A WINE education business is to close after more than 17 years in York as its owner fears the consumer market in the UK will be hit by the affects of Brexit.

Gareth Morgan, who set up Oinoudidasko in 2001, has announced the business will close at the end of March 2019, when the UK is set to leave the European Union (EU).

Mr Morgan, a member of the Association of Wine Educators, ran his venture from his home in Acomb, alongside holding an academic post at Sheffield Hallam University.

His work has seen him provide a range of educational wine events including masterclasses for those in the wine and hospitality trade, presentations to wine groups and societies, charity fundraising events, university-based events, full day wine courses, and lecturing on wine-themed cruises.

However Mr Morgan says he will no long be able to continue operating Oinoudidasko, named after the Greek phrase I learn of wine, because of the implications to the industry arising from Brexit.

He said: “This has been a hard choice, but I think the decision by the UK to withdraw from the EU will leave UK consumers in a very different position in relation to wine, especially wines from the classic regions of Europe which are my specialisation.

“The fall in the value of the pound against the Euro following the EU Referendum result means prices of most European wines are considerably dearer than a couple of years ago.

“Wines from the EU27 countries sold into the UK will soon face additional barriers if the UK leaves the Single Market, and I think many smaller producers may decide that exporting to the UK is just too difficult. So the range of wines available in the UK may be more limited.

“Moreover, the desire by Brexit-focused politicians to break free from all application of EU laws in the UK could mean before long that the all-important Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) may be unenforceable in the UK.

“So I don’t think there will be much call for wine educators like myself giving presentations on the different appellations of Burgundy, for example. In the worst case we could be back in the situation before the UK joined the EEC in 1973 where wines labelled from some of the top villages of Burgundy could actually be blends with wines from other parts of the world.”

Although his work as a wine educator is not full-time, Mr Morgan says the closure of Oinoudidasko will have an effect on wine groups and consumers who have used his services, on wine suppliers, and on hotels and restaurants which have hosted his events.