2024 expected to be pivotal year for wine industry with range of events across UK and overseas
18th January 2024
The national association for the English and Welsh wine industry, WineGB, has prepared a range of events for 2024, following a busy and record-breaking harvest in 2023. The programmes that will be delivered across the country and overseas aim to support the growth of the UK’s wine industry and represent their interests to politicians this year.
The new year is kicking off with a new initiative to celebrate the next generation of industry stars. With the support of The Vintners’ Company, WineGB is launching its Rising Stars awards at a glittering ceremony at Vintners’ Hall on 31st January.
This will recognise those younger members working in all areas of the industry for their significant contribution to the vineyards and winery environments in which they work.
WineGB’s CEO, Nicola Bates, said that 2024 is a “pivotal year” for the sector. She added: “With a general election on the horizon, we are launching reports, our manifesto, and hosting events to ensure that politicians understand the needs of the industry.
“The UK wine industry is thriving, and we are proud to be working with so many in the UK and overseas trade to champion our English and Welsh wines. We play an important role in supporting that demand and creating moments that lead to more sales through our calendar of events and campaigns.”
This year will also see increased export activity. Current and new exporting producers will be taking part in trade tastings in Copenhagen and Stockholm in February, as they continue to expand into the Scandinavian market, currently the biggest export market for English wines.
ProWein 2024, happening between 10th and 12th March, will also see the highest ever number of British sparkling and still producers exhibiting under the WineGB banner. WineGB is also hosting an inbound visit of US trade buyers and press, supported by the Department of Business and Trade (DBT) and the government’s GREAT campaign.
WineGB team says that the company is focused on communicating the tangible contribution that the UK wine industry now brings to the UK economy through tax, tourism, and employment. The industry’s latest insight report based on 2023 activity and stats will be published in April.
In this election year, WineGB will also be publishing its manifesto to share with all those standing for election. The industry body continues to strengthen its work with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Wine of Great Britain (APPG), where they are meeting in April to showcase the sector’s issues with a ‘Taste and Talk’ ensuring the industry’s voice is heard across the political parties on matters including exports, provenance, and duty.
Wales will be celebrating the very best of their wines and vineyards with their first ever focus tasting event in London on 5th March and during Welsh Wine Week between 24th May and 2nd June. June will also sizzle with summer activity, including the Wine Garden of England summer celebration at Kent’s vineyards.
English Wine Week, happening between 15th and 23rd June, will give UK retailers and on-trade the ideal opportunity to put English wines in focus and drive sales as they take part in promotions and tastings to engage customers more with this exciting category. England’s vineyards and cellar doors will also be in the spotlight through the extensive digital and print media to promote wine tourism at this prime time of year. Hampshire’s vineyards have moved their annual Fizz Fest to take place on 23rd June.
Commitment to sustainability
The excellence of Britain’s wines will be celebrated through the 2024 WineGB Awards, whose judging will take place in early June with a stellar judging panel. Further exciting announcements will be released soon. This competition serves to highlight the many high-quality and winning wine styles and producers of all sizes and from across the UK, culminating with the industry’s trophy awards ceremony on 19th July.
WineGB’s annual Trade & Press Tasting will take place on 4th September at the Battersea Arts Centre in London. Bolstered by the large harvest last year plus several new entrants coming onto the market, this year’s tasting is set to present the widest showcase of wines and producers from across the UK. The tasting will include additional features such as spotlight and tutored tastings and WineGB’s industry trade and press briefing. Other trade initiatives will include a one-day wine school, aimed at sommeliers and on-trade buyers, to take place later in the summer.
WineGB’s commitment to sustainability across the industry will resonate across all activities and communications. A growing hectarage owned by WineGB members is now certified under the industry’s scheme, Sustainable Wines of Great Britain, and 2024 will see more accredited wines coming onto the market.
Carbon neutral by 2030
The industry has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030, and significant developments are already underway to meet this. WineGB’s Sustainability Report will be published on 23 October, the world sustainability day.
With WineGB’s membership representing some 80% of all production, the organisation continues to provide connections, knowledge, and upskilling opportunities across the industry. The annual members’ conference this year will be on 16th April.
WineGB will continue with the seminar series in partnership with the organisers, Vineyard Magazine, at the Vineyard & Winery Show on 20th November. With UK wine tourism a key area of growth, WineGB is delighted to be working with VisitEngland this year to deliver a programme of training workshops to vineyards operating or developing cellar doors as part of a wider toolkit of support for its members.
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