We are open as normal...

The WineGB office is open and operating normally.  You can email to [email protected] or telephone +44 (0)1858 467 792;  the team are endeavouring to provide the normal level of service but please be patient and considerate if we are a little slow to respond. For the latest updates read our BULLETINS.

Guidance and links are in three sections below: Health & Safety, Business Support and Industry Support.

19th December: The Tier System Impact on Vineyards and Wineries

The health secretary Matt Hancock has announced that more counties and towns will be placed in Tier 3 with the highest level of restrictions, from midnight on Saturday 19 December, as Covid-19 infection rates increase.
These areas include Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Surrey (omitting Waverley), Hastings and Rother, Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant. However, Bristol and North Somerset will move from Tier 3 to Tier 2. Herefordshire will move from Tier 2 to Tier 1. You can find out your Tier and restrictions on the Government website.

WineGB’s interpretation of the Government measures is given below, but urges members to check the Government website.

Under Tier 2
WineGB understands that businesses classed as hospitality, such as restaurants, can stay open until 11pm (last orders at 10pm), serve alcohol only with ‘substantial meals’, and operate a table service. We understand that essential retail will include off-licences which means that cellar-door shops can remain open and sell wine without pre-order, as long as Covid-19 secure guidelines are followed.
We presume that tours (but not tastings or the serving of alcoholic drinks) are permitted in Tier 2 but confined to outdoors only. We understand that outdoor visits to vineyards are permitted subject to the ‘rule of six’.

Under Tier 3
WineGB understands that on-trade businesses (such as restaurants) will only be permitted to open for deliveries, click and collect and take-aways. However, we understand that essential retail will include off-licences which means that cellar-door shops can remain open and sell wine without pre-order as long, as Covid-19 secure guidelines are followed. Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. Tours cannot take place.

Under Tier 1
A few vineyards will be fortunate enough to be under Tier 1. Businesses and venues can remain open, in a Covid-19 secure manner. Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to: provide table service only, for premises that serve alcohol, close between 11pm and 5am and stop taking orders after 10pm. Tours can take place following the 'rule of six'.


In these challenging times we will be doing our best to identify issues which we think will be relevant to you and provide guidance. However, please note that details for many things are sometimes pretty scanty so we may not be able to provide a complete answer.

Please let us know of any relevant experience you have e.g. if you have difficulty accessing some of the Government’s assistance schemes. If you do not want to raise questions in a public forum, please feel free to email me or any other member of the team. Please also note that we expect government guidance to change over time so it is important that you keep up to date with the current situation.

I also want to assure members that business at WineGB is continuing as normal as far as possible although obviously many of our events have had to be postponed or cancelled. Our 'Project Portfolio' is available and regularly updated on the website. Please click here for the WineGB Project Portfolio.

This information is in the public area of our web site so it will be available to non-members as well. Not our usual standpoint as you know but these are exceptional times and I think it is the right thing to do.

With best wishes to you all,
Simon Robinson, Chairman

Legal Notice & Disclaimer

Please be aware that all information provided by WineGB is subject to this Legal Notice & Disclaimer.

Government Updates

Sign up for Government updates by email: ‘Stay up to date with GOV.UK’.


The NFU has comprehensive advice for members regarding Covid-19 on its website

WineGB Webinars

The following Covid-19 related webinar videos are available:

Government Guidance

To ensure you get the latest Government information start from the MAIN CORONAVIRUS PAGE from where you can navigate to whichever section you are interested in, or you can SEARCH ALL GOVERNMENT CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION. There are some quick links below but they may change or become out of date so if in doubt, start from the main Government Coronavirus page link above.

Business Support

CJRS (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme)


Department for International Trade:

Companies House:

Advice from Deloitte:

Seasonal Workers:

Key Worker Certificates:

Two forms are available from WineGB:

  1. Essential Worker Certificate (template letter) - self employed (download)
  2. Essential Worker Certificate (producer letterhead) - employee (download)

The producer certificate suggests it remains valid for three months; if for some reason the employee leaves your employment, you should ask him/her to return the certificate to you. Also note:

  • The person concerned must NOT be showing symptoms of the virus or live with someone who is or who is self-isolating
  • You should consider carefully – and preferably document somewhere – that you have thought about whether the person really is essential to the business.
  • The certificates are only effective for travel to and from work.

DEFRA has also issued a certificate that can be used by key workers for journey which can be used along with the letter from the Environment Secretary.

Confidential Business Advice

Simon Thorpe MW - Master of Wine with 30+ years of experience at the commercial end of the wine industry. Help with creating simple and actionable ideas.

Simon Bond - Sales and Marketing focussing upon e-Commerce within the IT industry. Help with marketing and promotion ideas to create tactical plans.

Their help is offered on a completely Pro Bono (no cost) basis and would be confidential. Contact the WineGB office by email: [email protected] for more information.

Industry Support

WineGB Partners, Patrons and Suppliers Supporting Our Industry

A. E. Chapman

In order to keep producers supplied with bottles A. E. Chapman has taken the decision to remain open and to provide as normal a service as possible, with good availability on most bottles. The lead time on ordered lines is about 1 to 2 weeks. Please call A. E. Chapman on 020 7622 4414 any time between 8.00am and 3.00pm Monday to Friday or send an email to [email protected] or [email protected]. You can also visit their website for more information.

Bruni Erben

Looking in to ongoing supply of corks and closures from Italy. Current stock list and contact details can be found here.

DEFRA assistance for our industry

DEFRA has reached out to offer help to our industry members with problems or concerns relating to the coronavirus outbreak. In the first instance please get in touch either with your Regional Chair or email WineGB: [email protected] and we can collate the common issues and request help from DEFRA.

MHA Carpenter Box

MHA Carpenter Box are able to offer members financial advice.

Murphy & Son

Murphy and Son, a British company with over 130 years of supplying the drinks industry, have teamed up with sparkling wine/Champagne specialists Perdomini-IOC and are able to provide winery supplies via their website ordering system: click here.

This includes supply and delivery of all sanitation, filtration and winemaking requirements.

NFU Mutual

The NFU Mutual Risk Management Services team are now to provide a Health and Safety Covid service (for free to policy holders). Other information on the website inlcudes: ‘Guidance on preventing the spread of coronavirus in the workplace’ and ‘Guidance on PPE, First Aid and RIDDOR reporting’.
For more information click here.

N P Seymour

With shows and events being postponed and cancelled, WineGB Patron and specialist dealership NP Seymour is bringing the latest viticultural tractor and machinery news, grower interviews and insights direct to your inbox. Claire Seymour and the team would like to wish all those in the viticulture industry well at this difficult time. NP Seymour is continuing to support growers and winemakers and is striving to keep sales, parts and service as normal as possible, while prioritising the health and safety of its customers, staff and suppliers.
To read the newsletter and to subscribe click here.

Paris Smith

Paris Smith will support WineGB to ensure that WineGB members have access to legal and any other information that will help inform them over matters concerning their businesses.
Paris Smith is updating its website frequently as information from the Government and other sources becomes available. The specialist employment department can also work with employers to prepare a customised letter to issue to employees on furlough leave.

Please see the following blog posts for further information and details of how to contact the team.



Rankin Brothers & Sons remain open for business

Rankin Brothers & Sons has launched a campaign to support local Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries. This is a social media campaign that celebrates the benefits of buying local and buying direct. It is designed to drive interest in local businesses and to encourage consumers to go on a journey of discovery - to see what gems exist on their doorstep!
Click here for more details or contact [email protected].

WineGB Patron Rankin Brothers & Sons remains open for business and the company is working hard to ensure that orders can be supplied without significant delay. The company carries a range of standard closures in stock including corks for still and sparkling wines, foils and wire-hoods in plain colours and crown caps.  Click here for Rankin Customer Statement

Please contact the sales team on 01844 203100 or via [email protected]

Rankin suggests keeping an eye out for regular updates that will be posted via their website and social media channels: www.rankincork.co.uk , Facebook: @rankinbrothersandsons, instagram: @rankincork

Strutt & Parker

Aware that many Wine GB members require guidance, and many are experiencing frustrations with the business rate exemption laid out by the government to support businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, James Thompson from the Strutt & Parker dedicated business rate team is available to assist WineGB members. Please email James Thompson (and cc Edward Mansell-Lewis).
Contact details:
[email protected]
[email protected]