English winery switches to ‘en primeur’ model

English winery Herbert Hall has announced it will be switching to an ‘en primeur’ system later this year, offering most of its cuvées on allocation.

The Kent-based producer’s founder, Nick Hall (pictured), said that with a growing English wine industry the need to remain quality-focused and the ability to hold on to both value and positioning was going to become increasingly important before too long.

Speaking to the drinks business he explained that with the rising number of wineries in England and growth of the industry: “The choice facing all of us is getting bigger and bigger and producing more volume or sticking to what you do best. Our philosophy is closer to the grower Champagnes where you’re more artisan and freer to experiment with barrels and organic viticulture and so on. So we’re going down that route.”

With bigger wineries coming online and smaller wineries springing up everywhere all the time (this news coincides with the announcement of a new winery – Black Chalk – releasing its first wines this week), Hall said it was an “exciting time” but, “people also need to look at what they do and what sort of demand the market can sustain. And how exports go as well. Champagne’s still the benchmark and English wine is very niche.”

He added it was very possible that consolidation and change were very real possibilities for the industry and being in a position where customers are coming to you for wine was potentially very advantageous.

Founded just eight years ago, the winery quickly gained plaudits from critics and the wines today can be found in numerous fine dining restaurants and retailers such as Le Caprice, The Ivy, 67 Pall Mall, Fortnum & Mason and Lea & Sandeman.

A limited number of restaurants and retailers that the winery has worked with for the last five years will continue to receive supplies but most of the stock for both trade and private customers will henceforth be allocated in advance.

Hall said in a statement: “We are passionate about making great sparkling wines and in order to do this I believe we have to remain a genuinely artisan, terroir driven, vintage-by-vintage producer.

“We are not interested in bigger – we are interested only in better. We do not want to make still wines nor do we want to diversify. By switching to an allocation system we will be better able to meet demand from our loyal customers while continuing to focus on producing distinctive and exciting sparkling wines.”

The new system will begin with the 2015 vintage of the brut and rosé which will be released in September 2018.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Brand Manager

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London UK

Marketing Assistant

Speciality Brands
Park Royal, London, UK

Key Account Manager

MMI Maldives

Financial Controller

London City Bond
Barking, UK

Duty Manager

The Whisky Exchange
Great Portland Street, London

Spirits Advisor

The Whisky Exchange
London, UK

International Sales Manager

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London, UK

Brand Marketing Executive

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London, UK

Millésime Bio 2020

27th Jan 2020

Maisons Marques et Domaines Annual Tasting

London,United Kingdom
29th Jan 2020

Austrian Wine Tasting

London,United Kingdom
3rd Feb 2020
Click to view more