Wines of Great Britain (WineGB), a national organisation of grape growers and winemakers, has announced new initiatives to support producers during the crisis created by Covid-19.

The initiatives are aimed at boosting sales of English and Welsh Wines impacted by the closure of cellar door sales and supply to the hospitality industry.

WineGB chairman Simon Robinson said: “We’ve been hit pretty hard by Covid-19 and the lockdown, although as part of the agricultural sector we are permitted to continue some of our operations compared to some other industries.

“Many have lost significant business through the closure of cellar doors and tastings and of course the shutting down of the hospitality industry which is a major source of income for some. However, we are greatly encouraged to see the increase in internet sales over the last weeks which is helping many.”

As part of its support to the producer, a series of online weekly ‘socials’ initiated by the WineGB and has also started an event called #EnglishWineNight on social media that is taking place every Friday at 7pm for an hour.

Each series of Wine Nights will focus on a different regional vineyard association in the country.

Through these initiatives, WineGB aims to help UK wine producers to sell their wine and enable consumers to purchase the product.

Additionally, the initiatives include a ‘Shop Local’ page on the WineGB website, which focuses on the vineyards that are selling online, together with retailers that stock English and Welsh wines.

Due to uncertainty created by the pandemic, The English Wine Week and Welsh Wine Week have been moved to 20-28 June.

WineGB’s marketing manager Julia Trustram Eve said: “We are hoping that as some restrictions are lifted there will be greater opportunity to encourage activity to celebrate the Week.

“We know that English Wine Week is such a popular campaign for vineyards and the many outlets they supply and we wanted to ensure we could give maximum support in light of the changing circumstances this year.

“Our wish is that come June we will all be able to look ahead to the summers months with a bit more hope.”