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Wines with a conscience at IET London: Savoy Place

As consumer demand grows for wines aligned to a more responsible philosophy, IET London: Savoy Place has been scouring the wine-producing world to reconsider its drinks offering for events.

The UK retail market has seen a staggering 47% increase in organic wine in just 12 months, according to the Soil Association Certification’s annual Organic Market Report 2020. Venues, restaurants and caterers are therefore called to assess the relativity of reducing air miles through locally sourced wines and consider the nature of the production processes in vineyards too.

With delegates taking more of an interest in where their food and drink comes from, Savoy Place has applied its values of efficiency, inspiration and responsibility to source the most appropriate wine suppliers for its new ‘Wines with a Conscience’ menu. Forming part of a wider environmental initiative, the venues will offer a new variety of organic, biodynamic, sustainable and vegan wine that doesn’t compromise on taste, sourced from European vineyards that operate on a self-sustaining ecosystem. Natural materials, soils and composts are used, with chemical fertilizers and pesticides banned from operation.

Closest to home, the menu will feature Bacchus, an organic white wine from London’s only commercial vineyard, Forty Hall, where grapes are grown naturally to preserve the natural characteristics of the vineyard, its soil and microclimate. As well as monitoring its environmental impact, the vineyard considers its social impact, running ‘ecotherapy’ outreach programmes for volunteers suffering from mental health problems. Overall, 90% of volunteers reported that their involvement at the vineyard made them feel more socially connected, while 68% felt generally more positive.

On the decision to introduce Wines with a Conscience, Sean Spencer, Head of Venues and Facilities at the IET said: “We’re very aware of the benefit of using local suppliers, which we do where possible, but when crafting our new wine list, we wanted to spend time weighing up the best options in terms of environmental, economic and social sustainability, as well as taste and quality. It’s still incredibly important to consider reducing our carbon footprint through the reduction of air miles from overseas suppliers, but there is far more to consider from a conscious perspective which we are pleased to reflect in this new wine list.”

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