Brexit transition: A bucket list for UK wine lovers

Brexit transition: A bucket list for UK wine lovers

British wine lovers living in the UK will have more time to try some of the ideas below after the country’s government provisionally agreed a Brexit transition deal with the EU, extending single market and customs union membership – plus free movement of people – until the end of 2020.

brexit and wine
Theresa May has said that the UK was prepared to leave the single market.

The UK has provisionally agreed a Brexit transition deal that will last from the official leaving date of 29 March 2019 until the end of 2020.

Assuming that this is implemented, here are several ways that British wine lovers in the UK could use the extra time to take advantage of the status quo.

This list was originally published in March 2017 and has been updated.

Tick off as many EU wine regions as you can

How many wine regions have you visited in the European Union? You’ve got an extra 21 months to tick off as many as you can before you might have to consider some form of tourist visa form-filling.

Sail through customs, hire a vintage car with your EU-valid driving licence and hit the road…

Santorini travel guide

Venetsanos Winery in Santorini.

See Decanter’s wine travel guides

Write a novel in a Tuscan villa surrounded by vineyards


Barone Ricasoli winery, Tuscany.

You could even see out the last months before Brexit by living on the continent.

If you’ve always flirted with a desire to write a best-selling novel in the Tuscan hills, inspired by a few glasses of Sangiovese, then now is the time to do it with no questions asked.

Obviously, it’s likely to be a massive drain on your finances, your communication will be limited if you don’t speak Italian and, given the precarious state of book publishing, you’d be lucky to earn enough to cover your flight home. But, why allow such details to cloud your romantic vision?

NB: You almost certainly can’t rent the one pictured above, unfortunately.

Put yourself to work  in a French vineyard – or a wine bar

Crozes-Hermitage vineyards in the Northern Rhône.

Crozes-Hermitage vineyards in the Northern Rhône. Christopher Grihlé / Inter Rhône.

Grape picking is not for the faint-hearted, but it’s currently possible for UK nationals to work in the European Union without having to worry about whether your work permit papers are still in your back pocket.

Many of the larger wine estates in established regions bring in dedicated teams of skilled pickers, rather than letting loose a bunch of tourists – for obvious reasons.

But, there are a few opportunities out there for beginners and also for those with limited experience. The French employment website might be a good place to look.

Lyon restaurants and wine bars

O Vins d’Anges, Lyon.

Alternatively, and perhaps more realistically, see if you can get casual work in a wine bar or shop.

Bring back a case of wine across the English Channel

Travelling with wine

VinGardeValise’s wine suitcase. It could come in handy…

UK nationals don’t pay duty tax on wines they bring back from other EU countries. You can bring back up to 90 litres of wine duty-free, equivalent to 120 bottles. It’s possible that the UK will end up staying in some form of customs union, but the eventual terms are far from clear.

The exchange rate may be less friendly to Britons compared to several years agpo, but at least you can take advantage of rock-bottom tax in some countries, such as France, and potentially get more choice.

Plus, wine prices have generally risen in the UK since the EU referendum.

Study wine in Europe

university of bordeaux

Age Fotostock / Alamy

The European Union runs an extension of its EU student Erasmus programme called Erasmus+. This includes Masters courses and post-graduate qualifications in a range of subjects, including wine tourism – split between institutions in Spain, France and Portugal. There’s also a wine making Masters course for science graduates, according to the catalogue.

See also: ‘Brexit effect’ hits Champagne sales

The post Brexit transition: A bucket list for UK wine lovers appeared first on Decanter.

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