Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has officially opened a brand-new Tasting Lodge at Llanerch Vineyard and seen the grape work taking place as Welsh Wine Week starts today (Saturday 4 June).
Now in its third year, Welsh Wine Week celebrates the wonderful wines produced at vineyards in Wales.
The annual event is organised by the Welsh Drinks Cluster, supported by the Welsh Government, and works with vineyards, retailers and wholesalers to promote the sector and its first-class products.
Several events are taking place between today and Sunday 12th June including expert guided tours and tastings.
Full event listings can be found on the dedicated Welsh Wine Week website.
Since the last annual event, Wales’ wines have become recognised internationally
as Monmouthshire’s White Castle Vineyard beat the world’s best producers to win Gold at the Decanter World Wine Awards for its Pinot Noir Reserve 2018.
This was the first Welsh wine to win Gold at the prestigious awards and provided a boost for Welsh wine production on the international stage.
Llanerch has become the largest commercial vineyard in Wales and attracts visitors from around the world with its award-winning restaurant and bar, unique marquee and lodge wedding venues, and wine tasting and vineyard tours.
Ryan Davies took over the vineyard in 2010, with the aim to replicate the successful wine tourism models he had seen whilst working in vineyards in New Zealand and Australia.
Ryan said: “It was great to welcome Lesley Griffiths to Llanerch, to show how we have diversified and grown into a tourism destination based around a vineyard over the last 10 years.
“Wales has some fantastic vineyards, producing a great range of wines that are helping to complement the tourism offer for visitors coming to Wales.
“With the number of vineyards increasing and additional vines being planted it’s a rewarding time to be working in an industry that is rapidly growing and proving itself on the world stage.”
Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths said: “The Welsh wine industry continues to thrive, and more and more people each year can enjoy the wonderful flavours of Wales by attending Welsh Wine Week events.
“Vineyards in Wales have shown their resilience during a difficult past two years, and we have seen fantastic innovation and skill which has been recognised with major awards.
“It has been great to visit Llanerch Vineyard, to open their new Tasting Lodge and meet with Ryan and the team to see the great work taking place.
“I wish everyone taking part in Welsh Wine Week a very successful event as our country’s exceptional wine offering is celebrated.”
Welsh Drinks Cluster Lead, Mark Grant said: “The Drinks Cluster was formed back in 2017 to encourage Welsh drinks producers to collaborate together to grow the sector in Wales.
“The cluster now works with over 200 drinks producers across Beer & Cider, Wine, Spirits, Water & Soft Drinks and Hot Beverages, helping them to build their brands, scale up, improve their skills and embrace innovation.
“Welsh Wine Week is a great example of this work where we are increasing the on-line presence of the Welsh vineyards and enabling customers to find out more about the high-quality wines produced here in Wales.
“We are grateful that the minister has been able to join us at Llanerch to help us launch Welsh Wine Week and for her continued support of the Drinks Cluster.”