|English vineyards hope for bumper harvest|
|Written by Carol Emmas|
|Thursday, 03 May 2012 07:34|
English producers are relying on the 2012 vintage for a bumper harvest to raise low stock levels, as demand is outstripping supply.
Figures just released for the 2011 vintage, supplied by the Wine Standards Branch (Food Standards Agency) via DEFRA, shows volume production was down by just over 30% due to poor weather at flowering.
Three Choirs Vineyards manager Martin Fowke said he can't keep up with the current demand on the back of the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics, and recently had to turn away three supermarkets wanting to stock its wines.
"We've reached the stage where we're not in the position to take on new customers, sales are already up around 50% on last year and our production is limited. Unfortunately we can't just turn on the tap."
Guy Tresnan, sales and marketing director at Chapel Down, said: "It's a double-edged sword. I think most producers are finding it difficult to keep up with the added benefits the Jubilee and 2012 Olympics have bought.
"For us, if it means not being able to open a few new accounts for a while, then it's a fair swap. We're in a good position as we're well established, have been able to build up stocks and are only just releasing 2005/06 vintages.
"But we're keeping our fingers crossed for a bumper harvest."
Wiston Estate winemaker, Dermot Sugrue said it's "crucial" England has good vintages over the next few years.
"The ability to maintain a consistent supply is dependent upon it. There are lines of distributors, more than ever before, waiting to take on English wines - and not just because of this summer's events," he added.