FFB ‘toasts’ English Wine Week

For the fourth year running Food from Britain (FFB), the market development consultancy for British food and drink producers, will be helping to promote and develop awareness of English wines and vineyards by sponsoring English Wine Week, taking place from 27th May – 4th June.

Organised by English Wine Producers (EWP), One Great George Street in the heart of Westminster, London was the venue for the launch of English Wine Week, where members of the wine trade and press were invited to sample this years selection of new releases from England’s leading producers, including wines from EWP’s newest members A’Beckett’s vineyard near Devizes and Brightwell vineyard from Oxfordshire. Another trade-tasting event will be organised for the first time and hosted in Manchester on 14th September.

The national campaign will see vineyards across the country promoting themselves to the public, offering tastings, vineyard tours, special events and working with other outlets. Many vineyards have also linked up with retailers, bars and restaurants to offer tastings and discounts to the public. For the first time this year, the on and off trade are encouraged to take part as many more outlets are now stocking English wine, which many of their customers may not be aware of.

In order to help raise awareness in English Wine Week and the quality of English wines, FFB will be teaming up with Roast, a restaurant above Borough Market dedicated to British cooking and well-sourced seasonal produce, to conduct a blind tasting of English wines and others to find out how English wine compares. The results of this survey will be launched over English Wine Week.

Interest in English wine has grown dramatically over the last few years with sales rising year-on-year and many producers winning awards over their better-known rivals. In particular, England is home to some outstanding sparkling wines, giving the Champagne region a run for its money.

English wine tourism is also a growing market in the UK, with many vineyards acting as tourist attractions in their own right, offering vineyard tours and wine tastings as well as providing shops, restaurants and even accommodation. The week aims to encourage consumers to make the most of the facilities offered.

Kirsty Grieve, regional food and drink manager at FFB comments: “FFB is proud to be supporting English Wine Week for the forth year running and we are delighted it has made a real difference for English wine producers. Our sponsorship of this week is part of a wider Defra funded initiative to promote the quality and diversity of the UK’s regional food and drink. The week is a fantastic opportunity for English winemakers to demonstrate the taste, supreme quality and variety of their products to both trade and consumers.”