Waitrose expands own vineyard by 50%

Waitrose is continuing its investment in the English and Welsh wine industry. In response to customer demand, the supermarket has planted 50% more vines at its own vineyard on the Leckford Estate in Hampshire.

The new vines will extend the production of the Leckford Estate Brut, which is made with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes. The Leckford Estate vineyard currently produces 30,000 bottles of fine fizz per year, depending on harvest conditions, and the new vines are expected to boost production to 45,000 bottles of Leckford Estate Brut. This year’s harvest will be ready to drink by 2021. The sparkling wine, which was launched with the maiden 2011 vintage, is made by award-winning winemakers Ridgeview at their state-of-the-art winery in Sussex.

Sales of English wine are soaring at Waitrose, up 67% year on year. In 2016, Waitrose increased its range of English and Welsh wine by 25%, introducing several new winemakers to the national retail market for the first time.

Becky Hull MW, English and Welsh wine buyer for Waitrose, says: ‘We have always put a great deal of time and energy into our English and Welsh wine range. Our customers have already given Leckford Brut a warm welcome, so we’re thrilled that we can invest in more vines on our Waitrose farm in Hampshire to make even more fantastic homegrown wine for the future.’

Waitrose is also the first supermarket to export English wine to China. As part of the supermarket’s continued support of the English wine industry, four English sparkling wines are being sold through the Royal Mail store on Tmall, an online marketplace operated by Alibaba Group.

Article source: Waitrose