A passionate plea for the Government to ditch serving foreign plonk at official events and replace it with quality English wine has gone out from Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert.
He urged ministers to consign Presecco, Cava, Champagne ‘and other inferior brands’ to the cellars in favour of home-grown wines.
Among award-winning wine producers in West Sussex are the Bolney Wine Estateat Bolney; Nyetimber at Pulboroough, Ridgeview at Ditchling and the Albourne Estate at Hassocks.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Herbert said: “There has been a remarkable increase in wine production in my constituency in West Sussex.
“I believe that I now have more wine producers than any other constituency. Is this not the time for a co-ordinated stragegy to promote these excellent wines, which beat others from around the world in wine tastings?
Environment secretary Liz Truss said she planned to hold talks in the New Year with wine industry officials to see how the industry could be encouraged to grow still further.
She added: “I recently held an event in Shanghai, China, with English sparkling wine producers and I am encouraging all my colleagues right across Government to use English sparkling wine as their drink of choice.”