|The South of England Agricultural Society is delighted to announce that, for the first time in its 52-year history, it has partnered with WineGB to launch the first ever ‘Wine Walk’ at the iconic South of England Show (6-8 June 2019).
As part of the countryside show – held at the South of England Showground in West Sussex – regional vineyards including Bluebell, Hidden Springs, Plumpton Estate, Kingscote Estate, and Sedlescombe, alongside a number of smaller vineyards across the region, will be exhibiting their incredible selection of English wines.
Championing the growing English wine industry, the ‘Wine Walk’ will offer visitors to the show a unique opportunity to sample, buy, and learn about the amazing wines produced in the region.
The Wine Walk has been introduced by the South of England Agricultural Society to promote and share the rich history of English wine production. Just recently, at the Society’s AGM, Chris Foss who leads Plumpton College’s Wine Division, highlighted that Britain discovered the first sparkling wine: Christopher Merrett documented bottle-fermented sparkling wine in 1662, a whole 35 years ahead of Dom Perignon in 1697. Despite this, it has only been over the last few years that English wines have received the recognition they deserve, and are now winning multiple awards.
WineGB’s research reveals there are over 500 commercial vineyards in the country, and nearly 150 wineries, exporting to over 27 countries worldwide.
These levels of production mean that educational development in the wine industry is now more important than ever. This is something that the South of England Agricultural Society has prioritised for 2019, with trustees granting three research scholarships to Masters degree students at Plumpton College’s Wine Division. The grants have been issued to help the students tackle issues such as vineyard diseases, how climate change will affect our country’s ability to grow grapes, and the opportunities in the black grape market to extend the UK’s red and rosé wine offering.
Iain Nicol, CEO of the South of England Agricultural Society, said:
“The Society is a charity with a remit to promote, educate and inspire people about all aspects of agriculture, horticulture and the countryside. As such, our new relationship with WineGB, and the fantastic vineyards exhibiting at the South of England Show really is exciting for us.
“So often as consumers we walk down the wine aisle in the supermarket baffled by what bottle we should purchase, not even realising just how many varieties there are from UK vineyards on our doorsteps. The ‘Wine Walk’ will not only showcase the amazing selections on offer from southern vineyards, but also give visitors a whole new insight into the world of wine.”
The three-day spectacular will of course still feature the best of British agriculture, horticulture, livestock and equestrianism. Furthermore, there’s an incredible artisan and street food market, boutique shopping, fly-fishing, wood carving and even hedge laying demonstrations, as well as the heritage zone with Saxon battle re-enactments, plus lots more.
There’s a mass of entertainment for the children too with animal meet and greets, visits from the beloved children’s book character The Gruffalo, a music stage, pond dipping, and so much more.