What is it with me and horses? There’s a Peter Kay quote that says “you always feel slightly nervous when patting a horse”, well that’s me to a tee. But weirdly my time in the wine world has got me up close and personal with quite a few now, and my visit to Danebury Vineyards in Hampshire last week got me back on the saddle…as it were!
Danebury are a bit different to a lot of other English wine producers in the area as they aren’t going for the champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot noir, and Pinot Meunier. They’ve got grapes like Auxerrois, Schoenburger, and Madeleine Angevine, arguably because the ridiculously rich Austrian fella who owns it loves that style of wine. Well fair play to him, cos I love it too! Really gentle and subtle flavours, much more floral and fresh than the champagne-style of elsewhere.
One of the best things about Danebury though, is its setting. Yes I can wax lyrical a bit here about what a beautiful vineyard it is and all this jazz, but I mean more about the historical setting. The vineyards used to be the paddock of the old racecourse of Stockbridge. Back in the day this was up there as the number one racecourse in the world, with kings and queens and all kinds of punters flocking there year on year for the famous Derby.
It’s to rack and ruin now, it shut in 1898, but you can still see part of the old grandstand from the vineyard. So as a nod to the past, Danebury decided to call their sparkling wine “Cossack” after the famous local horse that won the 1847 Derby. Fast forward to today and there’s a racecourse stable just down the road who have called one of their new horses “Sparkling Cossack” as a nod back.
Look, the wines are great, but don’t you just love those little stories?
INVESTMENT TIP: Sparkling Cossack is part of a crowdfunding scheme, so if you want to be a part owner of a racehorse from as little as £100…