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

Wine GB launches industry hallmark for classic method wines

Published:  15 October, 2020

Wine GB has announced its first ever collective campaign for producers in England and Wales, including a hallmark to help to differentiate English and Welsh PDO sparkling wines made using the “time and craft-intensive classic method”.

The new Classic Method campaign brings together an initial tranche of 30 producers from across England and Wales, with sample cases of wines highlighting the stylistic diversity of producers due to be circulated to the trade and consumer press.

The campaign also reveals, for the first time, an approach which aims to positively distinguish traditional method sparkling wine as the flagship of the Great British wine industry.

Following a period of consultation into the coverage of wine from the UK, the generic body will now refer to traditional method sparkling in England and Wales as Classic Method, with a longer-term aim to ensure that all of Great Britain’s sparkling wines include method of production on the label.

“We need a way to differentiate these wines as the stylistic diversity of wines from Great Britain is thrillingly, rapidly expanding,” said Sarah Abbott MW of Swirl Wine Group.

“Looking at the coverage, at the way our wines are discussed, there is absolutely an emerging Great British classic style of traditional method sparkling wine and we want to embrace that.

“We can’t market ourselves as being almost as good as or better than Champagne. We are ourselves. We’re making wine on a knife edge climate. Our character, our pragmatic but creative character, results in a certain intersection of climate, varieties and terroir, which gives a distinctly British style of classic method sparkling wine.”

At a briefing this morning, Julia Trustram Eve, head of marketing at Wine GB, called the new campaign “a building block for our industry”, which has been created in concert with Abbott and branding agency The Collaborators.

Rather than corralling members into using a single name, instead, the Classic Method branding will allow the diverse individual stories and approaches of members “to be synthesised”.

“Together you create a kind of tapestry that becomes your identity,” Abbott said.

This will become especially important as the British wine industry pushes outwards to the export market.

Large producers including Ridgeview, Gusbourne, Hattingley Valley and Hush Heath have signed up to the campaign, as well as smaller estates such as Simspons, Busi Jacobsohn and Digby Fine English.

Hush Heath and Busi Jacobsohn will be some of the first in the country to carry the new Classic Method hallmark on the labels of two soon-to-be released wines. 

Wine GB also revealed its intention to spearhead a review of the PDO and PGI systems in England and Wales. 

“We have a strong desire to look at the regulations, which are a legacy of the time when they were set up. At the moment, the new hallmark is for PDO wine only. But it’s the start of a journey,” Abbott said.