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Grape Britannia celebrates first anniversary as English Wine Week uncorked

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Matt Hodgson, who opened Grape Brittania on Arbury Road on June 21 last year
Matt Hodgson, who opened Grape Brittania on Arbury Road on June 21 last year

Grape Britannia, Arbury Road’s English and Welsh wine specialist, celebrates its first birthday this weekend - just as English Wine Week (June 20-28) gets going. ‘’ “”

The good news is doubled because English wine is rapidly growing in popularity.

According to the most recent figures released by Wine GB, the national association for the English and Welsh wine industry, the number of hectares planted with vines in Great Britain has grown by a staggering 194 per cent in the last ten years and quadrupled since 2000, with around 3 million new vines planted in the last year alone.

There are now an impressive 658 commercial vineyards in England and Wales, with the long hot summer of 2018 leading to a bumper production of 13.2 million bottles of wine - over double the previous annual record.

With so much to celebrate, Grape Britannia owner Matt Hodgson is delighted ahead of the June 21 anniversary.

“It’s an exhilarating time for the English wine industry which is going from strength to strength,” he says. “Not only are consumers savouring the world-class quality of English wines but they are also pleased to be reducing the environmental impact of their favourite drink by choosing a more sustainable locally-sourced product.

“It follows that we are thrilled to promote English Wine Week along with vineyards and retailers up and down the country, and it’s especially exciting for us that this year’s event coincides with the first anniversary of opening our doors on Arbury Road.”

Matt, who will open 12 noon to 6pm on the big day, is delighted to be showcasing the very best of English wines.

“At Grape Britannia, customers can browse our extensive range of over 200 top-quality English and Welsh wine, along with a selection of domestic beers, ciders and spirits. Although our bar area is presently closed due to Covid-19, we are still open for off-sales and website orders - enter ‘Camdelivery’ at checkout for free delivery via box-bike within postcodes CB1-CB5.”

Chilford Hall, Grantchester 2018 is the current top seller at Grape Brittania (£9.95)
Chilford Hall, Grantchester 2018 is the current top seller at Grape Brittania (£9.95)

Outside Cambridge, courier delivery is free for orders over £180, otherwise a £7.99 flat rate applies.

“What is more,” adds Matt, “during English Wine Week Grape Britannia will enter the name of every online customer into a prize draw for the chance to win a gift box worth £49.99 comprising a superb bottle of fizz and two glasses from one of our most local vineyards, Saffron Grange Vineyard in Essex.

“I hope that the long evenings ahead of us will encourage people to pick out something new this summer and give English wines a try!”

Matt’s top five summer wines are:

Chilford Hall Grantchester 2018: “This crisp, dry, white comes from our most local vineyard in Linton and is our top-selling wine.” £9.95

Court Garden Ditchling Rosé 2017: “Gorgeous summer fruits with a fresh finish, from East Sussex.” £13.99

Ancre Hill Orange Wine 2018: “Not made from oranges, but white grapes with colour from their skins, recently featured in the top wine magazine Decanter, this is a unique and delicious wine!” £19.99

Saffron Grange Classic Cuvée 2016: “From just down the road in Essex, a truly world-class sparkling wine made Champagne-style from the Champagne grapes.” £31.99

Balfour Sparkling Red 2018: “For something really special to go with your BBQ, try this sparkling red from Kent, best served chilled.” £33.99

“We are incredibly grateful to all our returning and new customers for your online purchases at a time when the bar has had to close temporarily,” adds Matt.

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