Just flicking through some of the headlines from the weekend and came across this article from Patrick Schmitt MW writing in the Drinks Business. He had a chat recently with Richard Balfour-Lynn, owner of Hush Heath winery in Kent.
Big take home from the article is that it’s not good enough for English wine to just “expand”. We need to develop the markets and the method of selling, be it cellar door, wine tourism or retail here and abroad. Going into this blind, thinking it’s just an easy lifestyle industry is a sure fire way to lose your shirt, and you’ll be lucky to survive the next 5 years.
I’d like to add that setting up vineyards and wineries right now without any consideration to sustainability initiatives is criminal and destined to be on the wrong side of consumer trends. But that’s just me.
Check out the full article on the Drink’s Business Website…
There are certain people you meet in life that just impress you. When two of them are married to eachother then you’re pretty sure they’ll have achieved something pretty special over the years. That’s definitely true of Roger and Sue Jones, and last week I was lucky enough to be there as they celebrated 20 years of their Michelin Star restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, with friends and family. And there were some mighty wines to help us on the way…
The UK’s love affair with Prosecco is well known. Less well known is that Prosecco’s production method is very different to some of the other famous bubbles around the world, including Champagne, Cava, and the world class bubbles being made in the UK. That is until now, as a Norfolk based wine producer, Flint Vineyard, has released a Prosecco-style english fizz, and I can’t wait to give it a try.
UK drinkers can be forgiven for not having tried much Cap Classique before. The South African traditional method bubbles has a flagship producer in Graham Beck, with stock listing in Waitrose and Majestic Wine, amongst others, but going up against the classic Champagne or Cava, the marketing drives from Franciacorta and Crémant, and the burgeoning English bubbles scene, it’s not all that easy. But to a certain extent that doesn’t hugely matter, the local market doesn’t leave much left over for anyone!
Onto February in my top wine memories of 2017, and a British belter for you all from Hampshire. Get stuck into UK bubbles everyone!!
FEBRUARY: Exton Park Brut NV, Hampshire
“February brought a Hampshire Vines tasting at 67 Pall Mall’s downstairs bar, you know, the one they allow the riffraff into.
I’m so pleased to see how well these wineries and vineyards work together, it’s a real lesson for other counties in the UK, and a reason that wine from Hampshire is here to stay. Personal favourites include Exton Park, Cottonworth, and Danebury, but they’ve all got some game!”
In Part 2, Amelia and I explore that “special relationship” those two berks Tony Blair and George Bush kept banging on about, by having a look at English and American fizz options for Christmas. We’ve got the super fresh Exton Park Brut, and the sublime Domaine Carneros Classic Cuvée…enjoy!
Have finally gotten around to writing up my trip out to Juvé Y Camps a couple of weeks back. I spent two glorious days in Catalunya tasting the premium end of Cava, the famous sparkling wine from Spain. See how I got on…
English Wine is now flying the flag high and proud. The bubbles especially are scooping up plenty of international awards, and even the great and the good of the famous region of Champagne are buying up land on our fair shores to take advantage of the climatic change. So it’s time to really look forward to this year’s English Wine Week starting this Saturday, the 27th May 2017.