The Wine and Spirit Trade Association held a celebration of Welsh wine and spirits at the National Assembly for Wales, giving some of the finest local wine and spirit producers the chance to engage with AM’s and showcase their products.
The event was hosted in conjunction with Janet Finch-Saunders, Assembly Member for Aberconwy, as part of the WSTA’s drive to raise awareness of the British drinks industry. Wine and spirit sales in Wales were worth nearly £1.3 billion in 2017, with around £650 million spent on wine and around £630 million on spirits.
The Welsh wine and spirit industry is going from strength to strength, with number of distilleries reaching 17 distilleries in 2017, according to the latest data from HMRC. This number was just one five years ago. There are also at least 23 vineyards in Wales, producing both still and sparkling wines.
Alongside supporting around 33,000 jobs, it provides around a £400 million windfall for the Treasury each year.
“There is a significant amount of investment going into wine and spirits in Wales, and the industry was worth over £1 billion pounds to the Welsh economy last year, but 48% of this goes straight to the Treasury. That’s why the support of Welsh AMs is so crucial as producers look to invest in their business, and seek to take advantage of new export opportunities as we ready for Brexit,” said Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
Three distilleries took part in the showcase, alongside three vineyards, with products including still and sparkling wine, Welsh whisky and even a gin that changes colour when mixed with tonic.
“It was a great evening at the Senedd and I was proud to host wine and spirit producers from across Wales,” said Janet Finch-Saunders, Assembly Member for Aberconwy and Sponsor of the event. “Their contribution to the economy shouldn’t go unnoticed, and their importance cannot be understated, particularly given that around 33,000 jobs across Wales rely on them.”