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English Wines are not a novel product in the UK dating back to the Pre-Roman period. However despite its long and rich history, English wines needed a commercial revival in the 1950s.
So after 60 years, why are English wines not more popular? The reason appears to be twofold: English vineyards and wines are competing against long standing international wines that are cheap and produced on a mass scale, alongside a lack of awareness towards our own country’s artisan wine. This, however, is a shame as these wines are not only delectable, they also offer different grape varieties from the international ones we are so used to.
With 569 vineyards across Scotland, England, Wales and even the Channel Islands, English wine is clearly a booming business and it seems a pity that so many people across the UK are unaware of these wines, especially as a good number of these vineyards offer services such as a winery, shop, cafe/restaurant and even accommodation for those wishing to visit. Some of the Vineyards also sell their wines online making the acquisition of English wines that much easier! Here is a full list of UK wine vineyards and the services they provide.
Some English grape varieties that pop up are recognisable, like a Pinot Noir, but there is also a large range of less familiar grapes to try and interesting blends that sound mouth-watering. So Jurys Inn has collected together a selection of interesting British Wines we think are worth trying. Take a look at a full list of English wine retailers – for a broader selection; it may be worth buying online.
Brightwell Vineyard Bacchus 2009
We chose this white Sauvignon Blanc style wine for its floral and ‘aromatic apple flavours of the Bacchus grape’- ideal for the English summer. This Soft and fruity wine was a Bronze Medal winner in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2011 and Brightwell Vineyard recommend it as ‘an ideal aperitif’ and best accompanies pasta and chicken dishes.
This wine is available in select stores or online at Great English Wines.
Denbies Ranmore Hill 2009
Denbies Wines offer rich flavourful wines and Ranmore Hill 2009 is no exception. This Silver Medal winner from the International Wine Challenge is a full flavoured wine with a blend of Ortega, Bacchus and Pinot Gris grapes and slight undertones of oak and vanilla. This wine is a great accompaniment to fish or chicken meals and is perfect for warm summer evenings.
This wine is available for purchase at Great English Wines; however do visit the Denbies website for their online store, experience tours, events and weddings.
H2: Red Wines
Kenton Vineyard Pinot Noir Précoce 2011
This Jurys Inn pick caught our eye because of the mix of flavours and smells. Made solely from Pinot Noir Précoce grapes, this smooth red wine offers a dark cherry and chocolate aroma with a red fruits, spice and a splash of oak taste. As with many other reds, this Pinot Noir Précoce is a great accompaniment to red meat and game, and a perfect addition to a beef Sunday roast.
Kenton Vineyard Pinot Noir Précoce 2011 can be purchased from Great British Wines, however Kenton Vineyard offers wine tasting, vine trail, and tours, and is a short 20 minute drive from Jurys Inn Exeter.
Plumpton Ridge Red 2011
Jurys Inn chose this unique wine, not only because of its interesting blend of flavours, but because Plumpton is in fact a college and Centre of Excellence in Wine education, training and research. All the wine produced from Plumpton is made by students under their tutor’s guidance and is a fully functioning business racking up awards each year.
This Plumpton Cloudy Ridge Red has a fruity plum, redcurrant and Damson characteristics balanced with a soft cinnamon spice and ‘elegant’ tannins. This red is an ideal match for red meats, especially pork and roast lamb.
Visit Great English Wines to purchase this Plumpton Cloudy Ridge Red.
Fonthill Glebe English Mulled Wine
Mulled wine in summer? Yes, Jurys Inn is recommending English Mulled wine for the summer season, similar to Pimm’s or Sangria, this mulled wine is incredibly refreshing poured over some ice and accompanied with fruit.
If you fancy trying something new for the summer, this Fonthill Glebe English Mulled Wine is perfect.
Bolney Wine Estate Cuvée Noir Brut 2009
Jurys Inn has chosen this Cuvée Noir Brut because it is a red sparkling wine, which is slightly unusual and a less common choice when choosing some bubbly wine. This Cuvée Noir Brut has a creamy richness with blueberry and stone fruit aromas and a gentle spice that offers a great accompaniment to flavourful patés, mature cheddar or red berry fruit puddings.
Visit the Bolney Wine Estate website for information on tours and wine tastings and to purchase this Cuvée Noir Brut. Bolney Wine Estate is just a short 22 minute drive from Jurys Inn Brighton Hotel.
2011 Camel Valley ‘Cornwall’ Brut
This Camel Valley ‘Cornwall’ Brut is a very popular English wine and has been described as a ‘national treasure’. Full of fruit flavours and ‘vintage fizz’ this English sparkling wine is the perfect choice for a celebration.
The 2011 Camel Valley ‘Cornwall’ Brut is available for purchase from their website, including a case discount. Camel Valley also offers Vineyard tours and tastings.