So, London Cru officially exists and it’s been great to finally tell people what we’re doing. We wanted to take the chance to answer a few questions which have been asked about the project. Hopefully this will give you a sense of exactly what we are up to, but more than that, of why this project makes us so excited.
Why are you not using English fruit?
Doing this in London liberates us; we have no rules to follow and frankly we are seduced by the sheer range of possibilities on offer. We just want the best, most interesting fruit to turn into the best wines we can make. This is sure to include British grown fruit at some point but London Cru was always about showcasing the best fruit we could find from across all of Europe.
Why French grapes this year? Because we have excellent, well-established relationships with top French growers who could guarantee us access to quality fruit. For future vintages we hope to work different varieties and countries, but quality will always take precedence.
So you’re making a British Wine?
British Wine is a denomination for wines made in the UK from grapes grown in Europe, however, these are often shipped as concentrated must (juice) rather than fresh grapes. We could use this classification but what we chose to put on the bottle is essentially an administrative choice. Our wines will be London Cru wines and this means the following always apply:
- Made from parcels of fresh fruit sourced from great growers with whom we have a close relationship and a respect for how they work.
- Made from fruit transported as carefully as possible to ensure it reaches London in optimum condition.
- Made by a skilled team in a great winery whose sole aim is to make the best wines possible.
When we were developing the idea one aspect which quickly became a line in the sand was that London Cru was not going to be a gimmick. We want to make wines that hold their own against bottles from the area where the fruit is grown, and we’re determined to deliver on this.
The UK wine industry still struggles to engage people without avoiding the two extremes of connoisseurship and the reductive ‘it’s all just fermented grapes; here’s a picture of a koala on the label’ approach. For us this is the key reason the average bottle price in the UK is still only £5; even after the recent duty increases.
We want to be part of the process of convincing people to care more about the wines they drink and where they come from. We hope that the opportunity to get involved with the wine-making process, to touch, see and taste the product from grape through to the finished bottle will inspire people to care that little bit more about wine and how they choose to enjoy it.