The last 7 days have proved to be very exciting and a Grand Finale to what was the busiest January I think I’ve ever had. Certainly Jo, who has done tremendous job given all the events we’ve had, felt the pressure the most. However, she did the UKVA proud and has dived straight into The Grape Press since.
This past month has seen the Vintners Dinner, hosted by the Master Vintner of the Company of Worshipful Vintners, a productive Council meeting and, of course, an exciting AGM meeting; and finally, the keynote Clarence House event hosted by our President HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, to celebrate 50 years of the UKVA.
On top of it all the usual work has been going on and the British Sparkling PGI application has also meant we were inundated with enquiries and work related to that. By and large people now ‘get it’ but discussions will be ongoing for quite some time on this issue.
But what a month. It showed us where we are as an industry: confident, celebrated and held in high esteem with a real and dedicated following at all levels of the social strata in British life. It has brought it home to me just what a big deal our industry really is at the moment. Focus, quality and protection and a national body that works on the key issues on behalf of our members remains my priority.
We ended the month on starting a quick industry survey that has been circulated by email in the Bulletin and Members Forum. If you have not had a chance to take part please do. We need your views regardless of the size of your operation. It only takes a minute and the views collected will be used to provide basis for the parameters of the new working group being set up by the Chairman to look at this issue. This survey will close at 5pm on Friday. For the link please refer to the UKVA Bulletin that Jo sent out or scan though the members forum emails, where it was posted recently. I’m not putting it here as outsiders could access the survey and skew the results.
Clearly, there is more to come on this issue so I shall keep you posted.
As I have mentioned in more than one place of late and discussed at the AGM, following on from our first 50 years it is time to consider and develop a digestible vision for the industry and the national body that looks towards the next 50 years.
I shall be issuing some surveys soon – each one bite sized and each one focused on some specific areas, like climate change and the industry, sustainability, commercial sustainability and thoughts about what the future scale of the industry might look like. This will help us all as an industry in tackling issues and building resilience in the short, medium and longer term but it will crucially enable us to properly articulate to government where we see ourselves in the wold and what help we need from them to get us there.
In the depths of winter and that fairly dismal month of January, in a post-turkey haze, many of us amble out amongst our vines and start the pruning. The more virtuous amongst us have probably already done it by now (I exclude myself from that description). Wherever you are in your pruning endeavours I wish you fair weather and a good growing season ahead.