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Sussex Sparkling Wine granted PDO status

A PDO for Sussex Sparkling Wine was approved today in momentous news for the English fizz hub.

From today, Sussex Sparkling Wine will have official Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, as approved by the Ministry for Farming, Fisheries and Food.

A PDO, once granted, identifies products that are produced, processed and prepared in a specific geographical area, using the recognised know-how of local producers and ingredients from the region concerned.

It means that wineries such as Rathfinny, Artelium, Bolney, Nyetimber and Busi Jacobsohn, which all produce sparklings in the region, will receive an extra layer of protection and have the right to bear the Sussex Sparkling Wine PDO on their bottles.

With more than 49 commercial wineries and counting, Sussex sparkling – and increasingly its still wines too – is a fiercely growing category, and one that is providing strong competition for other global fizz on the world stage.

The PDO also emphasises the importance of terroir in English winemaking by differentiating sparklings made in Sussex from those made in Kent or Surrey, for example.

“The approval of a PDO for wines grown and made in Sussex comes at an important time for English and Welsh wines,” said Simon Thorpe, CEO, WineGB. “There has never been more interest in and demand for our wines and the reputation they have gained in both domestic and international markets is based on high quality viticulture and winemaking excellence.”

Thorpe said that WineGB is “committed to ensuring there is an appropriate GI structure for all” in the English and Welsh wine community. And confirmed that the trade body was in the process of carrying out a review of existing PDO and PGI regulations for both countries.

“A consultation document, which is the result of this review, will be released to the industry in the coming weeks and will allow all producers to have their say in the shaping of the regulations which will then be proposed to DEFRA,” said Thorpe.

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