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East Anglian vineyards toast unsung heroes of coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 17:04 19 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:11 20 May 2020

Free bottles of wine will be offered up to unsung heroes of the coronavirus crisis at #EastAnglianWineNight on May 22  Picture: IAN EVANS

Free bottles of wine will be offered up to unsung heroes of the coronavirus crisis at #EastAnglianWineNight on May 22 Picture: IAN EVANS

Archant

Vineyards across the region are set to raise a glass to heroes of the coronavirus pandemic – by sending them a free bottle of local wine.

Pinot Meurnier grapes  at Tuffon Hall Vineyard  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPinot Meurnier grapes at Tuffon Hall Vineyard Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Wine drinkers are invited to come together at 7pm on Friday, May 22, as vineyards ask them to nominate an #unsunghero who has gone above and beyond during the pandemic, but might not have had the recognition they deserved.

Each vineyard will post an invitation on their social media platforms to customers to find out from them who deserves a bottle of East Anglian wine which will then be delivered locally.

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From the names posted on social media platforms six names will be drawn by each vineyard from a hat and the #unsung heroes across East Anglia will be delivered a bottle of wine to say thank you.

Tuffon Hall VineyardTuffon Hall Vineyard

Wine growers across the region have felt the full economic force of the pandemic, with their on-trade sales to the hospitality sector collapsing overnight.

But vineyards have been fighting back by going online to drive direct sales to consumers.

As a result, most wine producers in East Anglia have seen a 100% upturn in retail sales, says regional wine body WineGB East Anglia.

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Wines grown in the East Anglian region include well-known grape varieties such as Bacchus, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and some more obscure varieties such as Madeline Angevine, Solaris and Huxelrebe.

WineGB East Anglia chairman Laura Robinson said: “We are delighted to be hosting #EastAnglianWineNight on May 22.

“It provides a focal point for our vineyards to connect with their loyal customers, who are sustaining our businesses throughout this crisis.”

Before the lockdown, vineyard customers had been visiting the region’s “stunning” vineyards in ever increasing numbers and purchasing wines at their cellar doors, she said.

But during lockdown this had not been possible.

“Wine tastings have gone virtual through Zoom or delivered via Facebook live and other social media platforms, and sales are online or via drive-in wine shops,” she said.

“The #EnglishWineNight initiative is a way of interacting directly but remotely with our customers and saying thank you for buying local during this difficult time.”

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