Sussex wine given GI status from Government
The Government has announced on 15th June that Sussex wine will be designated as a UK Geographical Indication (GI).
The move, possible due to the UK’s departure from the European Union, will encompass Sussex sparkling, still and origin wines. GI status provides a guarantee to consumers that the product they are buying is the real thing and prevents imitation products.
The recognition means Sussex wine joins the family of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) registered products from across the UK, and will help Sussex PDO wine producers communicate their product to consumers. Sussex wine would be joining the family of products which includes Scotch Whisky, Welsh Lamb and Herefordshire Cider.
Plumpton College training next wine growers
Sussex is home to Plumpton College who are training the next generation of UK wine growers, and this will further boost jobs, skills and the local economy. This follows on from the launch of the Government’s Food Strategy earlier in the week, which highlighted the contribution of the food and drink sector to the levelling-up agenda and measures to encourage consumers to buy more local produce.
Sussex producers’ reputation for quality wines
Food and Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis, said: “This registration demonstrates the ambition of Sussex wine producers to share their product at home and abroad. The UK has developed an-ever growing reputation for high-quality wine, with Sussex wine receiving widespread international recognition and investment – with a 90% increase in vineyards in the South Downs national park since 2016.
“A year ago, I said that I look forward to the day when, as a treat, we no longer have a glass of champagne but we can together have a glass of Sussex. That day has come.”
Sussex wine producers have already won some of the top accolades, winning ‘Best Sparkling Wine’ in worldwide international competitions eight times. In the IWC 2015 awards, Sussex wine producers were awarded six gold medals for sparkling wines. In the 2015 IWSC competition a Sussex still producer was awarded a gold medal, the first ever awarded to any English still wine producer.