From rich, fruity red to crisp, zippy fizz, the UK offers a wealth of superbly made wine styles. Our unpredictable climate, distinctive landscapes and skilled winemakers ensure that every bottle is as unique as the land from which it comes.
An English Wine Tour
Fresh, aromatic styles from all over the UK are perfect for the warmer summer months offering vibrant flavours, often lower alcohol than wines from hotter climates and a potentially reduced carbon footprint. The selection below follow a whistle-stop wine tour of England, from the south coast to the Welsh borders, highlighting the diversity and creativity of our thriving home-grown wine industry.
Brightwell Bacchus 2008/09 Oxfordshire, £9.01
The Bacchus grape is a well-established hero of English winemaking. Loved for its ability to ripen well in cool conditions, it can produce delicious styles reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. This superb example comes from the Brightwell Vineyard in Wallingford, whose vineyards slope down to the River Thames.
Meopham Valley Brut Rosé 2005 Kent, £19.94
This tiny estate lying due south of Gravesend uses no herbicides or pesticides in the production of their superb wines. Their Brut Rosé is created from the classic champagne grape varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which excel in the chalky Kent soil giving a delicious strawberry-shortbread flavoured wine.
Bolney Wine Estate Autumn Spice 2010 West Sussex, £7.59
An excellent white from the Bolney (formerly Bookers) estate showing distinctive lychee, grapefruit and floral aromas and flavours. Made from handpicked Müller Thurgau, Würzer and Schönburger grapes in this family owned, brand new, state-of-the-art winery in West Sussex. Enjoy with lighter fish dishes.
Denbies Surrey Gold NV Surrey, £8.06
At 265 acres, Denbies is England’s largest vineyard, set on rolling hills near the town of Dorking. The fruity and floral Surrey Gold is a blend of four white grape varieties with a track record in the cool English climate; Müller-Thurgau, Bacchus, Ortega and Reichensteiner.
Camel Valley Brut 2008 Cornwall, £21.84
In a beautiful corner of Cornwall, ex RAF pilot Bob Lindo and his wife Annie have enjoyed phenomenal success at Camel Valley since planting their first vines 20 years ago. While many English sparkling wines use the classic champagne grape varieties, the Brut owes its distinctive style to a blend of grapes well suited to the Cornish climate.
Three Choirs Premium Selection Rosé 2009 Gloucestershire, £6.64
Set deep in the heart of rural Gloucestershire, Three Choirs is England’s most awarded single estate vineyard. Their premium selection rosé is made from Pinot Noir, which requires careful attention to grow in the unpredictable English climate. Here, the results are spectacular, creating an elegant, summer berry scented rosé.
Bolney Wine Estate Dark Harvest 2008 West Sussex, £8.54
A soft and fruity English red made predominantly from Rondo grapes, with some Dornfelder added to the blend to add depth of flavour. Both these varieties have a proven track record in the marginal English climate, giving a wine packed with red berry fruit flavours and a slightly smoky finish. A perfect partner for tomato pasta and burgers - or stick with the English theme and enjoy with some Cheddar cheese.
Chapel Down English Rosé 2009 England, £9.49
This excellent rosé shows pure strawberry aromas on the nose and the palate follows through with juicy, fruity notes of strawberry and red fruits. A very refreshing wine with a cleansing finish and a tad of minerality. This wine has the fruit to partner with dishes with tomato based sauces.