English Wine Under the Spotlight

Will English wine take on the world?

English wine has come of age - and the world is finally taking notice. Up until fairly recently, and with only a few exceptions, English wine was still seen as being a bit rustic, a bit artisan - farmer’s market type tipple, certainly not anything to be taken seriously on the world stage - a curio rather than a contender.
But times have changed – and how. With over 400 vineyards across England (and growing), we’re now entering an energised era of British wine production.
And it’s really quite thrilling. Luminaries like Denbies in Surrey, Bolney in Sussex and Chapel Down in Kent are all creating world-class wines. Our sparkling varieties, in particular, are fizzing rather spectacularly across the globe, accounting for 25% of our annual output. And yes, they’re rivalling champagne in quality and flavour.
Because what’s not widely known is that the temperature and chalky soil in parts of Southern England are almost identical to the Champagne region. We have the right climate, the right soil, and the right conditions. And now what we’re mastering is the art. And while sparkling and whites are still our specialities, our rosés are fast gaining credibility, and some enterprising producers are even making inroads with red. 
The Queen herself has given the royal stamp of approval, establishing a vineyard at Windsor and serving Ridegview’s Fitzrovia Sparkling Rosé 2004 to Barack Obama at a state function.
And with prestigious wins for English producers at The International Wine Challenge - including a Gold for Denbies for its Chalk Ridge Rosé 2010 -expectations (and eyebrows) have well and truly been raised.
But it’s not just our restaurants and dinner tables that are being enhanced by English wine – our tourist industry is getting a boost too, with vineyard tours growing in popularity. Offering a chance to sample Britain’s best bottles, they’re a wonderful behind-the-scenes insight into the craft and care that goes into our wine. 

Cheers, we'll drink (responsibly) to that.