Co-op to make its own English wines

14 May, 2010

The Co-op is venturing into wine production with the first vines being planted on its farm in Gloucestershire.

A white wine made from Ortega will be sold as part of the retailer’s Grown by Us brand, although it will take up to four years before bottles hit the shelves.

The 2.4ha vineyard is being planted at the Co-op Farms site at Down Ampney, near Cirencester, where other products in the range are grown. This will be the first time wine has been included.

“It’s a bit of an experiment but it’s one we are really looking forward to,” said Christine Tacon, Co-op Farms managing director. “The conditions at Down Ampney make it a good location to plant a vineyard, and it should make a great addition to our Grown by Us range.

“The Co-op has an excellent reputation for its wine and, while it will take a lot of patience and an amount of luck, the prospect of adding an English white wine, made from grapes grown on one of our own farms, is very exciting.”?As well as vines, the retailer will plant a wildflower mix to encourage wildlife, especially bees.

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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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