At least vintners can easily drown their sorrows – The Property Chronicle
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At least vintners can easily drown their sorrows


Christmas sales aren’t looking rosy, what with the pandemic – and then we have to deal with Brexit.

I will try not to dwell too much on you-know-what – we all know the effects of the coronavirus, ad infinitum, and glasses are, alas, overflowing. However, fortified by some warming Chianti Classico, forgive me if I make a few observations about its effect on the UK wine trade, especially as I did promise to do such a thing to the most esteemed proprietor of this publication.

We were very lucky (perhaps, in years to come, covid stories will come to resemble those from the “Four Yorkshiremen” sketch – how tough did you have it? These will be accompanied by a decanter of very passable Château de Chassilier, obviously). Sure, our on-trade business completely vanished, and we were left wondering how we were going to shift restaurant and banqueting staples, the likes of Sancerre, Gavi and Picpoul. And there wasn’t going to be much to celebrate, was there? Prosecco sales hit the buffers, and champagne also slumped – although extra ageing much improves the Champenois product: if you feel like treating yourself at Christmas, chances are that it will taste better than ever – like actual, proper, champagne, rather than smart apple fizz.


About Mark Roberts

Mark Roberts

Mark Roberts joined the wine trade as a graduate trainee for John Harvey & Sons in 1986. However, rather than piling into the Bristol Cream, he instead found himself based in the wine merchant division’s London office in Pall Mall. From there, he swapped SW1 for NW1, joining Laytons, and then skulked south of the Thames to SE1, Charles Taylor Wines, in 1996. He now works for Decorum Vintners Ltd, which he helped set up in 1999, and where the focus is very much on the offerings of small wine-growers, specialising in France and Italy.

Articles by Mark Roberts

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