Thursday, 19 November 2015
English Wines are Fizzing
In recent years English quality sparkling wines have started to compete head on with Champagne, winning numerous international awards. English vineyards like Nyetimber, Camel Valley, Ridgeview, Gusbourne and Chapel Down have led the way in producing wines that challenge the world's best fizz.
Made in exactly the same way as champagne, using Method Traditional, English bubbly is now appearing on most UK sommeliers wine lists and is starting to be exported to numerous wine loving countries including the US and Australia. It is even making an appearance in Bordeaux in France at Gordon Ramsey's new restaurant.
So why is English bubbly so good? Amazingly it's all to do with our great weather! The best sparkling wines in the world are made in cool climates, Champagne being the most famous example. This is because quality sparkling wine is made from fairly acidic grape juice and in a cool climate the acids stay high and the grapes don't get too ripe. Of course quality is also effected by soil and topography as well as the climate (what the French call terroir) and many of our vineyards are sited on land very similar to Champagne. We have also developed a very professional approach to wine production with some of the best viticulturists and wine makers in the world now based in the UK.
At Albury Organic Vineyard we are fortunate to benefit from great terroir, and an almost perfect site for growing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes which are the traditional champagne varietals. We also believe that our biodynamic approach helps to produce excellent quality fruit and ultimately great wine. Whilst we are a young vineyard, having planted in 2009, we have already won some prestigious awards and have had our wine listed at The Royal Opera House, Claridges and Raymond Blanc's Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons.
So don't bother with average quality Champagne this Christmas and New Year - celebrate with excellent quality English organic bubbly instead.