Brexit and our wines
July 31, 2016
It has only been a few weeks since the British citizens voted to leave the EU, I wasn’t allowed to vote, and If I had, I would have voted to remain. I am Italian but I feel a EU citizen, I grew up in Europe. Thanks to the EU, I was given the opportunity to study in France, made plenty of European friends including British, opened my mind and discovered new cultures, then, after University, thanks to the EU again and its free movement, I came to England and sixteen years later, I now run my businesses, made plenty more British friends, employ British people and I feel at home. I was born in Italy but spent half of my life in the UK and if there was a European passport, I would probably be entitled to one and I know plenty like me, that left the country in which they were born and now live and work in the UK, contributing to make the UK a better place.
What next for me, for us, non British, is a big question mark, will I be sent back to Italy or allowed to remain in the UK? The same uncertainty is affecting the wine industry. The immediate consequence of the vote has been the drop of the value of the pound versus the Euro and the Dollar and this will gradually starting to affect our daily live, including our wines.
Plenty have already written about the consequences of Brexit for the wine industry and whilst the articles I came across were discussing about the possible price increase, European wines are paid in Euros and all others in Dollars, my worry is that we won’t see any change in the actual price, shelves will still be full of cheap wine, but their quality will be even poorer, wineries will try to maintain their market share by bottling cheaper wine, with the ultimate effect of pushing small and good wineries away, leaving only cheap and mass produced wine, it is not the first time that price increase are avoided by reducing the quantity or quality of the products in question.
Italian wine makers are worried, like everyone else, the only winners at the moment seem to the British wineries, but whether British wine will really become our favourite is still to be proved and the wineries themselves are facing a gigantic challenge and will be interested to see what happens, whether they will be able to maintain their quality and integrity while potentially facing a massive demand.
I dont know whether the people that voted for Britain to leave Europe have fully thought the consequence of their vote and that their vote would have affected the cost of their wine, if they had considered whether their much loved, good quality Prosecco, would have suddenly become way too expensive for a Prosecco.
Nobody really know what will happen to us, European, and our wines, there is no clear future, we are taking each day as it comes, but my only hope is that EU and Britain find a way to work things out, not just for me but also for our wines
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