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

Pop a cork for English Wine Week

Published:  17 June, 2022

The annual English Wine Week celebration returns tomorrow with a fully-fledged programme of events from 18-26 June.

Mixing up a host of physical and online events across the country, the week folds in tastings, tours, food pairings, picnics and more at both cellars doors and with merchants.

This year’s bash comes at a promising time for the UK’s homegrown wine, with sales of English and Welsh wines have risen by 69% since 2019 – from 5.5m bottles in 2019 to 7.1m in 2020, growing to 9.3m in 2021.

The area under vine has also more than quadrupled since 2000, hitting 3,758ha, with some 50% of sales now being direct from cellar doors or via winery websites.

Among many promised highlights for 2022’s English Wine Week is The Only Way is Essex, featuring a tour of six wines made from grapes from this country’s increasingly feted vines, local festivals such as The Big English Wine Festival in Cheltenham (18 June) and Canterbury Wine Festival (24-25 June), and Discovery Tours of Sussex vineyards (24, 25 and 26 June).

Drop into The Savoy, and an optional extra to its grand afternoon tea is a glass of English fizz, courtesy of its English wine partner, Nyetimber.

Meanwhile, many wineries, including leading estates such as Simpsons and Bolney, are to have tastings at the cellar, with winemaker dinners at producers, including Langham and Welland Valley Vineyard.

For those unfamiliar with English wines, a podcast featuring author Oz Clarke offers insights into the future of English wine with his usual infectious enthusiasm.

The advent of English Wine Week has also been a hook for a slew of new launches and initiatives in the trade and English wine industry.

These include a new food and drink campaign from Visit Essex, a county where the vineyards have fast grown to account for 10% of the fruit used for English wines.

Sussex has also now been officially granted a PDO for its sparkling wines, helping raise the quality profile.

Individual estates have been busy too, with the release of wines for English Wine Week from the likes of Terlingham and new Sussex estate Everflyht (a Harpers neighbour), to mention just two.

Wine app Vivino has marked the occasion with the release of its latest Vivino Community Awards, revealing that its users “favoured English sparkling wines over Champagne” as a top fizz choice, with Hattingley, Nyetimber and Wiston being among the favourites.

More information on English Wine Week can be found here.