Unless negotiators come up with a last-minute trade agreement, the Brexit transition period between the UK and the EU ends on December 31, with far-reaching consequences for wine brands and traders, who may have to realign to the marketing-led approach of southern hemisphere producers.


  • Although the UK has a tiny domestic wine industry (about 1% of total consumption), the country’s maritime trading history and system of bonded warehouses has made it one of the largest exporters of wine in the world. That could be put at risk through the imposition of tariffs and other costs, the Financial Times reported.
  • Wine imports from the EU are worth $3.16bn, or more than double the value of imports from non-EU countries ($1.3bn), and currently do not have to meet the stringent requirements of the VI-1 form which applies to third-party countries. These require bottles to be uncorked for lab tests, for example, adding considerably to costs.


  • On the other hand, wine brands from Argentina, Australia and Chile have had to deal with VI-1 regulations for years, and an industry survey conducted earlier this year by communications agency Sopexa forecast that southern hemisphere wines will prosper in post-Brexit Britain. Australian brands are renowned for their acute focus on marketing.
  • In addition, 79% of the 984 wine trade survey participants predicted ‘healthy growth’ for English sparkling wines.

Key quote

“There’s a huge opportunity for wine brands to attract modern consumers by fighting category norms and communicating in a way that is relevant to their audiences” – Oli Flower, strategy manager at Reprise.

Sourced from Financial Times, Decanter, WARC