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“I imagine hell like this: Italian punctuality, German humour and English wine.” Peter Ustinov.
So why should you try English wine? What used to be a general joke in the wine industry is now surprising everyone and having the last laugh, as English wine is fast catching-up and overtaking prestigious wine brands. There are now over 400 vineyards in England and Wales, producing an average of 2.58 million bottles per year (in 2010, due to good weather conditions this figure was over four million).
The UK is now acknowledged as a country that produces quality and premium wines, with many prestigious international awards recognising this. The most successful variety of English wine is the sparkling variety: approximately 60% of English wine produced is sparkling, and this variety wins numerous awards abroad. England’s own Nyetimber Classic Cuvee rivals (and often beats in blind-tasting) even the big names in Champagne.
“In the last 15 years English sparkling wines have won 8 trophies for Best
International Sparkling Wine and 4 trophies for Best Sparkling Rose in global
competitions – no other country has achieved this.” English Wine Producers, 2013.
The prevalence of sparkling wine is due to the complimentary growing conditions in the UK area for this variety. Following this, 30% of English wine produced is white wine, and 10% is red/rosé. The English wine industry is something to be proud of and supported, with sales predicted to grow to £100 million by 2015.
Want to get involved? Here’s some English wine brands to try to get you started:
Nyetimber (London) nyetimber.com
Ridgeview (Sussex) ridgeview.co.uk
Denbies (Surrey) denbies.co.uk
Three Choirs (Midlands) three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk
Chapel Down (Kent) chapeldown.com
Langham (Dorset) langhamwine.co.uk
Bluebell (East Sussex) bluebellvineyard.co.uk
Terlingham (Kent) terlinghamvineyard.co.uk
Have we missed out your favourite English wine? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list!