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English producer premiers vineyard insurance scheme

Top English sparkling wine producer Nyetimber has become the first estate to adopt a specialist insurance policy covering its wine ‘from grape to glass’.

The plan was developed by insurance firm Aon, a risk-management specialist, with the help of the West Sussex producer.

It is, they say, the first of its kind, offering protection from vine damage, all the way through to bottle storage and distribution coverage.

‘Until now there has never been a specialist policy,’ say Aon. ‘The industry having to make do with a mix and match of farming policies along with stock insurance and sometimes a goods in transit policy thrown in.’

Aon says it will pay for the replanting of vines in the event of damage and cover the sale price of wine the damaged vines would have produced.

In all, the policy covers four stages of the wine production process, protecting the vines from hail, fire, contamination by crop-spraying by aircraft, explosions, vandalism and hail. It also insures against any theft or damage in storage and distribution, and covers any customs duty that may still be payable following the loss or damage of bottles.

The policy is currently available to all 350 vineyards and producers in England before being launched to the rest of the world.

A spokeswoman for the insurers told UK wine trade magazine Harpers that producers in California, New Zealand and Australia had already shown interest.

Written by Oliver Styles

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