Theresa May welcomes English winery’s trade deal with CanadaBy Phoebe French
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has welcomed Hush Heath’s trade deal with Canada following news that its sparkling wine has achieved a listing with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO.)
As part of her recent trip to Canada, Theresa May hosted a business roundtable event and was joined by Canadian investors and representatives from major businesses.
At the event, Mrs May said: “It’s great to see that English sparkling wine has been making a name for itself, not just here in the UK but further afield too.”
“The news that Hush Heath Estate will be supplying to Canadian consumers is hugely welcome and they will be flying the flag for the high-quality of wine being produced in Britain.”
“I want to see more firms building trade links in lucrative markets such as Canada and the United States and have been using my trip to further strengthen partnerships between our countries”.
Hush Heath will be shipping its Balfour 1503 Classic Cuvée across the pond after it achieved a listing with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario as part of its Vintages Classics Collection. According to the website, the collection “focuses on the latest limited allocations from some of the most sought-after small estates and producers in the world”.
An Ontario government enterprise, the LCBO is one of the world’s largest buyers and retailers of alcoholic beverages. Under its umbrella it has over 650 retail stores, catalogues and special order services as well as more than 210 agency stores. Every year, the LCBO lists around 24,000 products from over 80 different countries.
The news comes as Prime Minister Theresa May met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa to discuss a possible new trading relationship with Canada.
Mrs May’s words echo the actions of the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) which has been “working closely” with the Hush Heath Estate as the English vineyard worked towards the deal with Canada.
Balfour 1503 Classic Cuvée also featured at DIT’s British Beverage Showcase tasting in July which provides an opportunity for the media and restauranteurs to discover newly-listed products.
Commenting on the deal, Richard Balfour-Lynn, producer at Hush Heath Estate, said: “We are delighted that our Balfour 1503 Classic Cuvee has been chosen to be the first English wine available through the LCBO Vintages Classics Programme.”
“Hush Heath is a family-owned winery which is at the forefront of English wine’s growing reputation for producing first class sparkling wines, and we are very excited to see our wines available in the Canadian market”.
Hush Heath, as the name suggests, is based in a secluded spot near Staplehurst in Kent on an estate comprising a Tudor manor of the same name and 400 acres of vineyards, apple orchards and ancient woodland. Founder Balfour-Lynn was initially helped by English wine consultant Stephen Skelton MW and the estate is now planted with 40 acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier vines.
Over the course of this year and 2018, Hush Heath will be planting three new vineyards taking its total acreage to 50. It is particularly know for its Balfour Brut Rosé, a blend of all three Champagne grape varieties that spends three years on its lees before being disgorged.
After the US, the UK is the next biggest destination for Canadian investment abroad, with £1.75bn worth of Canadian money invested in the UK since March. The UK-Canada bilateral trade relationship is worth £15.2bn annually.