‘Brexit could be a boost for us’, says local vineyard

Julia Bennett of Brynne Vineyard with University of Northampton expert Simon Wragg.
Julia Bennett of Brynne Vineyard with University of Northampton expert Simon Wragg.

Market Harborough couple Mark and Julia Bennett hope that Brexit can be a boost for their business - a vineyard overlooking Pitsford Reservoir in Northamptonshire.

Drinks industry experts say Brexit could put up the cost of imported wine, making British wine more competitive.

University of Northampton expert Simon Wragg, who lectures in marketing, said: “The UK is a huge importer of wine from EU countries.

“A Doomsday scenario could see the UK introduce trade tariffs on EU wine, which would push up the price of a bottle significantly for UK consumers. This situation could, of course, favour the UK’s own wine-producers.”

The predictions have been welcomed by Mark and Julia Bennett, who run Brynne Vineyard at Pitsford.

“You can buy a bottle of EU wine for £3 or £4 a bottle from Lidl and I can’t make it for that price, let alone sell it for that,” said Julia.

“If the price of EU wine were to increase significantly, it would be good news for us domestic producers, as we might finally have the competitive edge.”

There is a growing demand for locally produced, quality food and drink, said Julia.

“People like to know where their produce comes from, and make a conscious effort to support local businesses.

“English wine’s reputation is growing, and hopefully the situation with Brexit will play into our hands.”

The Bennett’s took over the Northamptonshire vineyard in 2015, and in their first year produced about 7,000 bottles of wine - two types of white wine and a rosé.

“This vineyard was love at first sight for both of us” said Mark Bennett. “It’s early days for the business, but I’m very confident and not worried about Brexit at all.”

More info at www.brynnevineyard.com