Sussex wines join Champagne and Burgundy with new protected status

The designation is expected to boost the local economy and the next generation of UK wine growers.

Wine from the Sussex region has been awarded protected status, joining other prestigious regions such as Champagne and Burgundy.

This means that wines labelled with "Sussex" must be grown in either East or West Sussex and pass tests by an independent tasting panel.

The government announced Sussex wine will be designated as a UK Geographical Indication (GI).

GI status provides a guarantee to consumers that the product they are buying is the real thing and prevents imitation products.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said the move will encompass Sussex sparkling, still and origin wines.

Sussex wine is joining the family of special products including Scotch Whisky, Welsh Lamb and Herefordshire Cider

The recognition means Sussex wine joins the family of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) registered products from across the UK and beyond.

Sussex wine is joining the family of special products including Scotch Whisky, Welsh Lamb and Herefordshire Cider.

The designation follows on from the launch of the Government’s Food Strategy earlier this week, which highlighted the contribution of the food and drink sector to the levelling-up agenda and measures to encourage consumers to buy more local produce.

Food and Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis, said: "This registration, possible thanks to Brexit, demonstrates the ambition of Sussex wine producers to share their product at home and abroad.

"The UK has developed an-ever growing reputation for high-quality wine, with Sussex wine receiving widespread international recognition and investment – with a 90% increase in vineyards in the South Downs national park since 2016.  

"A year ago, I said that I look forward to the day when, as a treat, we no longer have a glass of champagne but we can together have a glass of Sussex. That day has come."

The county has a long history of growing grapes and wine producers have won some of the top accolades in the world.

Sussex wine producers have won ‘Best Sparkling Wine’ in worldwide international competitions 8 times.

In the International Wine Challenge 2015, Sussex wine producers were awarded six gold medals for sparkling wines.

In the 2015 International Wine & Spirit Competition, a Sussex still producer was awarded a gold medal, the first ever awarded to an English still wine producer.