Friday (27th March), Black Chalk winemaker, Jacob Leadley sent out the following email shortly after 8pm: “If every person in the UK that loves English or Welsh wine bought a bottle direct from their favourite producer I think we might secure an entire industry and their workforce on one very enjoyable evening.”

This has inadvertently evolved into the hashtag #theBIGenglishwinegoodfriday, which has been circulating on twitter since.

The initial missive has so far been retweeted +100 times and received +250 likes. What started as an early evening musing over a glass of wine, has since escalated into “a thing”. Several English wineries and the industry at large are in agreement that #theBIGenglishwinegoodfriday will take place on Good Friday from 7pm. A number of winemakers – including Jacob and his assistant winemaker at Black Chalk, Zoe Driver – will produce short videos to be released across social media channels, along with tasting notes and commentary posted by wine writers, sommeliers, retailers and other industry figures. It is hoped that momentum will build in the coming days to encourage consumers to order a bottle of English or Welsh wine either direct from the vineyard or from a retailer or agent in time to enjoy on Good Friday evening.

Jacob is really keen to stress that this is about supporting the whole industry and is not a specifically Black Chalk initiative.

“I really didn’t expect this to escalate as it has done. But the original tweet seemed to resonate with the industry as I think we are all searching for some positives right now. It has been so encouraging to see all the messages of support from fellow winemakers, such as Charlie Holland (Gusbourne), Brad Greatrix (Nyetimber) and Tony Milanowski (Rathfinny) and everyone else involved in English and Welsh wine.”

“This is a fantastic initiative that’s bringing together and growing a wide community of English wine lovers. It’s also encouraging consumers to shop local and great to see the support that it has already generated from our friends in the industry and trade,” comments Julia Trustram Eve, marketing manager of WineGB. “We wholeheartedly support this initiative and congratulations to Jacob. In fact we will be rolling out more online events such as this on the following Fridays – keeping #Englishwinenight and #theBIGEnglishwinegoodfriday front of mind!”

WineGB has set up a SHOP LOCAL campaign page for consumers to find vineyards who will deliver direct to their home and which flags up special offers:

Follow #theBIGenglishwinegoodfriday for updates on tastings and activities taking place at 7pm on 10th April. And please like and share widely!