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Canterbury Wine Festival

3rd May 2019

Canterbury Wine Festival™

A celebration of English Wine

Launch Midsummer 2019 The Westgate Community Trust and Clive Barlow, Master of Wine based at the Goods Shed, the award-winning independent farmers’ market and food hall, are launching the Canterbury Wine Festival on Friday 21 June, with guest, Oz Clarke, one of the world’s leading wine experts. The Festival will open to the public on Saturday 22 June. Our vision is that the Festival will become an annual event featuring English wine. For our launch we are showcasing our wonderful Kent wines. Over 14 of Kent’s wine producers – large and small – will be with us in the heart of the City. We look forward to your individual and collective support for this unique, time-sensitive business and community opportunity. Now is the perfect time to mark the industry’s growing success and foster and consolidate this good news story. Why Canterbury and Westgate Hall? Kent’s wine-growing industry is growing exponentially and a UK leader. Kent’s chalky soil and climate is producing excellent grapes and vineyards are creating wines of a quality previously characteristic of France’s champagne region. Then, as a World Heritage Site and major tourist destination, Canterbury is the natural location to celebrate this tradition for local wine growing which dates back to the Romans and is now on the cusp of an economic boom. Westgate Hall, the century-old award-winning former drill hall in the heart of the city, is the ideal venue, given its history, size and location. Why Clive Barlow? Clive is one of 384 Masters of Wine in the world, a community supporter and friend of the Hall. An international judge and wine educator, he has worked as a consultant for Waitrose, Whitbread, Sotheby’s, and more. He is also Canterbury’s longest-running independent wine merchant. You can find his shop, Press Wine Services , meet and consult with him at The Good Shed. Clive is also great fun and the ideal teacher for wine enthusiasts. Why now? - 2018 was “a milestone year for the industry,” according to Simon Robinson, Chairman of WineGB. - A record-breaking 15.6 million bottles were produced, 130% higher than 2017 and far exceeding the previous 2014 record of 6.3m bottles. - Sales and exports of English and Welsh wines doubled. - Wine tourism is thriving, offering an experience once reserved for trips overseas. Another two million vines will be planted this year, confirming the wine industry as one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors in the UK. - A recent study found that another 70,000 acres of UK land have potential for wine production, providing great opportunities for expansion. Industry predictions are that Great Britain will produce 40m bottles annually in the next 20 years. - As vineyard numbers grow, so do their workforce: 2000 people are currently employed in the industry, from vineyard workers to winemakers, admin support to cellar door staff. Over the next 20 years, the industry will create some 30,000 new rural jobs, as well as giving a sizeable boost to the economy. Yet, while ever more people are talking about Kent wine, information about our wine industry, its growers and related skills and services is currently scattered and sporadic. With this in mind, the Festival will be the opportunity for Kent’s wine industry to educate and reach new audiences. It will help the sector transition from being relatively niche to having broad appeal. In addition to reaching the general public, the event will engage with hoteliers, shops, bars, restaurants and the wider hospitality industry. The Canterbury Wine Festival will: - Connect the wine industry with a wider community - Boost tourism, both local and wine-related - Unify Kent wine producers under a local umbrella - Offer a promotional stage for wine producers without tourism facilities - Host workshops with Clive Barlow MW to widen the public’s understanding - Facilitate B2B and B2C networking - Promote and strengthen ties with local and regional decision-makers and influencers So please join us in celebrating, supporting and enjoying tasting Kent’s award-winning wines! Tickets available on Eventbrite CONTACTS: Clare Millett, Chief Executive, Westgate Community Trust: 01227 634886 Imogen Morizet, Chair of Trustees, Westgate Community Trust: 07718 055807 Alex Bedford, Event Coordinator: 07768 807881 Clive Barlow, MW, Press Services: 07778 640381