Just flicking through some of the headlines from the weekend and came across this article from Patrick Schmitt MW writing in the Drinks Business. He had a chat recently with Richard Balfour-Lynn, owner of Hush Heath winery in Kent.
Big take home from the article is that it’s not good enough for English wine to just “expand”. We need to develop the markets and the method of selling, be it cellar door, wine tourism or retail here and abroad. Going into this blind, thinking it’s just an easy lifestyle industry is a sure fire way to lose your shirt, and you’ll be lucky to survive the next 5 years.
I’d like to add that setting up vineyards and wineries right now without any consideration to sustainability initiatives is criminal and destined to be on the wrong side of consumer trends. But that’s just me.
Check out the full article on the Drink’s Business Website…
The following is an exert from a piece I wrote for The Buyer recently on the UK wine buyers buzz words of the day as we move towards a greener future for wine. Comments welcome 🙂
“Towards the end of my time in the office job, I used to sneak out for an hour a week and head to Harley Street to see a wonderful and wonderfully expensive (God bless medical insurance) psychotherapist. At the time it was about mentally patching me up enough to get back to the desk, a bit like giving a sports person a shot of painkiller, strap the leg up, and send them back on the pitch. Over my time with her it got more in depth and hugely useful, and one of the best things was a book she gave me on Mindfulness.
These days you see the word everywhere, but this was six or seven years ago and relatively new. The whole premise of it is about being more thoughtful about your day, the situations you’re in, and how you react to them. When you’re teaching yourself you end up staring at raisins for a ridiculously long time, or battling your willpower to not just scoff down a chocolate bar, instead letting it melt in your mouth and enjoying the sensations. You’re trying to engage your brain to appreciate every moment of your day, and not get down about your past, or anxious about your future. It might not work for everyone, but it did for me and I love it.
Fast forward six or seven years and I’m staring at a tasting booklet from Bibendum with “Mindful Winemaking” emblazoned upon it. It’s a bit of a worry as it’s one of the buzzwords of the day and I was sitting there slightly dubious that they were just ripping it off for the sake of it. But then, I thought, what they’re using it for makes a lot of sense…”
FIND OUT WHY I THINK “MINDFUL WINEMAKING” MAKES A LOT OF SENSE BY READING THE REST OF THE ARTICLE ON THE BUYER
For years and years the word “Champagne” was used as a synonym for sparkling wine in the UK. Any sparkling wine, and that was testament to the fame and marketing prowess of the Champagne producers. It’s an aspirational product that everyone wanted to be drinking. Then Prosecco kicked open the doors with its shiny Italian leather size 9s and gave the UK public what they wanted; fresh, easy going bubbles for half the price.
For nearly a decade now, the sales figures of sparkling wine have soared over 10% per year on the back of the Venetian juggernaut. But this year that growth slowed up a touch, leading a few wine industry commentators to question whether this is the year the bubble will burst.