Digby Fine English, the producer of fine sparkling based in Arundel, West Sussex, today became the official supplier of English sparkling wine to the House of Commons Gift Shops. The House of Commons retail division selected the new vintage of Digby’s flagship style to jointly create the Digby Fine English House of Commons Vintage Brut 2013 (RRP £35.00). Adorned with the House of Commons portcullis and a shimmering neck of Westminster green, the House of Commons Vintage English sparkling is available online now (https://www.shop.parliament.uk/products/house-of-commons-english-sparkling-wine) and in the House of Commons’ three Gift Shops once they reopen tomorrow, Thursday 3rd December.
English sparkling wine is a burgeoning young industry that has come a long way in recent years, building its increasingly prestigious reputation following the centuries-old tradition in this country of drinking sparkling wine from France. The House of Commons wanted to very visibly support the industry by choosing a producer with a focus on excellence, a respect for the past, an international focus and level of quality and a keen emphasis on sustainability for the future. Digby Fine English was selected after a competitive tender process and is also proud to announce today that its wine is net-zero in carbon impact all the way from grape to glass.
Trevor Clough, CEO & Head Blender of Digby Fine English, said, “With this thrilling development today, we are starting to build a new set of traditions – whether toasting the big national moments or enjoying an evening in with loved ones, all with world-class sparkling made right here at home. Becoming the official fizz of the House of Commons is a deep honour for Jason, our team and me – and also a responsibility. We hope our MPs and visitors from around the globe fall in love with the new fizz in town.”
Andrew Griffith, Member of Parliament for Arundel & South Downs where Digby Fine English is based and where the 2013 vintage is produced, said: “I am delighted that Digby, based in the heart of English wine making in West Sussex, is now the official fizz of the House of Commons Gift Shops. An injustice to British growers and drinkers has been corrected – no one imagines the Élysée Palace in France showcasing anything other than their home-grown products. With English Sparkling wine regularly beating French Champagne in blind tastings, visitors to the most iconic of British buildings – Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster – can now secure a souvenir worthy of the location.”
The House of Commons wanted to support the British wine industry by establishing a strong relationship with a British sparking producer and to place these products in front of House of Commons customers in their Gift Shops. The House of Commons operates three retail gift shops on and around the Parliamentary Estate plus their online shop, representing a unique opportunity for Digby to place its products in front of not only a global and growing audience of tourists, but also high-profile Members of Parliament and 4,000 House of Commons staff members who enthusiastically embrace the work of their retail operation.
For years the House of Commons Champagne has been a go-to within the Palace of Westminster, but now there is a new fizz in town which is made by a passionate, local team in English Wine Country. From Digby’s Toast: To Green and Pleasant! Cheers!
How Digby was selected:
The House of Commons retail team launched its tender for its official retail English sparkling wine partner in January 2020, searching for a wine and partner brand that would complement the House of Commons brand and be worthy of its customers, who hail from across the UK and the world. After delays to the process due to the pandemic, Digby was awarded the appointment in August and began top-secret preparations for today’s launch, which coincides with the emergence from November lockdown and reopening of Parliament’s stores.
Digby’s environmental credentials:
One key element of the selection of Digby was its commitment to minimizing its environmental impact. Digby’s commitment to the environment is embodied in the closing lines of the The Digby Toast and replicated on every bottle we sell: To Green and Pleasant, To England. Digby has scrutinised, and continues to scrutinise, the grape-to-glass environmental consequences of every bottle of Digby sold and are proud to say that from January 2020 every bottle sold is Net Zero from a carbon emissions perspective. More details on our ever-evolving work are available here.
Digby has a penchant for winning Gold medals and trophies. The precursor vintage to the brand-new 2013 was presented with the gong “Best-in-Class English Vintage Brut” on top of a Gold medal at world’s most prestigious sparkling wine competition, The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships in November 2019. This same wine had previously won three other Golds, two trophies and pluckily beat Dom Pérignon 2009 and Krug Grande Cuvée in a renowned blind tasting, all helping to cement the impression that Digby’s flagship style is one of England’s best wines.