Wealden MP visits Bluebell Vineyard to celebrate new designation of Sussex wine

Wealden MP Nusrat Ghani at Bluebell Vineyard

Sussex wine designated as a UK Geographical Indication

Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, recently visited Bluebell Vineyard near Uckfield to celebrate the designation of Sussex Wine as a UK Geographical Indication (GI).

GI status provides a guarantee to consumers that the product they are buying is authentic, and the recognition means that Sussex wine will join the family of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) registered products from across the UK, such as Scotch Whisky, Welsh Lamb and Cornish pasty.

Bluebell Vineyard wines

Bluebell Vineyard is a family-run business on the edge of the Ashdown Forest. Spanning across 100 acres, it is the home to Ashdown still wines and a range of Hindleap sparkling wine. All ten varieties of their wine are made using the traditional method, from grapes grown, harvested, fermented, bottled, labelled and packaged on site.

As co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Wine and Spirits, Nusrat has been urging the Treasury to reconsider plans on how to implement the proposed changes to the Alcohol Duty Review, which would currently result in tax hike on wine and hit small producers such as Wealden winemakers particularly hard.

Wealden MP on supporting local producers

Nusrat Ghani said: “I am enormously proud that Wealden is home to some of the very best vineyards in the UK. Bluebell Vineyard is a fine example of some of the best quality wines produced in Wealden and it’s wonderful to see them prosper. I am pleased that the recognition of Sussex wine has been secured, but more needs to be done to help our local producers.

“Viticulture is the new form of farming in East Sussex and the sector supports thousands of jobs in Wealden and across the county. It is critical that we help it thrive and extending the small producers relief to vineyards as part of the alcohol duty review would allow the industry to invest, innovate and grow.

“I will always champion our local winemakers, who work incredibly hard all year round to produce their excellent, award-winning wines and I will continue to make sure this booming Wealden industry’s voice is heard in Westminster.”

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