Brexit Could Be Making British Wine Industry Stronger Than Ever

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By Gillie Houston Posted October 03, 2016

Attention to British wine is on the rise.

In the months following the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union, the implications of Brexit on the country's laws and libations has been widely debated. Now, one heavy-hitter within Britain's wine industry says that Brexit might make a hugely positive impact on wine-makers and producers.

According to Richard Balfour-Lynn, the owner of Britain's Hush Heath Estate vineyard, in the past British wine hasn't been paid its due attention by global oenophiles—but that changed following the Brexit vote.

"The press is picking up on it, critics are talking about it. It's a real starting point," he tells the Daily Express. Despite the fact that many anti-Brexit crusaders claimed the decision to part with the E.U. would harm the wine industry, Balfour-Lynn insists it's currently "a very exciting time for English wine."

In addition to this uptick in international attention, the vineyard owner also says that the devaluation of the sterling that occurred directly following Brexit actually helped non-European trade, forcing British wine-makers to form stronger bonds with the American and Asian markets, which have the potential to be their biggest export partners.

"For an industry still in its infancy, the government now has the flexibility to help English producers by cutting duties on our wine, so that we are no longer in a situation whereby we pay the same as European competitors to sell in our own market," Balfour-Lynn says, adding that it would benefit both winemakers and consumers for the government to give English wine a protected status—similar to the status of Champagne—depending on where wines are grown.

Balfour-Lynn points to Brexit as the ideal opportunity for British vino to become a more powerful player in the wine world, starting with American consumers. "There's always been a special relationship between Americans and English brands, that's why they're so receptive to our sparkling varieties," he says.

To see our editors taste test some of England's growing varities of sparkling wine, check out our Facebook Live segment:

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