An award-winning wine created by the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has been selected for sale by the Midcounties Co-op, in time for Christmas.

Cotswold Hills dry white wine is harvested at the RAU’s vineyard in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, with students involved throughout the process from grape to shop shelf.

Buyers from Midcounties, the UK’s largest independent co-operative, said the wine ‘pairs brilliantly with turkey’ and that it chose the new canned version of the drink because of its sustainability credentials and its stocking-filler size. It will retail alongside a bottled version, which it praised for its branding featuring the famous Cotswolds brown hare drawn by RAU alumnus Sophie Cotton. The ripe grapes have been handpicked ever since the University took over the tenancy of the 2.6 hectare vineyard in 2016.

Cotswold Hills is a social enterprise project providing support for students who want to start-up their own businesses.

Katy Duke, head of enterprise at the RAU said: “It’s very exciting to see our Cotswold Hills wine on the shelves of a quality retailer in our region. Each year students involved in the social enterprise project work hard to get the wine ready for retail both in shops and at events, so it’s a real milestone for a brand like Midcounties to also recognise its quality.”

Patrick Lane, first year Land Management student said: “It is fantastic that we have the Midcounties Co-op as a new outlet. The support that both Cotswold Hills, and English wine in general, is now receiving is extremely exciting!”

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