There are two new English wine producers the UK trade is set to hear more about as drinks supplier Bibendum Wine picks up its distribution.
Adding to the portfolio, which notably already includes Nyetimber, Ridgeview and Coats & Seely, are sparkling wine producer Greyfriars and still producer Litmus, both based in Surrey. It takes Bibendum’s selection to eight English wineries.
The decision to bolster its English-wine offering should come as little surprise after Bibendum saw sales of English sparkling wine soaring by 139% from April 2017 to March 2018. The jump in consumption was seen in another English Bibendum account as well, just a few weeks ago, when leading English sparkling brand Chapel Down announced its seventh year of over 20% growth.
Backing this boom is the recent news that English sparkling wines have taken more places than champagne on the coveted gold list for the very first time in the history of the Sommelier Wine Awards.
‘We now have world-class English sparkling wines from a multitude of producers right on our doorstep, which is creating an incredibly exciting category and one that is growing rapidly,’ said Jamie Avenell, buyer for England at Bibendum.
‘English sparkling wine should be a must-have for any discerning wine list, and with the range of styles growing and evolving, there is plenty of scope for offering customers a full range. Commercially speaking, it also offers great value and top-end venues have already started to put a big focus on top-quality English sparkling wines.’
Greyfriars, which was launched in 2010 with a vineyard planted back in 1989, champions and focuses on English fizz that reflects the unique local soils, climate and heritage of the Surrey North Downs. Meanwhile Litmus specialises in complex, cool climate still wines and boasts an orange Bacchus.
‘After years of hard work from producers at the cellar door and in the trade, we now have customers asking for English wine, where previously it was all about getting the word out to them – this is a very significant change,’ said Joseph Arthur, fine wine business development executive at Bibendum.
The announcement ties in just before English Wine Week kicks off on 26th May.