MPs have launched an all-party wine group in the Commons to lobby the Government on issues such a fraud and duty harmonisation.
Sponsored by the Wine and Spirit Association, the newly-formed Parliamentary Wine Club will also aim to ensure that the interests of the growing number of small English wineries are represented in Westminster.
Lindsay Hoyle MP, who will act as co-chairman with Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, said: "We hope that members will listen to the issues and act as a voice for the wine trade in Parliament. It's an important and complex industry which must be supported."
One issue the group plans to raise at an early stage is the 60p a bottle "luxury tax" imposed on sparkling wine, which dates back to a 19th century attempt by the Treasury to raise funds for the navy. Jo Williamson, chairman of the Wine and Spirit Association, described the outdated tax as "a key example of the need to encourage dialogue".
(Pictured l-r: MPs Jo Williamson, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Quentin Rappoport, Lindsay Hoyle and Paul Boateng raise a glass to wine)