In An English Vineyard
In the 1970s, a French customs official famously declared that English wine simply did ‘not exist’.
How times change.
From a meagre total of around 1,500 bottles in the mid-1960s, English wine production now averages around five million bottles, with a national vineyard of some 2,000 hectares. Both totals are growing fast, with around one million vines slated for planting in 2017. Wine is now one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors in the UK.
Even the Champagne gang are muscling in on the show, with Taittinger and Pommery both buying land to make fizz here.
In this feature, we look at how far English wine has come in just a few decades and recommend a few of our favourites (both fizz and still) from Waitrose, a supermarket that has supported this category from the beginning and stocks the broadest range of English and Welsh wines of any large UK retailer. They even make their very own English fizz at their Leckford estate.
[Susie Barrie MW & Peter Richards MW on English Wine in Waitrose Drinks magazine Summer 2017]