For the second year running the Vineyard & Winery Show took place at the Kent Showground, Detling. Attended by all aspects of the industry the event on the 23 November 2022 built on the success of the inaugural event writes Rebecca Farmer, Vineyard editor.
The free to attend event attracted almost 2,000 visitors, a significant increase on the attendees from the first event held in 2021 and even the torrential rain could not dampen the atmosphere for those inside the exhibition halls. Everyone commented on the marvellous energy and buzz that was felt throughout the show and it was great to see the industry get together. Everywhere you looked people were happily chatting to customers, friends and those they had not seen for some time.
Thanks to sponsors Rankin Bros every visitor was greeted with a cork and cotton gift bag containing their beautifully branded complimentary tasting glass that was sponsored and supplied by Urban Bar along with their visitor show guide that outlined all that there was to see during the day. The event included a packed seminar programme, over 100 exhibitor stands to visit as well as a structured wine tasting of six wines hosted by globally recognised wine writer Matthew Jukes. The event showcased some of the latest innovations for both vineyards and wineries and truly targeted the whole industry literally under one roof. The tasting hub, promoting over 100 wines from producers across England and Wales was once again a prominent feature of the show.
The welcome speech given by Simon Thorpe WineGB CEO was slightly delayed due to significant traffic issues but it was not long before a packed crowd gathered for the welcome breakfast. This was to be the start of things to come as it remained difficult to get a seat in the seminar marquee for most of the day. Indeed, during the first seminar of the afternoon, chaired by Matt Strugnell, titled the great British Varietal debate it was even difficult to achieve standing room close enough to hear the proceedings.
The hour long structured tasting from Matthew Jukes was enjoyed by all those who had been able to secure a ticket to the sold out event. The money from the ticket price raising some £2,000 for Matthew’s chosen Charity The Drinks Trust. All the wines were superb but it was heartening to see so many appreciate the red wine of Halfpenny Green. There was audible approval as Matthew talked through the Penny Red and in a poll it was almost universally enjoyed; high praise from a discerning audience.
The wines for the tasting included:
- 2021 Penny Red, Halfpenny Green Wine Estate
- 2021 Vagabond Rosé, Yew Tree Vineyard
- 21 Kin, Kinsbrook
Alongside this selection of still wines were three very special sparkling wines:
- 2018 Blanc de Noirs, Gusbourne
- 2015 Cuvée Boz, Blanc de Blancs, Sugrue South Downs
- 2014 Blancs de Noirs, Wiston.
A word from our President
Show President Julian Barnes commented: “How amazing to be a part of the second Vineyard & Winery Show, a day that brought together a part of agriculture that is independently in charge of its journey from vineyard to consumer. A full day of conversation and explanation around everything you would need for viticulture in the UK, plant and machinery, seminars and wine tastings all rounded off with an evening of food and entertainment. It was a pleasure to be joined by so many people, some new and some that have grown up through the industry and become such good friends.”
The show would of course not be possible without the headline sponsors and Vineyard magazine would like to take this opportunity to thank Core Equipment, berlin packaging, Hutchinsons, Vitifruit and Royston Labels.
On the back of a positive first event, the 2022 show saw an amazing 40% increase in exhibitors, taking the total number of trades on show to 114. As you will see from this review, many reported that much business and interest was generated, with one of the topics of the day focusing on whether the show should be a two day event in future.
It was a pleasure to meet many of the exhibitors who were returning for a second year. Among these were the team at the Rebschule Freytag. Keen to taste wines made from PIWI grapes I visited the stand during the show but found it swamped with people all looking at the possibilities offered by these vines. At the end of the day however Marina Pohl from the Rebschule Freytag team asked me if I would now like to try some of their wines. There are obvious benefits for growing these varieties in a cool climate such as disease resistance ensuring the vines produce clean fruit and the possible reduction in inputs that would be good for regenerative agricultural objectives as well as having cost implications. All the varieties on the stand were suitable for the UK climate and there were some particularly interesting wines. Two that stood out to me were Sauvignac for the white wine and from the red varieties Marina said: “The Cabaret Noir had been popular all day.” It was easy to see why the wine was beautifully balanced, interesting and very drinkable (in fact I wanted to take one home and drink it by the fire whilst the rain lashed down outside). This thick skinned variety it goes through veraison early and I could certainly see why it proved popular. Those vineyards in the UK who may have already planted some of these vines were able to taste the possibilities and those looking at future planting had plenty of opportunity to approach this area with an open mind. My thanks go to Marina for making sure I did not miss out on the opportunity to try something new.
Photos: ©Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic