postcards’ from the UK wine industry, and the industry’s magazine, The Grape Press, being released as a free digital download for the first time. 

In addition, Wine GB is also supporting industry members by providing business and marketing guidance and will soon introduce a series of webinars to help with business and marketing related skill.

Given the remaining uncertainty, English Wine Week and Welsh Wine Week has been moved to 20-28 June.