I’m right in the middle of getting my arse round as many UK wineries as I can. I really didn’t know that many to begin with. Most wine-o’s have heard now of guys like Nyetimber, Gusbourne, and Chapel Down, but the list just goes on and on. So when I came across something on the net about Langham Winery in Dorset opening a new tasting room, the ol’ lightbulb in my head popped on and a couple of weeks later I was in the car with the wife, dog, and the tent!
This was my first trip to a vineyard in Dorset. When I travel to Hampshire or Sussex, it’s only an hour or so south of where I live to the centre of the vines. Dorset? Hmmm, bit further, so any trip needs a bit more planning. But once you get there you never really mind too much. It’s a lovely part of the country.
We were hosted by Dan, head wine maker and brand new dad! He’s a British lad who started his interest in wine whilst making his merry way round the South Island of New Zealand. A couple of moves later and he was back in the UK, studying at Plumpton (the wine university in Sussex), and making his way round some assistant winemaker roles. Then last year Justin, the owner of Langham, offered him the job there as head winemaker. No brainer right?
My big “take home” was that Langham’s not one of these new UK wineries with lots of knobs and whistles all over the place. All the cellar rooms are kitted out old farming houses. The new tasting room was done on a tight budget, but manages to pull it off perfectly. It all adds to what Langham seemed to be about. It’s a “never mind the bollocks” attitude, all the important stuff is spot on! Dan and Justin have got every chance of continuing the dream of high premium English bubbles.