This week, we heard the news that Scotland has made it’s own wine….hurray….but that is undrinkable….boo!
These weren’t mean words from the wine press, but from Christopher Trotter, the winemaker himself and was widely reported in the national press. I can’t read the article without thinking “One day Rodders, we’ll be millionaires” but perhaps that is my age.
That said, everyone seems certain that the wine will be ‘drinkable’ some day soon and that is really exciting news…hurray! Read all about Christopher on his own blog here: http://www.fifefoodambassador.co.uk/
English Wine boom
As I look out of my rain soaked window, the UK does seem a rather unfriendly place to be making wine, but there are wineries in some remarkable places. These include Yorkshire, Cumbria and there are infact others in Scotland – places where you normally need to take a flask of hot tea when you venture out of the door.
What pioneers they are! Take a look at The English Wine Producers Website (perhaps needing to be expanded as it already includes vineyards in Scotland and Wales): http://www.englishwineproducers.co.uk/
The success of some of the bigger players, particularly in premium sparkling wines in Kent and surrounding areas, has meant a boom in the industry with an actual shortage of skilled workers. Unfortunately, this was never an option at my careers advice session! However, Plumpton College now provides specific courses for winemakers and vineyard workers alike: http://www.plumpton.ac.uk/department/wine-and-wine-research/21 This is actually creating a new industry within the UK, which is growing (every pun intended).
Quality at a price
Gusbourne Estates sparkling wine has always been my absolute favourite and lots of other people love it too. If they still allow non-trade visits, it is well worth seeing the lovely people there, walking around the vineyard and sampling their delicious range of wines. https://www.gusbourne.com/
Or hunt it out if you are lucky enough to find it in your local wine merchant.
Like most English sparkling wine it will set you back just short of £30 partially due to the volume produced (or lack of it compared to mass produced fizz) but the quality is amazing and it is a real treat.
Others to look out for include Nyetimber and Hambledon.
Here is a neat list of the 14 best sparklers, according to Kate Hilpern from the Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/food-drink/14-best-english-sparkling-wines-10270532.html
Celebrate our home grown talent, they are really very good!