FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Leading economists have suggested that the price of wine in Britain could be 22 per cent higher by the year 2025. This is set to have the strongest impact on cheaper bottles of wine which tend to hover around the £5 a bottle mark. But supplier Totem Wines suggests they could see their high-quality products become more attractive as they provide better value.
By sourcing produce from independent growers in traditional wine regions of France and Italy, Totem supplies fine wines and could stand to benefit from their quality and more personal provenance should the cost of importing wine continue to rise.
The rise in price has been attributed to the resultant slowdown in economic growth and less favourable exchange rates which increases costs in the bulk import of wine, in a paper published by Australian economists Kym Anderson and Glyn Wittwer.
This is bad news for the global wine market as a whole: Britain makes up almost a fifth of worldwide wine imports and EU producers alone are expected to take a hit to the tune of around £900m as demand falls. About one-quarter of wine exports from the EU find their way into UK restaurants, supermarket shelves and wholesalers, so the results of Brexit - whether a hard or soft arrangement is made - will have a significant bearing on which way this trend goes.
As the average bottle bought in British shops rises, Totem Wines believe it may be that consumers continue to alter their purchasing habits: finer wines from lesser known producers could become more attractive as store-bought bottles begin to provide less value.
"We have always supported small wine producers from France and Italy with an emphasis on the artisan. The best quality comes from independent suppliers who are focusing less on volume and more on the process," said a company spokesperson.
"If wines are going to be the subject of a tariff after Brexit negotiations are completed, then we hope that consumers will start looking to wine that gives much better value — bottles that perhaps cost slightly more but which far surpass cheaper bottles in quality."
Some experts predict that the hotel and restaurant market will keep the wine flowing but the trends of the market can be hard to predict. Whether they will stick with commercial suppliers or switch to independently produced fine wines supplied by the likes of Totem remains to be seen, but consumers will ultimately drive these decisions.
We started Provisons and Totem Wines in November 2015. Provisions is a wine and cheese shop on Holloway Road, North London specialising in produce imported from small growers in France and Italy. We stock around 130 different wines and 100 different cheeses. We work directly with winemakers from lesser-known regions in which we often find better value than their more well known counterparts. Many of these grow indigenous grapes with organic practices and these offer unique expressions of the place they’re from. We also import the majority of the cheeses we stock and we visit the farmers we work with as often as possible. Our cheeses come specifically from farmhouses - where the animals are raised - and are made by hand by the farmers. Most of our cheeses are made with raw milk. We also sell craft beer, artisan bread, and charcuterie. In the evening, we offer wines by the glass and you can also enjoy cheese and charcuterie boards.
Totem Wines is the wine import and distribution side of the business. We work with growers from the undervalued parts of France and Italy, and also a few who are making their voice heard within the traditional regions of wine production. Many of these are eschewing their classification and this is often where we find the most exciting winemaking. Nevertheless, their wines could not be more typical, even if they are unconventional. Our list is small and producer-led. We spend as much time as possible with them to better understand what they’re trying to achieve in the vineyard. The grower is just as important as the grapes they yield; the people as authentic as the wines they make. Most work organically and some with the lunar calendar at hand; but all work hard in the vineyard to ensure, above all, healthy grapes, so there’s little need for more in the cellar. We are always looking for drinkability in these areas, wines which need not necessarily be drunk with food, but by their nature are a versatile and exciting accompaniment.
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