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English wine prices could be hiked to stem demand

Published:  07 June, 2012

Prices of English wine could begin to rise as producers attempt to stem the flow of demand on the back of celebrations.

Prices of English wine could begin to rise as producers attempt to stem the flow of demand on the back of celebrations.

With the royal wedding last year and the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics this year, some vineyards are beginning to struggle to control allocations.

Bob Lindo, owner of Camel Valley Vineyards in Cornwall, said sales were up 90% in May, and the response and demand for his wines had been "overwhelming". Lindo said in order to keep up, some wineries may face having to juggle allocations or stem the flow through putting up prices.

Larry Warr owner of Henners vineyard in East Sussex has not yet launched but has already had fantastic interest. "I think if anything prices may begin to increase due to the quality defined by the continued success of English wines in competitions," he said.

"But at the moment the industry is in a good position and it wouldn't want to take advantage. Inevitably if vineyards are selling all they have then prices will go up. But it shouldn't price itself outside the market," he added. While Mardi Roberts of Ridgeview in East Sussex said it would rather manage allocations than hike prices.

Mitchells and Butlers wine buyer Joan Torrents, advises customers the best way to ensure allocation was to take a more sustainable approach. "I have worked with the likes of Ridgeview and Denbies discussing our requirements and also their capabilities well in advance from listings." However, in his opinion the possibility of an eventual price hike is "more than likely", due to increased volatility. Torrents mentions the gradual increase of planting will help increase yields. "Albeit not as quick as demand," he added.

Julia Trustram-Eve, marketing manager English Wine Producers, said: "Plantings are being increased for sparkling wines, but getting the wines to market will take time. There is a lot of speculation about the amounts of wine that will be produced in the future. This could actually lead to reduction in price, but I can't see that happening. At the same time hiking the price as a short time measure could be just as detrimental. With careful marketing producers can ensure they help fulfill customer allocations."