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Bancroft welcomes new English wine agency

Published:  18 January, 2022

UK distributor Bancroft has expanded its English wine portfolio with the addition of Lyme Bay Winery.

Founded in 1993 by Nigel Howard in Devon's Axe Valley, the project initially focused on making high-quality cider. However, a burgeoning interest in winemaking encouraged Howard to move into still wine production. After 16 years of searching for the ideal terroir, he planted some Seyval Blanc, Bacchus, Reichensteiner, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay.

Lyme Bay's signature white blend, Shoreline, has since won numerous awards, including a silver medal in the International Wine Challenge 2021.

The brand continues to be one of a growing number of English wine producers spearheading a shift towards still wines rather than sparkling wines, though they do produce both. The winery, led by winemaker and MD James Lambert, also contracts with growers in southern England.

The current Lyme Bay range is broad, from entry point wines to single vineyard wines. The availability and varieties depend on the characteristics of the vintage, but are typically from Bacchus, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc vineyards.

Jon Worsley, CEO of Bancroft Wines, commented: “We are thrilled to be expanding our English wine portfolio with the addition of Lyme Bay Winery. There is no question in my mind of a rising interest and demand for English still wines and the Lyme Bay team’s unique approach to winemaking ensures consistency and quality across each vintage. These are refreshingly individualistic wines.”

Paul Sullivan, head of sales and marketing at Lyme Bay Winery, added: “We are delighted to have partnered with Bancroft Wines for distribution of our still wines. Lyme Bay Winery has always enjoyed a strong presence in the West Country and we see this partnership with Bancroft as an opportunity to build awareness of our wines across the UK.”