Winemakers fizzing with export excitement

The winemakers
The winemakers

A group of 11 English wine producers from across the South East met with a top US trade expert this week, to boost overseas sales.

The group of sparkling wine makers met at Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex to receive an overview of the US market and how UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) can help companies grow overseas.

Representatives from Rathfinny Wine Estate, near Alfriston, and Henners Vineyard in Herstmonceux were among those who attended to meet US head of consumer and industrial goods Niall Gordon, who offered the businesses key information, advice and contacts.

Mr Gordon said, “Britain’s reputation in the US is very strong right now and I think English sparkling wine producers can leverage that in the coming years. The US is a huge consumer of wine – the second largest market after China.

“I’m delighted to meet some of the top wine makers from across the South East – many of them award winners – to see how UKTI might help them boost their sales in the US, a market that has consecutively grown for the last 21 years.”

The event was organised by UKTI South East. UKTI regional director Lewis Scott said, “We are rightly proud of the success story that is English wine, and particularly English sparkling wine, in the South East, so it’s great to see so many of our excellent producers embracing the huge opportunities overseas.

“Production is increasing year on year and the reputation for exceptional quality is gathering at great pace around the world, as is the demand in international markets.

“More and more land is being used to grow grapes and production is increasing year on year.

“For example, the 600 acre Rathfinny Wine Estate which started in 2010, and whose wines will be available from 2017 – it takes at least six years to produce quality sparkling wine– will be producing one million bottles a year when at full production.”