Leckford Estate Brut
We’re passionate about wine – and we couldn’t be more proud of our award-winning English fizz made with grapes from our own vineyard
The chalky south-facing slopes of Hampshire’s picturesque Test Valley are home to five hectares of meticulously tended vines, first planted in 2009. Here on the Leckford Estate, the Waitrose farm, Partner and fruit farm manager Colin Pratt leads a team dedicated to growing the three classic Champagne grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
A great deal of expertise goes into nurturing the grapes. On chilly nights, the team installs ‘smudge pots’ (like giant candles) underneath the vines to ward off frost. By mid- to late-October when the grapes are ripe yet still high in acidity, they’re handpicked and taken to the award-winning winemakers at Ridgeview Wine Estate in East Sussex to be pressed within 24 hours.
"After working so hard in the vineyards, we don't put our precious crop into anyone's hands. We searched far and wide for a team with the expertise to create a top-flight sparkling wine.”
Colin Pratt, Partner and farm manager, Leckford Estate
Once pressed, the wine is bottle-aged for two years in Ridgeview’s cool, dark cellars where it rests on the yeast lees to allow the complex, biscuity aromas and flavours to evolve. The result is the Leckford Estate Brut, a fresh, beautifully balanced blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to rival that of top Champagnes.
The heat from 750 candles or ‘smudge pots’ protects the vines from frost damage
“It takes nearly three years from harvesting the grapes to sharing the finished fizz with our customers,” says Rebecca Hull MW, our English wine buyer. “In 2014 it became clear we had a winning formula. The Leckford Estate Brut 2011 won a silver medal at the 2014 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships and at the International Wine & Spirits Competition.”
The 2015 vintage is our latest release: with notes of toasted brioche and hazelnuts, backed up by a creamy palate and long, complex finish it’s an elegant sparkling wine that is perfect as an apéritif, or when paired with smoked trout.
"The success of our award-winning Leckford Estate Brut is thanks to the dedication of the Leckford team in the vineyard and the talents of the winemakers at Ridgeview who produce it on our behalf.”
Rebecca Hull MW, Partner and English wine buyer
Leckford Estate Brut
A stunning English sparkling wine produced at the Waitrose vineyard in Hampshire