English and Welsh wines up 40% at Waitrose

With lockdown spurring a trend for shopping for homegrown produce, year on year sales of English and Welsh wines are up by 40% at Waitrose.

Harvest time at Rathfinny in Sussex

The retailer boasts one of the most extensive ranges of local wines in the UK, with the number of English and Welsh wines on offer currently standing at 110. To mark English Wine Week next week, which runs from 20-28 June, Waitrose has added five new English wines to its portfolio.

The new wines to be listed are Oxney Organic Estate Pinot Rosé 2018; Oxney Organic Estate Brut Rosé NV; Beacon Down Blanc de Noirs 2017; Rathfinny Cradle Valley Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris 2018; and Rathfinny Cradle Valley Pinot Noir 2018.

The two from Oxney in East Sussex are certified organic, ticking another trend box and tapping into the growing consumer demand for organic products.

“We are passionate about supporting and showcasing small, often family-run wineries. The care and patience of the winemakers when producing these small batches results in excellent quality, special wines,” said Waitrose English & Welsh wine buyer, Marien Rodriguez.

“I’m extremely proud to launch two English organic wines from Oxney Estate. This is an important milestone for the industry, and a remarkable achievement for the growers, given the challenges of a cool and wet climate,” she added.

At 5pm on 26 June Waitrose will be hosting a free online wine tasting to educate consumers about English wines and the different styles made on home soil.

English wine has proved a popular choice during lockdown. Lyme Bay in Devon has seen sales of its wines increase by a staggering 994% in March and April compared to the same time a year ago.

“Consumers are increasingly looking to buy local produce due to rising concerns over climate change and food security, and there has never been a better time to buy English wine.

“A culmination of education, experience, passion, and investment means we are at a great place and are producing excellent wine as a consequence. This is something British people are keen to support,” said James Lambert, managing director of LBW Drinks.

To mark English Wine Week, we’ve rounded up a dozen English rosés, including pinks from Oxney and Lyme Bay, Gusbourne and beyond, that prove our green and pleasant land can compete with Provence in the quality stakes.

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