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A ‘handful’ of English producers making a profit

Richard Balfour-Lynn of Hush Heath in Kent has spoken out about the difficulty of making money from English wine, stating that only a “handful” of producers are making a profit.

Vineyards at Hush Heath estate in Kent

Speaking to the drinks business during a recent visit to the estate, Balfour-Lynn said: “Only a small handful of English sparkling wine producers are actually making a profit.

Balfour 1503 Classic Cuvée aims to fill a gap at multiple retailers

“I’m not making a profit yet as I’m putting a lot back into the business – building a brand is a massive investment. We doubled our sales this year and hope to be making a profit in three years.”

Diversifying its offering in order to fare better in a competitive marketplace, last November Hush Heath launched a three-strong 1503 range including a Classic Cuvée and a sparkling rosé priced at £19.99 a bottle aimed at multiple retailers.

“I wanted to leap into the middle of the market and own that price point before everyone else did. Developing a brand structure has been very strategic. The right price for English sparkling wine in a supermarket is £19.99 but most are priced at £25,” he told db.

Balfour-Lynn is soon to launch a new sparkler called Leslie’s Reserve (named after his wife) aimed at independent merchants priced at £24.99 a bottle to help them stand out from the multiples.

In addition, he is increasing still wine production at the estate to 10,000 bottles in response to increased demand for still English wine from UK restaurants.

Hush Health currently produces a still Pinot Noir, Sky’s English Chardonnay and Nannette’s English Rosé made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.

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