Sussex gets special wine status – but Kent dismisses it as a ‘marketing exercise’ | UK News
Wine made in Sussex has been given a similar status to that produced in the Champagne and Rioja regions of France and Spain.
The county in southern England has been designated as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) for wine by the Environment Secretary.
This means that bottles of wine bearing the Sussex label must come from the county, be made according to local tradition and aged for two years.
Similar status has been granted to Cornish clotted cream and Stilton cheese, for example.
Sussex is the UK’s largest wine producer, producing more than a quarter.
Second-generation farmer Art Tukker owns the Tinwood estate in Chichester and is delighted with the PDO.
“We’re going to see a glass of Sussex available in New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles, maybe even Paris, but I’m not sure the Champagne guys will like it that much,” he told Sky News.
A winemaker in neighboring Kent called the development a “marketing exercise”.
Graham Barbour, founder and owner of Woodchurch Wine Estate on the Kent-Sussex border, said the soil in Kent vineyards can be similar to that in Sussex.
Additionally, warmer temperatures due to climate change will benefit the UK wine industry as a whole, he said, and so distinguishing one region from another is “arbitrary”.
Mr Barbour told Sky News: ‘I just don’t think it’s particularly helpful or useful to show he has any unique property or quality.
He added: “It could be anywhere in the south of England.”