New wave UK wine

‘We believe English still wines have the potential to challenge Burgundy.’

Let’s consider that statement for a moment.

Yes, it’s hardly disinterested because it was said by an English wine grower (Ruth Simpson of Simpsons Wine Estate in Kent). And yet the Simpsons also make wine in France, at Domaine Ste Rose, and they know their onions (so to speak).

England is already making some very fine Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Burgundian specialities. And, as the climate warms and still wine becomes ever more viable in the UK…who knows what might happen?

The evolution of the English wine scene has been rapid in the past few decades. Not only have we seen a credible, world-class sparkling wine production base emerge but now the scene is abuzz with experimentation and diversification.

Still wines of all shapes and sizes are emerging, from white and red Pinot Meunier to Welsh fortified wine. Fizz isn’t immune either, as styles from pet nat to carbonated in cans emerge.

Where will this all end? Who knows. In the meantime, my advice is to sit back and enjoy the ride. The best will out. And we wine lovers will all benefit in the long run. 

[New Frontiers appeared in Imbibe magazine, 2019]


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