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|Monday, October 24, 2011||09:56|
Waitrose has taken another leading step in its support for English wine, with the first harvest of the supermarket’s Hampshire-grown grapes.
(drinks media wire) - Working in partnership with leading wine producer Ridgeview, the grapes will be turned into the supermarket’s first own brand English sparkling wine.
The two days of harvesting took place last week at the Leckford estate, with the grapes being sent straight to winemakers Ridgeview, to be turned into a brand new sparkling white wine for the supermarket. With a 65% market share in English wine, Waitrose is the leading retailer of the home grown tipple, and is making important progress to ensure there is enough wine to match customers demand.
Matt Smith, Waitrose wine buyer says, 'English wine has never been so popular, with volume sales up 20% year on year, so there has never been a better time for us to fully support this blossoming industry. The Leckford vineyard is a supermarket first which is leading the way for even more great wines to be made in this country. We have grown three grape varieties on the farm, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, which will be turned into a sparkling wine with the help of the award-winning winemakers at Ridgeview.'
The vines, which were planted in 2009, have been looked after by the team at Leckford, including Andrew Lazenby, Commercial Manager: 'It's an incredibly exciting time at Leckford at the moment and the harvesting of our first crop of grapes is the culmination of several years of work. We are so pleased with the fantastic quality of the grapes we've grown and are looking forward to working closely with Ridgeview to create a stunning Waitrose English sparkling white wine.’
Tom Palmer, Fruit Farm Manager, who has worked at Leckford for 30 years and lives on the estate says, 'We are well known for our delicious apples at Leckford and growing grapes is not dissimilar.The soil we have here is also perfect for vines, so we have really made the most of the land. We've had sixteen local people harvesting the 4 tonnes of grapes over two days.’
The wine produced from the Leckford grapes will be blended and then matured at Ridgeview.
Notes to Editors
Leckford Farm is a working farm producing arable crops including high quality bread-making wheat which is used to make a range of Leckford label flour. The farm also supplies milk, apples, pears, apple juice, cider, free range eggs and mushrooms as well as Leckford free range chickens to Waitrose branches. On seeing this modern and professional food business in action, there is an immediate sense of Waitrose's commitment to forward thinking.
Waitrose has 263 shops in England, Scotland and Wales. Regularly voted 'Britain's favourite supermarket, Waitrose combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced combined with high standards of customer service. (www.waitrose.com)
For more information on Ridgeview, please visit www.ridgeview.co.uk
For further information, please contact:
Press Officer, Consumer
t:01344 82 5025
f:01344 82 5211
|Country: UNITED KINGDOM|
|Phone: 0800 188 884|