Waitrose plant first vineyard
This week sees British supermarket Waitrose plant its own vines at Leckford Farm Estate in Hampshire. The planting will take place on the first day of the Waitrose Spring Food Festival with a special ceremony attended by Waitrose Managing Director Mark Price and Estate Chairman Don Curry.
Waitrose is the first UK retailer to establish its own English vines, but customers will need to wait until 2014 before they can enjoy the wine - a fizz under the Waitrose Leckford label. The first crop of grapes will take 3 years and the wine will take 2 years to be produced and matured.
In 2008 Waitrose reported an increase in sales of English wine of over 18% year on year and they have a 55% market share of UK supermarkets. Unfortuantely there is not enough English wine to meet customer demand with sales growth outstripping supply.