Rule Britannia

It’s hard to pick up a newspaper or magazine and not find an article on English wine. The subject of our very own wine production is a very hot topic right now and after an outstanding vintage in 2018 it looks as though the 2019 harvest is producing amazing fruit again.

A mere 20 years ago the thought of making quality wine on our soil in large volumes was almost laughed at by the rest of the wine-making world, yet today our wines can stand up alongside the best, and in the case of many of our home-grown sparkling wines, can even beat them.

Things will always be slightly different and we are becoming masters of grape varieties not necessarily so well-known. Ben Witchell of Flint Vineyards in Norfolk has carried out pioneering research into the German variety Bacchus, similar to that undertaken in New Zealand with Sauvignon Blanc thirty years ago. As our climate changes, so too will the grape varieties that will stand up to our weather.

If you are coming to our Cambridge Winter Wine Festival next month then you are in for a treat as English wine is the subject of one of our masterclasses – A Wine Tour of East Anglia. Hosted by Laura Robinson, Chair of Wine GB East Anglia, Laura will explore still wines from the region and look at the grape varieties that are thriving in the region’s relatively warm, dry climate.

Visitors to Cambridge will also be able to sample to delights from Burn Valley Vineyards, a relatively new estate from the North Norfolk coast, as well as wines from Flint Vineyards amongst others.

If you are coming along to our London Cracking Christmas Wines then you will be able to sample the beautiful sparkling wines from Wiston Estate in West Sussex, the delicious delights from Albourne Estate from the heart of the South Downs, an outstanding Pinot Gris or Sparkling Rosé from Oastbrook Estate or the wonders from urban winery Blackbook, who are located in Battersea and make their wines from home-grown grapes.

For those of you coming to our Cracking Christmas Wines in Manchester, we have The Winery by Laneberg Wine, Tyneside’s first urban winery where they handcraft small batches of high-quality wines to compete with famous appellations at affordable prices.

If you are yet to discover English wines then go forth and conquer, there is a vinous bounty out there just waiting to be enjoyed.

*Photo courtesy of Wiston Estate