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The Unstoppable Rise of Homegrown English Wines
May 31, 2017
With the increasing influence of climate change and Brexit over the British economy, there could be worse investments to be made than setting up your own winery in England. Sales of local wine have grown exponentially over the last couple of years, so much so that we celebrate an English Wine Week every year now, with the 2017 edition between Saturday 27th May and Sunday 4th June 2017.
Champagne houses and famous French wine producers have always been well-known throughout the world such as Maison Veuve Clicquot and Château Lafite Rothschild. Here, we examine some up-and-coming English wine producers who one day might challenge the might of the French.
The original Gusbourne Estate dates back to 1410. The current owner, Andrew Weeber took over the estate in 2004 with the sole aim of producing some of the best wines in the world. With a fastidious attention to detail, they’ve been winning countless accolades from Decanter World Wine Awards to Texsom Awards 2017. The Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2013 we tried was robust and floral with strong notes of green apple and fresh breakfast pastries.
The Wiston estates have been owned since 1743 by the Goring family. It is situated on six thousand acres of chalky slopes on the South Downs. Harry and Pip Goring transformed a farm that was producing wheat and barley into a leading English vineyard where sustainability is key. Their rustic-tasting Blanc de Blancs, Brut 2010 comes with a strong toasty and buttery nose and its strong acidity makes it an ideal wine for pairing with fatty and sweet foods.
This vineyard specialises in producing English sparkling wines and is currently the largest contract maker of sparkling wine in England. Whilst it might not be the largest in size, as they manage sixty acres of vines across two sites, they are one of the newest and most sophisticated with solar panels and wastewater disposal facilities. Their Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvee 2013 is one of the most well-balanced sparkling wines you will find on the market with light, creamy notes and a hint of ripe peach.
Apart from sparkling wines, we also have a growing demand for still English wines. Litmus Wines is situated at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey and they have been a catalyst for showing how cool-climate English wines can rival the very best from France. Litmus Element 20 is complex, biscuity and filled with strong notes of English green apples.
These are just some of the leading contenders in the English wine industry that will no doubt become household names in the years to come. They are currently available at all leading stockist including the Harvey Nichols wine shop.