Most people reading this I guess will be a bit bemused by the idea of English wine. Especially any Johnny and Janet Foreigners. English wine? How does that work? It’s so cold and wet over there! Well, yeah it is, fair enough, but it didn’t stop the Romans a couple of thousand years ago, so it probably shouldn’t stop us now.
The weather is pretty grim in the UK at times, but over the last few years the summers are getting warmer (when it stops raining) and we’re now getting a climate on a similar footing to regions like Champagne inFrance.
Growers have got to select their grapes pretty carefully. You’re not going to be able to grow grapes that need a lot of heat to ripen, but for the same reason there’s not that many mango farms in the UK either, so the need to be selective over what you grow isn’t exactly a new situation.
The explosion of wineries making some serious wines has happened across the South of England. Kent and Sussex, and now Devon, Cornwall, and Wales, have become the beacons of the industry here. That’s now spreading to north to Lancashire and Yorkshire amoungst others. Plantings of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and other cool climate grapes have taken off. Wine production techniques are being perfected, and a marketable champion, the English Sparkling Wine, has been created.
So what about these English sparkling wines? They’re made in the traditional method of the Champagne region. They’re fresh, they’re acidic, and they’re just a great drink. Ok they’re not exactly cheap, but then neither are Champagnes, and it’s those wines you have to compare them with, not the Cavas or Proseccos. The plethora of international awards companies like Nyetimber and Chapel Down are picking up at world trade do’s is firm proof of that.
In the middle of English Wine Week, we couldn’t not have a try of the flagship style could we?
Other posts in NWTW Week 21
From Anuva Wine’s Chapel Down tasting session