Friday, 29 April 2011


The ENGLISH WINE PRODUCERS TRADE & PRESS TASTING takes place next week on Thursday, 5th May at One Great George Street, London SW1, between 10.30am and 4.30pm.

An impressive number of recently released and currently available wines from the leading commercial producers in the industry will be on show, set out in style order on a central table and also available to taste on producers’ stands.

Another popular feature is the selection of wines represented by the industry’s regional vineyard associations. These are wines produced by smaller commercial vineyards, showing the quality and diversity of styles from around the UK.

This year there will be an additional attraction for trade and press visitors. At 2pm, Wine trade marketer MIKE PAUL will be giving a short presentation on his own insight in to the industry; its current position and future direction. The informal discussion will take place in the same hall as the tasting and last approximately 30 minutes, with time allowed for questions and further discussion from the floor.

Mike was appointed last year as Business & Marketing Mentor to the UK wine industry by an EU/Defra funded training initiative – Wineskills – set up and run by Plumpton College. Over the last year he has visited and advised a large number of producers around the country, of varying sizes and with different market positions. As a result Mike has developed an in-depth knowledge of the UK wine industry. No one could be better qualified to talk incisively about the state of the industry and its future prospects. With so much viticultural development taking place in the UK, and increasing media and trade interest in its wines, Mike’s talk will deliver a truly informative insight in to this exciting wine region.

Many people from the wine trade will know Mike and be aware of his extensive wine trade career of over 35 years, during which time he has held prominent posts with major international companies. He has also played a leading role in such organisations as Wines of Australia and the South African Wine Importers Committee.

English wines have featured prominently in the press surrounding the interest over the Royal Wedding and of course the trade is preparing for next year’s packed programme of British celebration. The EWP Trade Tasting provides the opportunity to taste the wines from prominent producers to regional gems all under one roof.

The EWP tasting is open to trade and press only. To attend, or for further information, please contact English Wine Producers on Tel: 01536 772264 or email:

Mike Paul’s talk at the EWP trade tasting will take place at 2pm in The Great Hall. Visitors are welcome to register beforehand by contacting EWP on the above contacts, or participate on the day.

A list of exhibiting producers is available on

Trade information on this year’s English Wine Week along with point of sale material will be available at the tasting.
(Drinks Media Wire).

New York Times critic praises English wine

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Influential US wine critic Eric Asimov has predicted a bright future for English sparkling wines in America, even though virtually none are sold there at the moment.

The New York Times critic recently visited a number of English producers and has written about his experiences in the newspaper and on his blog.

Optimism that England can make world-class sparkling wine "is not at all unfounded", Asimov says.

"English sparkling wines may not yet rival very good Champagnes, but the best versions are already surprisingly good. I was especially taken with the elegant blanc de blancs from Ridgeview Estate in East Sussex and Gusbourne Estate in Kent. Hush Heath Estate's Balfour Brut Rosé is quite good."

In his blog he added: "So far, English sparkling wines are hard to come by in the United States. Nobody imports them yet, although Ridgeview plans to begin sending wines to New York and Washington after the 2011 harvest. My guess is that we'll begin to see English sparkling wines show up over the next five years or so, especially after some well-known figures in the wine world begin production of their own wines."

But Asimov was not impressed by the still wines he sampled. "I did try a few and I can't say I was encouraged," he said. "Of course, conclusions can come only after a far more comprehensive investigation, but those who've tasted more than I have are not much more positive about it."

Written by Graham Holter
Harpers Wine and Spirit Trades Review
29 April 2011

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Toasting William and Kate's big day? It's a great excuse to open some British fizz

All eyes are on London this week. I imagine if there are aliens up in space, even they will be turning their telescopes on Westminster to examine the extraordinary human antics that unfold in this country around a royal wedding.

Across the world, we’ll be scrutinising her dress, his shoes, the unfortunate moment the Queen wrinkles her nose that makes her look as though her blue blood’s hit boiling point at the thought of a prince marrying a pleb.
But the most important question about the wedding of Wills and Kate is, of course, what should we be drinking on the big day?

If I were picking the wines for the Royal Wedding, I’d have no hesitation in bellowing orders to royal footmen that nothing but English fizz is to be sipped from dawn till dusk by every guest, straggler, gate-crasher and dignitary at the bash. And I’ve just found a belter of a newcomer: Gusbourne Estate.

Have a crack at its Brut Reserve 2006, £21.99, or Blanc de Blancs, from Applegate in Kent. It’s not even hit the shops yet but you can call the vineyard on 01233 758666 to order the Blanc de Blancs for £24.99 a bottle. With wines like this of zinging royal exuberance and classy delicate bubbles, Gusbourne is a name that you’ll be hearing a whole lot more of.

English bubbly is fast making a name for itself – there’s word of a big new planting planned near to me in Sussex, success on the international awards stage for Camel Valley and Ridgeview, and the establishment of reliable  producers, such as Nyetimber and  Hush Heath, as well as smaller producers, such as the splendidly named Breaky Bottom.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

English sparkling wines to showcase at Vinitaly

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Tuesday, 05 April 2011
For the first time English Sparkling wines are to be showcased at Vinitaly

It comes on the back of Camel Valley Vineyard recently winning best International Sparking Rosé at Bollicine del Mondo.

The trade visit was encouraged and implemented by Italian wine magazine Euposia, who are organisers of an international sparkling wine competition, Bollicine del Mondo, which is open only to traditional method, traditional varietal sparkling wines.

The delegation will head out to Verona on April 7-10, to present their wines to an assembled audience of trade visitors and journalists as part of the tasting events taking place alongside the wine fair itself.

They are: Bob Lindo of Camel Valley Vineyard, Samantha Linter of Bolney Wine Estate, Andrew Weeber, owner of Gusbourne Estate and Vicky Ash, assistant winemaker at Hush Heath Estate.

Also represented will be Ridgeview Wine Estate and Denbies Wine Estate, whose sparkling wines have earned them top medals and awards nationally and internationally.

Julia Trustram Eve from English Wine Producers, said: "This is a first for English sparkling wine - to have an opportunity to showcase some of our top wines to a truly international audience. This is a start to seeking a higher profile abroad for our wines."

The tasting will take place on April 9.