RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Waitrose celebrates English Wine Week

As the first retailer to establish its own English vines, Waitrose is making the most of the changing climate and favourable terroir to produce a Waitrose Leckford sparkling wine, which will be ready in 2014.

In 2008 Waitrose reported an increase in sales of English wine of over 18% year on year and a multiple market share value which topped 55%. Sales growth is outstripping supply as vine planting is a relatively recent phenomenon in Britain.

Many of the soils of southern England are from the same geological strata as soils in classic regions of Northern France such as Chablis and Champagne. Leckford is located on gently rolling hills either side of the River Test and enjoys a sheltered southern aspect where the soil has just the right balance of chalk and clay loam for the grapevines.

The Waitrose vines will grow for three years before the first crop of grapes, followed by a two year wine-making and maturation cycle for the production of a high quality sparkling wine.

Ken Mackay MW, English wine buyer for Waitrose said: "Our customers are really enthusiastic about English wines and we have seen some fantastic quality from Nyetimber, Ridgeview, Chapel Down, Camel Valley and Denbies. We are all incredibly motivated about the planting and growing of our first vineyard. In addition to the Estate sparkling wine, the vineyard also provides an opportunity to engage our Wine Specialists with the production cycle of the vineyard."

Waitrose has stocked English wine for over 12 years; the demand for English wine has increased substantially, doubling the range in 2007 and adding a further 10 lines in 2008. The aim is to have between two and six local wines in every branch in the wine producing regions of England. In addition 31 English wines, already available in Waitrose shops, are available nationwide online from Waitrose Wine Direct

1 May 2009 - Felicity Murray