English wine is causing quite a stir on the global wine scene with Hampshire firmly established as a region to watch. At two major international wine tasting competitions held in London recently Hampshire wines won an outstanding array of medals.
The UK wine region has doubled in seven years with 2,000 hectares dedicated to vine growing. The UK Vineyards Association confirms that there are now 470 vineyards in England and Wales, 42 of these are in Hampshire.
There are more English wines now on the market than ever before and vineyards are continuing to increase their planting. In 2014, according to figures compiled by the Wine Standards Branch, the equivalent to 6.3 million bottles of English Wine was produced which is an increase of 42% in volume over 2013. Last year’s long warm spring and summer helped production, bringing both quality and quantity.
There isn’t an official breakdown of styles produced but English Wine Producers (EWP) and United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) estimate that at least two-thirds of production is now sparkling wine, this works out to be about 4 million bottles from the 2014 harvest.
Simon Bladon from Jenkyn Place Vineyard near Bentley summed up the direction English Wine is going in: “The question is no longer about whether English Sparkling Wine can rival Champagne, but whether Champagne can keep up with English Sparkling Wine”.
Hampshire’s dedicated wine producers received an impressive number of medals at the International Wine Challenge. Hambledon Vineyard ensured everyone took notice of Hampshire wine when it won the trophy for the Best Non-Vintage Wine.
Classic Cuvée, NV – Gold
Sparkling Rosé, NV – Commended
Madeleine Angevine, 2012 – Bronze
Madeleine Angevine, 2013 – Commended
Schonburger, 2013 – Commended
Old Vine Schonburger, 2013 – Commended
Reserve, 2013 – Bronze
Cossack Vintage Brut, 2009 – Silver
Exton Park Vineyard
Exton Park Blanc de Noir, NV – Silver
Exton Park Brut Reserve, NV – Bronze
Hattingley Valley Vineyard
Classic Cuvée, 2010 – Gold
Kings Cuvée, 2011 – Commended
Blanc de Blancs Brut, 2010 – Silver
Classic Cuvée, NV – Gold and Trophy Winner
Première Cuvée, NV – Silver
Jenkyn Place Vineyard
Jenkyn Place Brut Cuvee, 2010 – Silver
Caroline Stevens, responsible for Sales & Marketing at Danebury Vineyards is delighted that “Danebury Vineyards is one of five Hampshire vineyards producing consistently award winning wines. This year we are proud to have won Silver and Bronze medals for our sparkling and still wines at international wine tasting competitions. It is a testament to our viticultural and wine making skills that is evident in English wine production today. I find that more often than not, restaurants, pubs, hotels and wine merchants are now approaching us in their search for premium English wines for their wine lists, and I can tell from our sales that a glass of English wine is raised often for many occasions ‘’
Hampshire Vineyards will come together as part of this year’s Hampshire Food Festival on Sunday 12th July at Hambledon Vineyard, 12pm-4.30pm, tickets £5. Guests will have the opportunity to meet local winemakers and discover how English wine is made. Take a guided tour of the vineyard and taste a wonderful selection of local wines. For more information visit www.hambledonvineyard.co.uk.
There will also be other opportunities to tour Hampshire vineyards and taste wine during the Hampshire Food Festival. Visit the Hampshire Fare website for further details, www.hampshirefare.co.uk. Here you will also be able to discover where your nearest local vineyard is and where you can purchase Hampshire wine.