English wine has the potential to reach to the top rank of wine producing nations in the world, says Decanter World Wine Awards vice-chair Gerard Basset MW MS OBE, speaking at a DWWA 2015 masterclass.
Basset’s comments represent a strong endorsement of the UK’s blossoming wine sector; Basset is a previous winner of the best sommelier in the world award and considered one of the world’s foremost wine experts.
Speaking at a DWWA 2015 masterclass to celebrate medal winning wines from ‘unexpected places’, Basset told the sell-out audience that English wine is in a ‘very exciting place’.
‘I think English wine is like New Zealand in the 1980s,’ Basset said at the masterclass, held on the opening day of the Vinexpo 2015 wine fair in Bordeaux. ‘At that time, New Zealand was not very well known, but now it is considered a very serious wine producer.’
At the masterclass, Basset picked out the Coates & Seely, Blancs de Blanc, non-vintage English sparkling wine as an example of what producers in the UK can do. The wine beat off stiff competition from its counterparts in the UK to win the regional trophy for UK sparkling wine over £15 at the DWWA 2015.
Trade body English Wine Producers has said that retail sales could come close to £100m in 2015, which would represent a rise of around 20% on last year.
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