Time for a range change

Written by: jackie oakley
18 Feb

You may notice some changes on our shelves – fewer, pricier bottles of Chablis, next to no Zinfandel... and where’s the Marlborough savvy? So, we thought it was only right to explain why this is happening and what we're doing to ensure we offer you the finest wines at every price level and category.

Last year, production costs were up in every area; especially staff costs due to pickers not being able to move around at harvest time. This was a huge issue for English wine, where workers from Europe would previously flock to pick but couldn’t due to Covid and Brexit. Other areas include glass, wooden boxes, cardboard and shipping going up by 40% – and that’s if you could get the wines collected on time... but haulage is another story for another time!

The 2021 harvests in major regions including Burgundy, the Loire, Champagne and Alsace are the smallest since 1957. And its been a worldwide problem unfortunately – extreme early and late frost in Marlborough, NZ wiped out 40% of total Sauvignon Blanc production for this much loved style. Much of California's production was reduced by 50% in 2021 due to extended periods of drought, and then there were the fires.

Closer to home, 2021 was a good harvest in Kent, so look out for some fabulous sparklers next year. However, the smaller 2019 harvests, increased costs and massive global demand means prices have gone up. 

But we need to stay positive. Remember, wine is an agricultural product and nature often gives with one hand and takes with the other…. signs are good for the 2022 NZ harvest as an example. 

We will continue to find you superb value for money at all price points and by offering alternative styles & grapes, so I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone & go on a wine journey! Look out for new selections from Austria, Greece, Spain and Australia, as well as English wines from beyond Kent. We appreciate that the proof is in the tasting so we’ll have as many wines open as we can - keep your eyes peeled for more exciting ticketed events too.

We look forward to seeing you!