California wine trade gives UK its backing despite Brexit

03 July, 2016

The special relationship will continue

Californian wineries have given their backing to the UK trade in the wake of the decision to leave the EU.

The Brexit news sent the pound plummeting to a 31-year low against the dollar, making it tougher for US business to sell to the UK.

Many business leaders are convinced that sterling will rally as markets grow in confidence, and leading Californian wineries say they are as determined as ever to ramp up sales on this side of the pond.

Steve Millier, winemaker at Ironstone Vineyards, told OLN: “The UK is an important market for us. We have been working in the UK for some time and,
no matter what happens with Brexit, we intend to continue working with our partners there.

“The challenge will probably be economic at least in the short term, but our wines are in a great price point so hopefully that is short lived. Our goal is to continue to build our brands in the UK.”

Cameron Frey, vice president at Ramey Wine Cellars, said:
“I personally feel honoured to work with UK retailers and look forward to seeing more of our wines there in the future.”

Vivien Gay, international sales manager at Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars, said: “The UK is an important global market and, as such, is very important to us. It really is too soon to say what the impending Brexit will do to the market but with the immediate plunge of the pound sterling to the dollar, price increases are inevitable.

“I am particularly disheartened as I have felt that US wines were finally gaining recognition and momentum in the UK – I believe the potential Brexit could put us back years. The uncertainty is very unnerving.

“On a positive note, new trade agreements will have to be worked out. While these could take some time given the UK’s potential long exit from the EU, in the long run these agreements could have a positive impact. But that is a very long-term view.”

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