Frequently Asked Questions
What makes English wine so special?
English and Welsh wine is produced from grapes grown here in England and Wales. The unusual climate in the UK creates some distinct wines that challenge our winemakers to create some truly outstanding wines. The lower summer temperatures here mean we have a relatively short ripening period, creating a higher acidity in the finished wine. However this is perfect for the base wines used to create our sparkling wines. The chalk ridge that runs from Champagne region of France across the channel to the UK creates very similar growing conditions to those found with our premium neighbours. The growing conditions are so good here in fact, we are coming first in international competitions where English wine is being put head to head with France's leading Champagne producers.
What should I look out for?
First and foremost, English sparkling wine is an outstanding premium product and should be considered a direct competitor of Champagne. Also consider that many excellent sparkling wines can cost far less than those produced by France's leading Champagne producers. There are also some excellent white and rosé wines which, due to the cooler growing conditions, have a lighter style which make an excellent pairing with fish and pasta, or just simply to drink on their own. Consider Bacchus, a stunning English white varietal reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc but with its own distinct English ‘elderflower’ twist. Also consider Pinot Gris, an excellent crisp style comparable to the finest Alsace producers, or even Chardonnay such as the lightly oaked, delicate Chablis style wine produced by Chapel Down. English and Welsh red wines will always be lighter to medium bodied (no big Shiraz or Cabernets here) but again some excellent Pinot Noir similar to that found in Germany or Alsace can be found, along with our own more traditional varietals such as Dornfelder.
What's the difference between English wine and British wine?
English and Welsh wine is produced to a very exacting standard, and must be produced using fresh grapes grown in their protected geographic region (namely England or Wales). In contrast, British wine is the product of imported grapes or grape concentrate that is made into wine in Britain and usually sold much more cheaply. Sadly, most consumers don’t realise this difference and question why English wine is so much more expensive. English wine should be considered a premium English product, just in the same way as Champagne must come from the Champagne region of France. Great English Wines only sell English and Welsh wines, not British.
Are your wines organic?
Unless otherwise stated, wines listed on Great English Wines should not be considered organic.
Do your wines contain sulphur?
Sulphur is a preservative that has been used in wine for many centuries. With out it, wine will quickly spoil through oxidisation. Although there are some producers that produce sulphur free wine, the ability to maintain consistent quality can be extremely difficult. Unless otherwise stated, wines listed on Great English Wines are expected to contain sulphur (SO2).
How do I contact you?
We are an online retailer and communicate primarily via email. Please use our Contact form should you have a query and we aim to respond within one business day.
How do you deliver?
We use a designated courier for all our deliveries. Recipients must be over 18 and our couriers have been instructed to request ID for age verification purposes should it be considered necessary.
Can I request a delivery be left in a safe place?
Yes, you may designate a safe place in the notes section of your order as you check out, such as ‘leave with neighbor at No.2’. However, all requests for safe place delivery are at your own risk and Great English Wines will not be responsible for theft or breakages once delivery has been made.
Do you deliver outside of the United Kingdom?
Due to the high carriage cost and tight restrictions around shipping glass bottles containing alcohol it can be difficult for us to ship outside of the UK, however we will do our best to accommodate. Our shipping courier restricts us to one bottle per package (up to 1 Litre), and therefore case shipments are usually cost prohibitive. Additionally, we are unable to take responsibility for any breakages for any shipments out of the country, Please contact us for pricing for your specific requirements.
How do I return an item?
We want you to be 100% satisfied with your purchase. English and Welsh wine is made to a very exacting standard and should you have any issues we would like to hear from you. Should you need to request a return, please complete our returns form and we will get back to you.