Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Still boosts booming English wine sales

Published:  25 June, 2020

Multiple retailers and Indies alike have reported a spike in sales of English and Welsh wine during lockdown driven by still, local and regional. 

Majestic said it had seen volume sales of English wine soar 102% in April and May against the same period last year, noting a particular strong demand for still homegrown wines driven by rosé - an area it pinpoints as being “an exciting frontier following a doubling in demand”.

Still English has also proven a hit for The Oxford Wine Company which has recorded a 221% increase for the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2019, while Waitrose recently said total sales of its English and Welsh wines were up 40%, driven by demand for local and regional wine.

In addition, there has also been a big increase in the number of specialist wine retailers dedicated to English and Welsh wines over the last year, with these also seeing "a boom in sales", according to Wine GB.  

To see English wine as one of the key areas customers had chosen to explore during the pandemic had been “fantastic”, said Robert Cooke, chief commercial officer at Majestic. 

"The last few months have been challenging for everyone connected with our industry but one of the few positives has been the way in which customers have really used this as an opportunity to branch out and try something new. Perhaps because they’ve been faced with a more restricted routine - wine has been one way at least in which they can broaden their horizons,” he said. 

Simon Robinson, chairman of Wine GB, added: “These reports from retailers spell fantastic news for the industry and as more and more consumers are supporting the local industry and enjoying all styles of our wines it shows what a great future this category has. 

“There is such genuine support and commitment from the UK trade to our producers as they inspire their customers with an ever more accessible choice of wines from the UK. Our keen message to wine drinkers across the country is that our wines are readily available and ready to be enjoyed!” 

Ahead of the reopening of the on-trade on 4 July, vineyards across the UK have started to open to the public in line with the easing of restrictions, with the likes of Bolney Wine Estate and Seely & Coates having outlined initial plans earlier.

The positive sales comes as the industry celebrates English Wine Week (20-28 June) with picnics, quizzes, virtual tours, tastings and winemaker webinars ataking place across the country.