Waitrose & Partners is introducing seven new English wines to its award-winning range including the first orange wine to be sold in a supermarket. The retailer is extending its range of over 100 English and Welsh wines, with new additions including three exclusive bottles and two canned wines from English wine pioneers The Uncommon.
These exciting additions come as sales of still English and Welsh wine at Waitrose are up 156% compared to last year, with the bumper harvest of 2018 now beginning to appear on shelves. Additionally, local English sparkling wine sales have increased by 60% over the last year. English wine is now one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK agriculture with an increase of 160% in land planted to vines in the past 10 years*.
The first English orange wine, which is made by leaving the skin on grapes during the ageing process, to be stocked at Waitrose is the Litmus Orange, which will arrive at the supermarket in late June. Only the second orange wine to be made by John Worontschak at Litmus Wines, who are based in Surrey, this 100% Bacchus is aged on skins before pressing into two to five year old French oak barriques for a further nine months of elevage. The result is a straw gold wine with orange hues and grassy, quince and hazelnut overtones.
John Worontshak says: ‘On the palate, the Litmus orange has a striking and unusual pithy tannin structure which, although disorientating at first, is harmonious and smooth with good acidity and an incredibly long finish. The wine will get more interesting with time and can be enjoyed with oily meats and spicy dishes.’
Arriving in store from the 20th May is the The Uncommon Bubbly White (made from Bacchus), followed in July by the Bubbly Rosé (made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier). These canned wines will join the successful range at Waitrose & Partners in time for a summer of barbecues and festivals.
Also launching are new wines from two local and regional English producers. Available on WaitroseCellar.com exclusively is a unique Simpsons Estate “On The QT” Pinot Meunier Blanc de Noir – an exclusive single vineyard, single variety wine from Kent. Hand picked during the superb 2018 harvest this tiny parcel of Pinot Meunier, displays chalk purity, light tropical notes and red fruit flavours to give a truly unique and complex wine. Other additions include a Pinot Noir Rosé and a Chardonnay from Simpsons, as well as a new Blanc de Blancs from Bride Valley in Dorset, all of which have previously not been available in a supermarket.
Victoria Mason, Waitrose & Partners wine buyer, says: ‘Our customers love English and Welsh wine and these new launches reflect some key trends within the industry. We’re very excited to have an orange wine on our shelves, one of very few being made in England. Canned wine is becoming increasingly popular and we’re proud to be adding two excellent effervescent English wines to our successful range. Supporting smaller, local producers is also very important to our shoppers, which is why we’re thrilled to introduce two new vineyards to Waitrose, which have previously not been available on a national scale.’