By Julia Trustram-Eve, English Wine Producers

The month of May spells a time of anticipation, with the promise of the summer ahead, plenty of the best produce available to enjoy and a general feel of all things good.  The celebratory feel in this month is now well and truly extended to English wine, now commanding huge interest, respect and excitement amongst the wine pundits and a mounting number of restaurants, retail outlets and wine drinkers themselves.

A record breaking number of medals for English wines in the main retail and on trade awards will shortly be announced by the marketing association for the industry, English Wine Producers (EWP).  The mass of medals includes the best year ever in the Sommelier Wine Awards for gold medals and also two category trophies.  These awards are particularly noteworthy for the judges involved: being mainly sommeliers and list creators, all with finely-tuned palates and the wines are all targeted at the on-trade and independent sector.

Timely then that English Wine Week is just around the corner (taking place Saturday 28th May – Sunday 5th June) and offers a chance for the trade and the vineyards themselves to join forces to raise the profile even more in celebration of this exciting industry and the many noteworthy – and readily-available – wines that are available on the doorstep.

English Wine Week is a countrywide campaign to highlight English wines and vineyards ultimately to wine consumers, and to encourage both awareness and sales through the many outlets that now stock and list English wines, and from the vineyards themselves.  Although this campaign has run for a number of years, it is only recently that the organisers, English Wine Producers sought to focus on driving it more through the trade, recognizing that there was growing interest from outlets to become more involved, and an ever increasing media interest too. The campaign encourages outlets to participate in any way they can.  A toolkit’ listing suggested activity is supplied to all interested participants to inspire and generate ideas. Additionally, a range of English Wine Week branded point of sale material is available free of charge to all participants.

On a local/regional level, English Wine Week helps to encourage outlets and forge new or develop stronger working relationships with nearby vineyards.  Additionally, many wholesalers that supply restaurants now also list English wines, so access to stock is readily-available.

Highlighting English wines over one week strengthens a focus on the English wine category and at a very seasonal time of the year. It also provides many excellent angles for the media to cover English wines.

Last year our media coverage alone achieved the equivalent of £850k (in advertising cost equivalent) with a potential reach of 15.5m people; trade outlets reported higher sales in English wines and an increase in sales far beyond the Week alone.  This is a campaign that gets results.

There is still time to take part if you are interested – visit the EWP website to find out more.