English Wine Week starts Saturday 28th May. And with apologies to the proud people of Wales it also includes wine from there.* If you haven’t already fallen in love with a few English wines make this week the moment that you do. The excitement about the rise in English wine quality is palpable in the trade, felt most acutely at its annual tasting and obvious by the very high attendance records. We’re proud of our winemakers’ progress and achievements and it has very little to do with that uniquely British trait of loving an underdog or even being overly patriotic. Many English wines have proved themselves worthy of our adulation competing admirably and favourably with European counterparts, stealing wine medals and trophies from under their noses. Make it your mission to discover why this week.
Some facts and figures.
Vineyards – 503
Wineries – 133
Land under vine – 2000 hectares
Most Northerly Commercial Vineyard – Yorkshire Heart, near York
Bottles produced in 2015 – 5.06million
Sparkling – 66%
White Still – 24%
Red/Rosé – 10%
Most planted – Chardonnay (23%), Pinot Noir (22%), Bacchus (8.38%)
A few of our favourites.
Sparkling (difficult to keep this to a manageable few!)
Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2009 and 2010 £36.99
Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2009 £40
Chapel Down Blanc de Blancs 2011 £29.99
Hambledon Classic Cuvée £28.50
Ridgeview Cavendish £27.00
Broadwoods Folly £14.99 at Lidl made by Denbies
Balfour Brut Rosé 2011 £35.99 down to £26.99 for English Wine Week
Wiston Rosé 2011 £35.99
Three Choirs Siegerrebe 2013 £12.99
Chapel Down Bacchus 2014 £11.99
Gusbourne Guinevere Chardonnay 2013 £21.50
Stopham Pinot Gris 2014 £15.00
Sharpham Dart Valley Reserve 2014 £12.50
Hush Heath Manor Pinot Noir 2015 £23 reduced to £17.25 for English Wine Week
Bolney Estate Pinot Noir 2014 £16.99
Please note, this is not an exhaustive list – Camel Valley, Biddenden, Hattingley, Exton Park, Sixteen Ridges should surely get a mention, but we wanted to leave some for you to discover for yourselves.
Visit English Wine Week to find competitions, offers and events.
*The term British Wine is used for wine made in the UK from grape juice or concentrate.