Is UK sparkling wine heading for a glut?

An article in the Guardian yesterday reported on how last year Brits drank a record 4 million bottles of English sparkling wine a year (aside: actually, I should probably call this British or British sparkling wine because there are a few vineyards in Wales, but it’s hard for anyone who has experienced the horror of ‘British […]

The wines of Nyetimber, England

Nyetimber are probably the most famous winery in the UK, and along with a good number of other English sparkling wine producers, they were present at the ProWein fair in Dusseldorf this week. I popped along to try through their range, including a first look – for me – at the new prestige 1086 cuvées.

Nyetimber Classic […]

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2013

I was excited to try this new 2013 Blanc de Blancs from leading English sparkling wine producer Nyetimber, because it is the first vintage to feature wine from their Hampshire vineyards (30%), which have chalk soils (in addition to the Sussex greensand vineyards they began with, which make up 70% of the blend).

The Chardonnay grapes […]

Vineyards of Hampshire tasting: some of England's best sparkling wines on show

Last week, the vineyards of Hampshire held a tasting showcasing some of the top sparkling wines from this county. Of course, Hampshire is, as a county, a political boundary and doesn’t recognise specific soils or climates, but it does have within its boundaries some very good places for growing wine grapes, and quite a bit […]

Black Chalk Classic 2015, a serious English sparkling wine

I’ve tried Jacob Leadley’s Black Chalk sparkling wines a few times now, and I’ve been really impressed. On this latest showing, I reckon this is one of the best UK sparklers out there.

Black Chalk Classic 2015 England
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, with some barrel fermentation used for the base wines. This is really delicate […]

Champagne Pommery's English sparkling wine

This is the first English sparkling wine launched by a Champagne producer. It’s the result of a partnership between Champagne Pommery and Hampshire-based winery Hattingley Valley. The wine is named Louis Pommery, which is Pommery’s new brand for its non-Champagne sparklers, which now also include a Californian wine. The Pommery chef de cave Theirry Gasco […]

Gusbourne Brut 2014, one of England's finest

This is the latest release of the Brut Reserve from Gusbourne, one of the UK’s top sparkling wine producers. 2014 saw an early budburst with good weather through to the end of June. This is always the critical bit of the vintage in the UK because good flowering means good yields, and in this year […]

The UK's first amphora wine? And it's pretty good

Tried this, from Westwell. I think it’s the UK’s first amphora wine, and it’s really good. There’s something about amphora wines that is quite textural and interesting, when they are done well.

Westwell Naughty Hare Amphora Ortega 2016 England
12.5% alcohol. From the chalky slopes of the North Downs, this Ortega was was fermented in a terracotta […]

The long-awaited first sparkling wines from Rathfinny, Sussex, UK

Mark Driver, owner, Rathfinny

Today, after lots of anticipation, the first sparkling wines from Rathfinny were launched. It’s an ambitious project, and one that has been much talked about, and so it was great to finally get to taste these wines. The long and short of it is that they are very good, and this […]

English wine is doing well, but four notes of caution...

It’s an exciting time for English wine, and in particular for English sparkling wine. The latest statistics from the Wine Standards Board show that in 2017 there were 1677 hectares cropping, and the total planting area is 2245 hectares. The average production over the last five years has been 5 million bottles a year. This […]