As Wales’ winemakers reopen their vineyards and cellars to the public, the 4 June will see Welsh Wine Week return to encourage consumers to explore vineyards producing the finest vintages the nation has to offer.
During the height of the pandemic’s 2020 lockdowns, the inaugural Welsh Wine Week saw vineyard owners and their hospitality partners take to social media and online platforms on mass to engage with new and existing customers in their homes.
That effort was credited by vineyards and hospitality experts for generating a vital boost in online sales to aid businesses that had been forced to close doors to the public, at a time that should have been the industry’s busiest season for ‘cellar door’ income through tours, events and tastings.
Today, as restrictions ease, Welsh Wine Week returns from Friday 4th June – Sunday 13th June to continue that support and celebrate that gates are once again open at vineyards across Wales. Through free events, competitions and expert guided tours, wine lovers are urged to grab the long overdue chance to personally discover the country’s picturesque vineyards and sample their wide range of award-winning vintages and hospitality.
The growing list of online and live events taking place this June includes those hosted by winemakers who have just secured top awards at the International Wine Challenge 2021. That includes Monmouthshire’s White Castle Vineyard, for their Pinot Noir Precoce Reserve; Powys’ Montgomery Vineyard, for their Sparkling Seyval Blanc, Sparkling Rosé, and Solaris 2020; and Gwinllan Conwy, for their Solaris 2019 and Pefriog 2019.
Robb Merchant, owner of White Castle Vineyard and Chairman of Welsh Vineyard Association, said: “After one of the hardest years in memory for our growing Welsh wine making industry, the return of Welsh Wine Week is something we are all eagerly awaiting. Wine makers are passionate about what we do, and we relish the chance to help people get more insight into Wales’ wine production.
“We are incredibly grateful to those who have continued to support us, but we hope that even more wine drinkers will get behind Welsh Wine Week 2021 by signing up to events and buying some of the wonderful produce grown here.
“Last year showed us that we can use virtual events to engage with consumers, and that will continue, but we all hope that many people will also choose to visit us in person and discover first-hand how Wales is capable of producing internationally respected wines of exceptional quality.”
Confirmed events for Welsh Wine Week 2021 include: Free Wine tasting and Vineyard viewing days at Red Wharf Bay Vineyard, Anglesey; the chance to join the team at Pembrokeshire’s Velfrey Vineyard to discover their new Traditional Method Quality Sparkling Wine; White Castle Vineyard will host a series of Facebook and Instagram Live events to reveal their journey to become a multi-award winning vineyard; and independent and bilingual wine merchants, Vin Van Caerdydd will join Ancre Hill for a virtual tour of the biodynamic vineyard.
Full event listings and access to exclusive competitions and interviews with Welsh vineyards can be found on the dedicated Welsh Wine Week website. Vineyards hosting tasting events will release information on the wine they’re featuring in advance of their event, with attendees encouraged to buy a bottle beforehand to sample during the tasting event to be part of the experience.
Welsh Wine Week is organised by the Welsh Drinks Cluster, funded by Welsh Government, which works in partnership with Welsh drinks producers to promote the industry and its production of world class products.
Andy Richardson, chair of the Food & Drink Wales Industry Board said: “Thanks to the collaboration between Wales’ vineyards and the support of consumers across the country and beyond, Welsh Wine Week is back by popular demand.
“This event was born from the very real need to support a burgeoning industry in the toughest of times. However, the engagement it received and the difference it has made for businesses across the country proves that the value it provides should continue for years to come.
“Welsh Wine Week aims to provide something for everyone. If you’re happy to venture out, then we’d encourage you to take the opportunity to visit Welsh vineyards. If you’d rather stay home, click on the Welsh Wine Week website and we’ll bring award winning winemakers to you. Most importantly, if you’re looking for wines of outstanding quality and wish to support pioneering businesses in Wales, drink Welsh.”