5 British sparkling wines to toast the Summer

There’s never been a better time for British fizz. Since the first vines were planted in the 1960s, the UK’s young wine industry has been steadily maturing and over the past few years it’s been British bottles that have been beating the favourites, old and new, in blind tastings and scooping the top wine awards. It seems that due to rising warmer climes, we Brits have a knack for producing some fantastic British bubbles. So from crisp cuvées to aromatic rosés, this summer, make sure to raise a toast to British viticulture with our pick of the best British sparkling wines.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée

The firm favourite, Nyetimber were one of the first British vineyards and produce a number of delicious sparklings from their Sussex stronghold. Their signature Classic Cuvée regularly trumps even the finest French Champagne with its complex creamy palate of honeyed almond followed by a refreshing apple twist and has become the official fizz of choice for celebrities, tastemakers and even royals (we hear rumours Prince William is a fan).

Nyetimber

Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut

Father and son team Bob and Sam Lindo have a number of award-winners amid their pedigree vines in Cornwall’s Camel Valley but it’s their Pinot Noir Rosé Brut that is their highest trophy winner. A beautiful salmon-hue, its strawberry scent and wild cherry notes have wowed numerous wine experts. It also comes in a super-sized Methuselah bottle which, at 6 litres, they claim is the largest bottle of English wine available – your summer garden party sorted.

Camel Valley

Tinwood Blanc de Blancs

Winemaking duo Art and Jodie only planted their first vines in 2007 but are already producing a spectacularly fresh Blanc de Blancs sparkling Chardonnay which Jodie describes as “so crisp and clean it’s like biting straight into a fresh green apple”. Tinwood only supply a selection of respected local restaurants so you’ll have to buy online or head down to their sunny West Sussex vineyard in order to pick up a bottle. Trust us, it’s well worth the trip.

Tinwood

Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvee

One forward-thinking Hampshire estate giving traditional Champagne growers a run for their money, Hattingley Valley used laser-guided technology to plant their 7.3 hectare vineyard back in 2008. Today, they have over 35,000 premium sparkling vines to their name. We liked their Classic Cuvée, a sophisticated pale gold bubbly that is fruity yet delicate with brioche aromas –ideal as a delicious summertime tipple.

Hattingley Valley

Ridgeview Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs

Another Sussex success, the array of sparkling wines produced by this family-run estate are some of England’s finest, making Ridgeview a household name on the British bubbles front. They have a number of handsome rosés, but their lively Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs gives a fresh round finish and subtle honey and orchard fruit hints that make it perfect for some pre-dinner sipping in the sun, paired perhaps with lobster or oysters for a special occasion.

Ridgeview

Nicole Harley is Editor at The Epicurean.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Dominic Pinto says:

    I started buying English wine en route to and from the occasional weekends with my stepfather and mother in Robertsbridge E. Sussex in the early/mid ’80s. The first I knew was Lamberhurst, just off the A21 in Kent ….. and found that their sparkling methode traditionalle white was, well, sparkly! I introduced colleagues back in London to it, and organised two trips for a vineyard tour followed by tastings and then dinner – accompanied by a selection of their wines including the sparkling. That was then under the ownership of Kenneth McAlpine, but for the last 20 or so years by the English Wine Group who own Chapel Down. At some point the shop etc., closed. It wasn’t quite a transfer of allegiance but I became aware of Roy and Irma Cook at Sedlescombe – a reasonable walk from Robertsbridge – and started buying their still wines, and one heavenly summer’s day perhaps in the late ’90s was urged to try the sparkling wines ….. and was sold on both the white and then the rose – somewhat over the top when they had a stand at a Christmas fair at St Katharine Dock near the Tower I ended up with a case of I think 6 of both. So every now and again when I’m down in Robertsbridge I stock up – and in fact am overdue to do so, at the end of this month!

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