Still and sparkling wines from the Sussex region of the UK have been added to the list of products given geographically protected status, joining other prestigious wine-producing areas such as Champagne, Prosecco, and Burgundy.
The Sussex wines are the latest UK product to win protected designation of origin (PDO) status after the application was first made in 2015. This means that wines labelled with ‘Sussex’ must be produced in either East or West Sussex and pass tests by an independent tasting panel.
The PDO status already includes many British favourites such as Melton Mowbray pork pies, Scotch whisky, Welsh lamb, and Cornish clotted cream.
Food and Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said: “This registration, possible thanks to Brexit, demonstrates the ambition of Sussex wine producers to share their product at home and abroad.
“The UK has developed an ever-growing reputation for high-quality wine, with Sussex wine receiving widespread international recognition and investment.
“A year ago, I said that I look forward to the day when, as a treat, we no longer have a glass of Champagne, but we can together have a glass of Sussex. That day has come.”
Sussex has a long and proud history of growing grapes, with many wine producers winning some of the top accolades in the world. The county’s wines have been awarded the ‘Best Sparkling Wine’ trophy in worldwide international competitions eight times. In the International Wine Challenge 2015, Sussex wine producers were awarded six gold medals for their sparkling wines.
The announcement was welcomed by Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith, who said: “It is the conclusion of a long campaign by myself and other Sussex MPs and is a real boon to the growing producer economy across Sussex.
“I want people at home and abroad to be queueing up to buy Sussex wine, and this announcement will make that all the more possible.”
The designation follows the launch of the Government’s Food Strategy detailed earlier this month, which highlighted the contribution of the food and drink sector to the levelling-up agenda and measures to encourage consumers to buy more locally-produced goods.