British sparkling wine becomes the toast of the world

English wine is the best in the world.

British sparkling wine becomes the toast of the world

21st July 2006

Nytimber Classic Cuvee - No longer can the French or the Italians dismiss the wines of England

Fierce summer sun has made English 'fizz' the best in the world.

For sparkling wine from two of England's great vineyards have beaten rivals with a rich heritage from across the globe.

Climate change, bringing long and intense hot summers, is producing abundant grape crops and some of the finest wine in the world.

No longer can the French, the Italians, the Spanish or the New World haughtily dismiss the wines of England.

The chalky soils of the south and north downs, running through Sussex and Surrey, are a match for the terrain of the champagne region in France.

So ideal are the weather and soil conditions that even the great French champagne houses are looking to buy or establish their own vineyards in southern England.

While there are dark rumours that the climate change which is so welcomed by British producers is making soil temperatures in the French champagne region too high to produce the best wine.

The Denbies Greenfields 1998 sparkling wine, produced near Dorking, Surrey, and the Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 1998, from Sussex, have both beaten the world.

The two received gold medals in the International Wine and Spirits Competition, based on blind tastings by an international panel of experts.

The two sparkling wines triumphed over the best that Spain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, and Italy have to offer.

They were not ranked against French champagne, however Nyetimber has beaten the best that France has to offer in other blind tastings.

The Nyetimber estate, at West Chiltington, West Sussex, was developed into a great sparking wine name by the colourful couple Andy and Nichola Hill, who had a history in the music industry and, as record producers, launched Bucks Fizz.

The couple hit the headlines last year after it emerged both had taken lovers, while retaining their partnership and running of Nyetimber. However, Mr Hill sold the estate earlier this year.

General manager, Chris Varley, said yesterday: "Naturally, the French don't take it well. But even the great champagne houses now acknowledge our quality.

"The French won't allow us to call our wine champagne, although our methods are precisely the same. However, it has been proved time and again that we are superior."

Mr Varley said: "One French company has already bought a vineyard in Sussex, while the champagne houses are also looking to buy.

"There are suspicions that the climate and soil temperatures in the champagne region are getting too warm, so the French are looking to expand elsewhere. At the same time, land here is much cheaper."

Chris White, general manager at Denbies, which is England's biggest vineyard with 265 acres under cultivation, said climate change is a huge factor in its success.

"We are seeing a longer, warmer ripening period, which means the grapes have a higher sugar content, so delivering a higher natural alchol level. We also get a riper juice, which brings fuller flavours," he said. "The current weather could not be better. We are looking for the biggest crop ever and the best quality ever this year. It is very unusual to get both."

He added: "Millions of years ago the north and south downs of southern England were joined with the champagne region of France. We have the same geology and nutrients in the soil. We also have south facing slopes to provide the maximum sunlight."

He said the changes have allowed Denbies to produce award winning reds as well as sparkling wine, whites and rose.

"We are enormously proud to win this award. The winners are picked through blind tastings, which cuts through all the snobbery and prejudice.

"Twenty years ago, people laughed at the idea of New Zealand as a wine producer. We have seen English wines come through the same process to be appreciated for their quality."

Both the English sparkline wines are served at the best restaurants in the country, run by the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein.

In the past, English wine has been considered expensive. However, the Denbies Greenfields retails for around 16.99 and is available direct from the company's website. The Nyetimber retails for around 25 and is available from Waitrose, Somerfield and Harrods.
I must admit that I doubt the seriousty of this thread.
Quote: Originally Posted by lo2

I must admit that I doubt the seriousty of this thread.

You doubt the what? The seriousty? What is that?

I'm afraid that Blackleaf is quite serious in his propensity to celebrate the accolades bestowed Britain. For he hates the French! Although, who among us actually do like the French? Not I!

I'm actually surprised to see that one of his British propaganda posts garnered this many responses. They typically hover around the zero response mark, until someone like me, or you, jumps in to question the "seriousty" of the thread.
Phil B
For goodness sake, I just googled the village I live in and up comes this thread

Now I really wasn't expecting that.
lol well... Welcome anyway!
L Gilbert
I have commented on quite a few of BL's posts. I like them for the most part.
Anyway, we don't drink bubbly, but good for the Brits. Rah!!

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