Popping the Brit Fizz: Christopher Walkey interviews Nusrat Ghani MP (Member of Parliament)

3rd April 2017


A glass of bubbly is becoming more and more the choice of many when it comes to enjoying wine these days and what a splendid choice we now have from nearly each and every corner of the globe from Austrian to Argentinian, South African to Indian.

I think many in the wine industry would say that it is no longer a secret, nor a trend that show signs of fading, a chance year or merely a unique phenomenon, but English Sparkling Wine is a junior member of the worldwide wine industry which is showing no signs of going away and has the undertones of a potential booming business sector. Winning awards in front of the king of Bubbles, Champagne, even attracting investment from them would you believe and also being chosen as many times equal if not better than it’s closest rival just over the channel in blind tastings.

English Sparkling Wine must also be credited for its business presence in my mind though. Making wine is a craft, a skill, maybe it’s an art, but we also need some clever and hard working business people behind the scenes to take what for many of them is a passionately driven hobby, to a business with world wide recognition and success. Any brand that can take itself global surely deserves a pat on the back and some positive exposure and backing.

Photo credit: Nusrat Ghani MP

So, here’s where I wanted to both get to know better and ask questions to a lady who has helped to further increase the profile of English Sparkling Wine and in many ways has given it stronger business recognition, Nusrat Ghani MP. Her recent drive to have English Wines served in all British Embassies across the globe got great praise in the House of Commons and will hopefully see people’s share its focus towards not only the fine tasting drop of bubbly we are producing in this country of ours, but highlighting also the business success too.

Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions today Nusrat:

Positive news is always warmly received these days and it seems that English Sparkling Wine is certainly getting it’s fair share recently and for sure your recent bill to introduce English Wine in all British Embassies internationally is another thumbs up for English Bubbly. Do you think English Bubbly deserves to be served on merit above Champagne / Prosecco / Cava etc?

English Sparkling Wine can compete with the very best Champagne, Prosecco and Cava. France doesn’t have a monopoly on sparkling wine and nor does any other country! But English wine needs to be talked about, marketed and served so that it has the opportunity to compete with the very best wine from elsewhere and that’s why I’m trying to get our embassies to serve it as a matter of course. Great British produce deserves a global audience.


Your constituency sits in the middle of a very respected and busy English Sparkling Wine region – How do you find these wineries presence in relation to their business set up and chance for growth – Can they sit shoulder to shoulder with other world famous Champagne / Sparkling Wine brands such as Krug, Veuve Clicquot, Villa-Sandi Prosecco and more as let’s face it, English people are known for being entrepreneurial and the country has a great many fantastic business brands. Maybe you think that English wines is just a passion over any real business venture?

The great thing about British business, and especially British businesses which produce agriculturally-based produce, is that they combine passion, quality and business nous. Growing a new industry, and particularly one that is up against such established brands, demands passion and entrepreneurial spirit and expertise. Winemakers in England have shown incredible ability and commitment to create an English wine industry as successful as it is today. Now they just need our backing to push it to the next level.

There are some wonderful people behind English Sparkling Wines that I have met, the industry is full of passion, innovation, charming characters and extraordinary talent – Have you found this to be the case also?

My constituency is home to many fantastic vineyards – over a dozen, such as Jonica and Gerard Fox’s Sussex Fox & Fox Vineyards and Joyce Tay’s Bluebell Vineyard Estates. They are successful because they are passionate about their product and their brand, but also because their product is brilliant. They’ve taken huge risks and still do, but that’s because they want to make English wine and sparkling wine successful. We must congratulate them and back them all the way – they are great local employers, their vineyards attract visitors to the area and they’re putting English wines and sparkling wine on the map.

A glass of Champagne or a glass of English Sparkling Wine?

Let’s champion our local entrepreneurs and risk-takers, and back award-winning English sparkling wine!

Interview between Nusrat Ghani MP and Christopher Walkey (Founder of Glass of Bubbly).

If you would like the be interviewed by Christopher about Champagne / Sparkling Wine then please contact christopher@glassofbubbly.com


Glass of Bubbly

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