What a difference a month can make

What a month it has been not just for vineyards but the whole country. I’ve got to start with an apology if you’re sick of hearing about Covid-19, it’s not escaped the pages of Vineyard Magazine. 

It’s not all bad news luckily, although a few days ago I was worried my first issue as editor might be the gloomiest yet. It has certainly been an unprecedented change to all of our lives but it’s been inspiring to see the vineyards, winemakers and industry bodies pull together in such a difficult time. 

As this magazine reaches you, hopefully you’ve taken part in #theBIGenglishwinegoodfriday, or joined a virtual masterclass or vineyard tour – maybe in the UK but even far away in California – or taken on delivering your own wines to local customers so they can stay home and save lives. 

I took over from previous editor Victoria Rose at the beginning of March, having just returned from a trip to France myself and therefore putting myself in one of the first isolation groups. Looking back I can’t quite believe how much has happened in four weeks. I’ve been overwhelmed by everyone I’ve spoken to though, especially those who have added home-schooling and a wine delivery service to their already busy lives, and still found the time to be quizzed by me. 

 It’s not all a bright new future though. For now, vineyards are embracing the opportunities that this new market brings, but for many the sales growth isn’t matching the business lost from vineyard tours or wine tastings – not to mention other business with bars and restaurants that have closed. 

The next month ahead will be a more telling one, as we see how long this lockdown will last and how buyers choose to spend, when panic turns to caution.

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