English Wine Week is a national campaign to shed light on the excellent English wines and vineyards. This year it falls on the 17th – 25th of June.

Historically, England hasn’t been regarded as particularly great at making wines and during the 1920s the last commercial vineyard was shut down. This meant we had to rely on France and Spain to produce our wines and it wasn’t until after World War II that vineyards began cropping up again in parts of Southern England. Although wine makers struggled to grow grapes such as Sauvignon and Shiraz they realised the conditions were much like that of the Champagne region in France and were perfect for growing white grape varieties such as Bacchus, Ortega and Seyval Blanc. This encouraged the production of sparkling wine to flourish and in 2020 there were more English Vineyards than ever before with 1.4 million planted vines.

We want to celebrate this year’s wine week by highlighting what’s special about each vineyard in our portfolio.

Chapel Down is located in the North Downs of Kent and is England’s leading and largest winemaker looking to focus on challenging the preconceptions about English wine. Their conditions are similar to Champagne, France on south-facing chalk soils growing excellent grapes such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Bacchus. All their produce is sourced locally and created by their world-class wine making team.

Cotswold Hills is a 6 acre vineyard made up of mostly Ortega grapes with two rows each of Bacchus, Chardonnay and Seyval. What is particularly special about Cotswold Hills is that the vineyard was taken over by The Royal Agricultural University in 2016 which enables students to have hands-on experience in grape-growing and wine-making, which they are excelling at! Cotswold Hills is supported by Three Choirs Vineyard in Newent and together they produce an excellent range of White, Rosé and Sparkling wine.

A ’boutique’ vineyard and home to owners David and Lisa Trott. With a passion for viticulture the two have produced 3 exquisite wines: 2019 Bacchus, 2020 Bacchus and their Rosé.  They have won a silver award for their 2020 Bacchus at the Wine GB Awards in 2021 and their Rosé was votes best still Rosé by well respected Six Atmospheres and wine writer Tim Atkin.

Folc started in lockdown 2020 with the ethos to celebrate the joy of community. Made by Elisha Rai and Tom Cannon, from grapes from the best vineyards in Kent, Suffolk and Surrey. This Rosé has won numerous awards such as a gold award at the Independent English Wine Awards in 2021 as-well as being the highest scoring still Rosé in the country. 

It was Martin’s vision to have create a vineyard on par with continental sites when he planted the first Half Penny vine in 1983. Today, Martin manages 30 acres of vines, which is one of the largest in the UK. This family run vineyard is located in the the Severn Valley west of Wolverhampton and produces wines for many of England’s vineyards. They bottle 50-60,000 bottles of wine a year on site and their Penny Black, Penny Red and English Rosé are some of our best selling wines.

Lyme Bay Winery is located in the beautiful Axe Valley, James Lambert and his wine making meticulously selected grapes that best demonstrate the great advances of English winemaking. Each product is fermented, blended and aged on the site and have won multiple awards since it opened 30 years ago.  Something to note about Lyme Bay is that they are one of very few English Wineries to achieve accreditation for manufacturing quality from the British Retail Consortium!

Poulton Hill Estate is situated in the Cotswold and was founded in 2010. They have an Impressive 9,750 vines which are all planted on their warm, sunny, south-facing slopes of Poulton Hill Estate. They produce around 20,000 bottles a year from all their hand-harvested grapes. What makes Poulton Hill Estate stand out is their mission to protect the environment and in order to keep the land fertilised they use two rare breeds of sheep: Jacobs Sheep and English Babydoll Southdown sheep. 

Radlow Hundred has been farming for eight generations and is located on rolling landscape previously known as Radlow Hundred in the Domesday book… hence the name! They specifically selected vines that work well in their soil and some of the grapes include Rondo and Solaris used in small-batch bottling to make their three exceptional wines

Sixteen Ridges wine is produced in the historic winery in Ledbury. Sheltering in a natural amphitheatre along the Severn river valley, Simon and Hannah Day produce this range of young English wines made from 100% Pinot Noir. They pride themselves for challenging different winemaking methods and they must be success for their Bacchus White has had multiple commendations including at the International Wine Challenge 2022 and Decanter World Wine Awards 2022.

The first vines were planted in 1973 making it one of the oldest vineyards in England. It has grown since then and now now consists of 75 acres of vines! Before bottling the expert wine-making team make sure they taste the wine at every stage of the process to ensure the wine’s quality is exceptional. In 2014 Three Choirs introduced a Hampshire vineyard to expand their vines and it’s become an incredibly popular place for weddings and events, and even offers accommodation for visitors.

The Uncommon is the first and only B Corp English wine brand. Using aluminium cans, produced using a carbon positive canning process, The Uncommon is dedicated to making their wine as sustainably as possible. All their vineyards are less than 50 miles from London located in Hampshire, Surrey and Kent due to the chalky soil, similar to Champagne, France.  A selection of bubbly wines and spritzers with a fun summer style make up this excellent summer range!

Whitehall Vineyard was established in 2017 with the support of a small team of planters, who helped plant the vines one by one. Whitehall Vineyard lies on the rich, fertile soils of the Avon Valley, with a favourable aspect and an underlying bedrock of permeable limestone. This terroir is perfect for growing Rondo, Bacchus, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, the basis of all Whitehall wines. 

Founded in 2006 by Pip Goring, a South African native who dreamed of planting a vineyard on the estate since her arrival in 1972. Pip planted a south-facing 16 acre site in flint-scattered soils over a chalk base, which allows the vines to root deeply and produce consistently exceptional fruit. Wiston press their grapes immediately after taking great care to gently pick them, and ferment and age the wines in barrel and in tank prior to bottling. They allow the wines to mature in cellars on their site for many years, monitoring them constantly. With patience and respect for the grapes, they produce great quality traditional wines.

Established in 2007 when a single acre was planted on their Amberley site to assess the suitability of the land for growing vines. Woodchester Valley now has 58 acres of vines and across the three sites they have different soil profiles which allow all their grape varieties to grow. The impressive list includes Bacchus, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Regent, Seyval Blanc, Siegerrebe, Solaris, Sauvignon Blanc and Ortega. Woodchester Valley Winery has a four-tonne press which has the ability to process the grapes for their still wines in an inert environment using nitrogen. This stops oxygen from deteriorating the wine and improves the wine’s flavour and aromatic potential.

Click here to see our full portfolio of excellent wines and add them to your range!

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