Three cheers for the winners of 31 Days of German Riesling!

200 restaurants, independent merchants and specialist retailers in over 70 towns and cities across the UK have spent the last 31 Days of July popping, pouring, swirling, sipping and waxing lyrical about German Riesling.

A record number[1] of businesses took part in the 31 Days of German Riesling campaign this year, including an ever-increasing regional following. With over 32%[2] of establishments based in the North of England or Scotland, this increase follows Wines of Germany’s series of targeted regional outreach events in Edinburgh and Manchester earlier in the year, specifically aimed at growing engagement with the campaign outside of the capital. Although the campaign still has a strong following in London, (which accounted for 12% of participants), these new figures clearly show that German Riesling is reaching a much wider UK audience.

31 Days of German Riesling motivates restaurants, bars and independent wine shops across the country to sing the praises of Germany’s star varietal, leading consumers to discover the grape that is already so loved by the trade. Cash prizes are awarded to the businesses that get behind the campaign and promote German Riesling with the most enthusiasm and creativity. This year’s winners are:

On-trade category

Winner – The Hinds’ Head, Bray

Runner up – Arch 13 at Connolly’s, Birmingham 

Highly commended – Halex Vinoteca, London

Off-trade category

Winner – Wined Up Here, Kingston upon Thames 

Runner up – Blanco & Gomez, London

Highly commended – Cork & Cask, Edinburgh

Digital campaign winner

Fourth & Church, Brighton

Lowri Jones
, Restaurant Manager and Head Sommelier at The Hind’s Head shared: “Our staff loved this campaign. From the fun POS to the staff training we held – everyone was on board and learnt lots about the regions, and were able to share stories with customers. Taking on a few new Rieslings meant that our team all had something new to present to diners too. The sparkling Sekt we listed was a real hit!’

Charlotte Dean, owner of Wined Up Here says “We thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the 31 Days of German Riesling campaign this year. It’s a fantastic way to give consumers something new to consider and shine a spot light on such a refreshing and summery wine. We were lucky to have a producer in town during the campaign, so getting him to host an in-store tasting was really great fun and consumers loved it – it encouraged good sales too! We’re looking to build on our campaign for next year and highlight the beautiful German wine growing regions as holiday destinations – and ultimately to get our consumers thinking about German wine in a completely different way.”

Businesses reported listing on average over four different German producers and collectively taking on over 100 new German Rieslings for the campaign. Establishments reported an average sales increase of over 300% for the month and 98% of those who took part would consider participating again next year.

There is great excitement surrounding German wine at the moment, following a survey of 156 independent merchants in the UK earlier this year, 76%[3] of respondents were considering increasing the number of German wines on shelves in the near future, suggesting this movement is set to continue. 

 Nicky Forrest, MD of Wines of Germany UK commented: ‘We are thrilled to see that the UK is still thirsty for more German Riesling! In the eighth year of the campaign we have had a record-breaking number of participants, which shows how enthusiasm for Riesling, and German wines in general, is on the rise. We have a strong base to build on here for our ninth season in 2020 and we’ll be reaching out to consumers directly too to get them involved…watch this space!’

[1] Over 200 establishments took part in the 2019 campaign presenting a 33% uplift YOY

[2] This marks a 45% uplift YOY on participants outside of the capital joining the campaign

[3] Survey conducted by The Wine Merchant in January 2019. 23% of all respondents, (672 businesses in the indie sector) between them run 915 shops.