It’s going to be tough. The problem with the considerable majority of English sparkling wine is not quality but price. Estates like Ridgeview, Three Choirs, Nyetimber is they are not affordable alternatives to Champagne. With habitual deep discounting over the festive period – Laurent Perrier at 6 for under £100 at Sainsbury’s (trashing the brand) etc, people will horde their post Christmas reserves in the early part of the New Year.

Aromatic whites should be encouraged (in fact any thing English that can be purchased for under £15) as are good food matches and should capitalise on interest in regionality and locally sourced produce.

Chapel Down are vinifying that Malbec from the Gaucho-owned vineyards in Mendoza and I know one serious winemaker who is looking to start planting Gruner V in a secret site (Hampshire I think).

Can’t wait to try Coates and Seely blanc de Blancs – if its anywhere near as good as their rose – will be a very exciting challenger to Nyetimbers B de B and with Ryan Carter at the winemaking helm it wouldn’t surprise me.

Tom Harrow
aka Wine Chap

See also

Grape and the grain square off