The new measure will put Sussex wines from local vineyards including Wiston, Nyetimber, Digby and Bolney, on the same protected status as the French and Italian wines so consumers can have confidence they are supporting local vineyards.
Still, sparkling and origin wines will only be allowed to be called ‘Sussex’ if they are grown in the region and meet a strict set of criteria.
This is a step forwards for local vineyards, who join other iconic British foodstuffs such as Cornish clotted cream, Scottish whisky and Melton Mowbray pork pies, to make sure that inauthentic imposters can’t pass off inauthentic products as genuine.
MP for Arundel and the South Downs, Andrew Griffith – who founded the Wine of GB All Party Parliamentary Group – said: “Delighted that this puts Sussex Wine in its rightful place alongside some of the worlds finest products. It is the conclusion of a long campaign by myself and other Sussex MP’s and is a real boon to the growing producer economy across Sussex.
"I want people at home and abroad to be queueing up to buy Sussex Wine, and this announcement today – ahead of Sussex Day – will make that all the more possible. This geographical status protection will be a clear marker of quality for wine aficionados who want to support authentic, locally-sourced produce.”
Sales of English wines have soared by nearly a third last year to seven million bottles, according to WineGB which represents UK winemakers. Britain could be in line for another bumper wine crop this year thanks to a predicted long, warm summer and autumn.
Sussex wine producers have already won a string of top awards for their produce – racking up ‘Best Sparkling Wine’ in worldwide international competitions eight times, alongside a string of gold medals.
The protected status is said to be being introduced under new freedoms outside of the EU’s trade restrictions.
Food and Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis, told The Sun: “This registration, possible thanks to Brexit, demonstrates the ambition of Sussex wine producers to share their product at home and abroad.