Having spent the last decade helping visitors to explore the vineyards of England and Wales, Wine Cellar Door has this month (April 2020) launched an online wine shop to bring the best British brands direct to consumers’ doorsteps.
Brought forward to help more people discover English wine during the COVID-19 lockdown, the online wine shop has been in the pipeline since the start of the year as founder Elisabeth Else wanted to provide a simple starting point for those looking to try their first, or broaden their interest in, home-grown wines.
“Encouragingly there is a huge number of consumers taking to social media to talk about the UK wine industry, but when it comes to buying British, too often they don’t know where to start,” said Elisabeth, who started the website Wine Cellar Door in the same vein, with the ultimate goal of helping people to discover the array of visitor-friendly vineyards on their doorstep.
“Most people are aware of the big brands, but there are still hundreds of small and medium-sized producers flying under their radar. These boutique brands uphold the same quality standard as the household names, but are better positioned to produce some truly special, small volume wines, often made with unusual varietals, demonstrating the innovation, expertise and passion which is driving the English wine category forward.”
With the launch of the #BigEnglishwinegoodfriday social media event, taking place at 7 pm on 10 April, there is no better time to delve in and visit Wine Cellar Door to see what delights the English wine scene has to offer.
Upon visiting Wine Cellar Door’s online wine shop, consumers will find a carefully curated selection of mixed wine cases from a range of producers. Whether consumers are looking for something local or organic; grape varieties they are familiar with; or ones they have never heard of before, shoppers can filter by region, wine type and price, to ensure they get the perfect match.
After making their selection, the consumer is taken to the producer’s website to purchase from them directly. All products are available for delivery nationwide, with many vineyards offering free shipping. Some English winemakers, such as Bolney, Fox & Fox, Hattingley and Ridgeview, are also making charitable donations from sales to raise money for businesses and individuals who have been affected by a coronavirus.
Pulling out all the stops to get the online wine shop live, this new and much-needed resource is a one-stop-shop for those looking to support local business, particularly in their current time of need.
“Off-licences may have been deemed ‘essential’ by the government, but the majority of UK wine producers have opted to keep their cellar doors closed to better protect their customers and ensure that the country effectively fights the spread of COVID-19,” said Elisabeth. “Many are now solely reliant on online purchases, and while consumers are demonstrating that they want to support the industry with initiatives like the Big English Wine Good Friday, they are often unsure of where to look for inspiration or which producers can deliver to them.”
For those stuck at home too, now is the ideal time to increase awareness of the diversity of English wine styles on the market while also honing tasting skills.
“All good vineyard tours will incorporate a tutored tasting, and many producers listed on Wine Cellar Door also offer small samples for those just passing,” said Elisabeth. “However, tasting wine in front of the vineyard owner, winemaker or wine-trained retail staff can be incredibly daunting, especially if you are new to wine, or are just looking for something to enjoy in an evening.”
Equally, for those who have never tried English or Welsh wine before, and have never heard of varieties such as Bacchus, Madeline Angevine or Ortega, it can be hard to gauge a comparison. Having a selection of different style wines, from an array of producers delivered directly to the door allows consumers to consider each variety and vintage in a relaxed environment.
“This isn’t a case of glugging back years’ hard work – it can take eight years for a producer to release their first traditional method sparkling wine – it’s about taking the time to savour each sip and find your new favourite English wine style and producer,” said Elisabeth.
To support the UK wine industry and discover a wide and diverse range of English wines, visit the Wine Cellar Door online wine shop at www.winecellardoor.co.uk.
Read more wine and spirits related articles in our dedicated section here.