Exton Park: another top quality English sparkling wine producer

Exton Park is based in the Meon Valley, in Hampshire’s South Downs. With its chalky soils, this area is rapidly becoming a hot spot for sparkling wine production, with Hambledon and Coates & Seely close by.

The first vineyards at Exton Park were planted in 2003. In 2009, just as a second planting phase had taken [...]

Black Dog Hill: an interesting new English sparkling wine

This is the first release from a new English sparkling wine producer, Black Dog Hill. This is a vineyard based in Ditchling, East Sussex, at the foot of the South Downs. Here, the three Champagne varieties are grown on chalky soils, and the 5 hectares of vines were planted in 2007.

This wine was disgorged in [...]

Video: an introduction to English sparkling wine

It’s an exciting time for English sparkling wine. I shot this short segment as an introduction for a blind tasting that was being held in Vancouver, including the first English fizz to be imported into Canada (Coates & Seely, through Lifford). But I thought I’d also share it here. It’s a quick 5 minute summary [...]

English sparkling wine versus Champagne - the Noble Rot tasting - my results

I mentioned a while back that I’d taken part in a tasting of English sparkling wine versus Champagne. Organized by counter-culture wine publication Noble Rot, it pitted a carefully selected quartet of English fizz against four very good grower Champagnes, and four very good Grand Marque Champagnes. It was a fair fight: all three quartets [...]

Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut 2012 England

2012 was an absolute shocker of a vintage across southern England. It was just too cool, and then the season ran out of heat. The result? Many wineries just didn’t pick any grapes at all. Remarkably, Camel Valley have produced something very appealing from this rather difficult year. It even won a Gold medal at [...]

So just how good is English sparkling wine? A blind tasting

I took part in a brilliant tasting today, organized by Noble Rot magazine. Alas, there’s an embargo, so I can’t tell you the outcome or list the wines involved, but I can share some pictures and give a little commentary.

So, the tasting was pitting four of the best English sparkling wines (and the Noble Rot [...]

Another lovely English fizz: Gusborne 2010

Another lovely English fizz, this time from Gusborne. As I was writing this up I realized I’ve already reviewed in (back in November), and I was also impressed by their  Blanc de Blancs Late Disgorged 2007.

Gusborne Estate Brut Reserve 2010 England
12% alcohol. Gusborne is based in Appledore, Kent, but they source their [...]

Hart of Gold English Sparkling Wine

I was impressed by this new English sparkling wine, made by Justin Howard-Sneyd, high-flying wine buyer and owner of a small domaine in the South of France. Justin sourced the grapes – a mixture of all three Champagne varieties – from a vineyard in Ross on Wye, Herefordshire (soils chalk and clay), and the wine [...]

A day in the English vineyards

Spent the day today driving round English vineyards with two Canadian wine peeps, Andrew and Nicole. We visited three of the finest English producers, and each visit was quite special in its own way. Full write ups to come (of course), but for now some quick notes and a few pictures.

First visit was Nyetimber. Probably [...]

English wine, the latest statistics

Released today, some interesting stats on English wine. It’s a success story, for sure.

In 2014, production was the equivalent of 6.3 million 75 cl bottles, which is a 42% increase in volume over 2013 (which itself was a record breaking year). This is a reflection of a good growing season with the added impact of [...]