Celebrating Welsh Wine Week
By Thomas Corbett
We’re always delighted to support the wines and vineyards of the UK, so ‘Welsh Wine Week’ (running from 2nd June- 11th June) gives us a perfect opportunity to highlight some of the amazing producers we work with and remind ourselves about the ever-evolving UK wine scene.
Rather than telling you about Welsh wine producers individually, I am instead going to give you five compelling reasons as to why on your next visit to Tanners, either online or in branch, your basket should feature a bottle (or two) of Welsh wine!
Improvements in winemaking: As Wales is seeing an increase in milder winters and springs, this results in riper grapes. Further to this, Tyfu Cymru, together with Plumpton College and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, has developed a winemaking training program as part of a long-term strategy to strengthen and upskill the talent in the Welsh winemaking sector. Overall this encourages emerging talent to seek out Welsh winemaking ventures and provides us with better-quality wines.
Award-Winning wines: Many Welsh wines are award-winning and receive high praise from renowned critics ‒ a success that is well deserved! Two vineyards that fall firmly into this bracket are Glyndwr and Ancre Hill; both produce excellent wines that are well worth your attention. In recent times, both vineyards have won awards for their respective wines whilst continuing to grow their portfolios and pushing the boundaries of quality and innovation.
Summer-sipping reds: Do you love drinking red wines but find them a little alcohol heavy or overpowered by tannins in the warmer summer months? Wales has the answer ‒ the lighter, fresher styles of Welsh reds (similar to Beaujolais wines) range around 11-12% abv, making them perfect company for lighter summer lunches. Look out for Gwinllan Conway Vineyard’s red Rondo which we stock in our Welshpool and Chester branches ‒ plenty of blackcurrant and cherry fruit complemented by some excellent vanilla from ageing in 2-year-old Barolo barrels, this is easy-drinking and great with a BBQ.
International grape varieties: Due to the cool climate, many producers within northern Europe planted hybrid grape varieties many years ago to suit their weather conditions. However, Welsh winegrowers were forward-thinking enough to plant international varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The extraordinary transformation in Welsh weather patterns has resulted in these grape varieties now achieving full ripeness levels and the innovative growers have reaped the rewards. The result is internationally recognised styled wines but still with a Welsh perspective.
Environmentally friendly: The Tanners Action Group for Sustainability (TAGS) has made much mention about seeking out environmentally friendly producers and as part of this, celebrating winegrowers who practice organic and/or bio-dynamic methods. Of course, finding these producers on our doorstep (Rowton, Montgomery and Hencote to name a few around our branches) is a positive step forward in enjoying wines which can dramatically reduce our environmental impact. Whilst I’m certainly not suggesting you stop drinking wines from the other side of the world, Welsh wines provide an interesting option to help reduce emissions whilst simultaneously supporting a local business.
While there are many reasons to choose a bottle of wine, hopefully, I’ve given you pause to try something new. With our excellent ‘passport’ scheme currently running in our branches too, this is the perfect time to try something new in your glass. Mwynhewch!
For more information, and to see if there are any vineyards in Wales near you, please check out www.welshwineweek.co.uk
Published 1st June 2023