Why English Sparkling Wine producers need to export

There’s a lot of excitement about English sparkling wine at the moment. Justifiably so. But there is one small cloud on the horizon.

It’s called route to market. Soon, because of all the new vineyards that have been planted over the last decade, there will be quite a bit of wine that needs selling. And the [...]

Some reflections on ProWein 2016: bubbly Brits, grower Champagne, Canada, Provence and Grenache

ProWein is a massive wine and spirits fair, held each year in Dusseldorf, Germany. It’s enormous. 6200 exhibitors, and 55 000 trade visitors. I’ve just returned, and these are some of my impressions. But it’s impossible for any one person to be able to give anything more than a personal perspective gained by merely scratching [...]

More on the proposals for a Sussex PDO

A glass of Sussex anyone? I’ve written before about the proposals for a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO; basically, an appellation) for Sussex wine. It’s an issue that has raised its head again with a recent article in the Telegraph. The proposed Sussex PDO is a big problem, and it could be a major hindrance [...]

Wiston Estate Cuvée Rosé NV England - impressive pink fizz

I was very impressed by this pink English sparkling wine. It’s a non-vintage blend made by Dermot Sugrue. It’s 50% Pinot Noir (about 12% of this is red wine for colour), 40% Pinot Meunier and 10% Chardonnay. Base wines are mostly stainless steel fermented, but there are some old barrels used, too. The base vintage [...]

More Christmas wines: the English contribution

These were three English wines that took part in yesterday’s festivities. The first two were served blind.

Hambledon Vineyard Classic Cuvée NV Hampshire, England
Tasted blind I reckoned this was a fine Blanc de Blancs – either a grower Champagne or English! Very fine, bright and lemony with lovely acidity. Pure and refined with amazing clean, sharp [...]

Taittinger becomes the first Champagne house to buy vineyards in England

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, Patrick McGrath and Westminster Abbey archivist Tony Trowles at today’s press conference

English sparkling wine has been a talking point for a while now. There’s no doubting that there is some very good English fizz being made, as the recent Noble Rot tasting showed. But today there was a further boost to the [...]

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 [...]