Vineyard celebrates supermarket link

ESSEX wine producer Sandyford Vineyard is celebrating the selection of two of its wines under supermarket giant Tesco's local sourcing scheme. Sandyford, which was established less than 10 years ago, is set on south facing slopes at Great Sampford, near Braintree, and produces white, red, rosé and sparkling wines.

ESSEX wine producer Sandyford Vineyard is celebrating the selection of two of its wines under supermarket giant Tesco's local sourcing scheme.

Sandyford, which was established less than 10 years ago, is set on south facing slopes at Great Sampford, near Braintree, and produces white, red, rosé and sparkling wines.

Its white Clover Hill 2002 won the East Anglian Wine Growers Association wine of the year 2005 at the Suffolk Show and its new Sandyford Brut 2004 has received the Spear Trophy 2006 for best East Anglian sparkling wine.

Both the Sandyford Clover Hill White and Special Reserve Red will now be available from Tesco locally.

Sandyford owner Mike Lindsell said: “We are absolutely delighted that Tesco have decided to go-ahead and stock our wines. We have been in discussion with them for some time, with meetings, tastings and visits to the vineyard but now that has all paid off.

“People will be able to stock up when they are doing their weekly shop which is ideal - especially if they are looking for something a bit special and are keen to support their local producer.”

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“People generally think that we don't have the climate here in the UK to produce good red grapes but that's not true,” said Mr Lindsell. “It's a case of giving the grape enough time to truly ripen, picking as late as possible.”

A Tesco spokesman said that, for small producers, supplying supermarkets offered a number of benefits, including the opportunity to showcase their wine to a larger audience and ease of distribution, with one large consignment being delivered to one address rather than multiple small deliveries.

Sam Nundy, Tesco's buyer for the East of England, said: “I am delighted to be including Sandyford wines into our range it is a great addition to our already fantastic offering of locally sourced lines from our region”.

The recent success of the English wine industry is such that French producers are believed to have invested more than £1.9million in English vineyards in the last year.

Factors behind the resurgence include improved wine-making techniques, climate change and increasing concern among consumers about “food miles”.

Mr Lindsell added: “There is a lot of positive interest in English wine. Consumers are definitely becoming more adventurous in their wine choices and are keen to support their local producer.”