Tout savoir sur les vins anglais

All about English wines

Still relatively underrepresented on the world wine market scene, English wines have nevertheless enjoyed growing success in recent decades. We can even say that some of them easily manage to surpass certain Champagne houses in France. So let's go to meet the particularities of British wines.

The rapid growth of English wines

In 2004 and 2022, the United Kingdom saw its vineyard grow by more than 400%, and today has more than 3,800 hectares of vines , and nearly 9 million vines have been planted in the last 5 years. .

Taking full advantage of the qualities of their terroir, and the global warming that works in their favour, British wine producers are now able to compete with the biggest players in wine production in Europe and around the world. And while quantity is clearly not their forte, they make up for it by producing high-quality still wines and sparkling wines. Indeed, critics are increasingly glowing when it comes to commenting on the strengths of English wines, and even more so when discussing English sparkling wines .

The distribution of UK vineyards

All wine lovers know that to produce a good wine, you have to be able to take advantage of an exceptional terroir, with a mild climate and generous soils.

It is for this reason that the majority of UK vineyards are concentrated in England (98%). The rest of these 800 vineyards are spread across Wales, Scotland and the Channel Islands.

From Kent to Cornwall, along the south coast, English vineyards are mainly located in Kent, Sussex and Surrey. But there are also a few plots of vines in East Anglia, Yorkshire and the Midlands.

England's wine region

If most of the production of English wine takes place in the south-east of England , it is because the terroir is particularly favorable to viticulture. Indeed, there is a hot and dry English climate , as well as chalky and calcareous soils . So many characteristics very similar to those found in the best areas of the Champagne region in France. It is also no surprise that the Champagne house Taittinger announced, in 2015, the purchase of several lands in Kent.

The story of the first English vines

If we look at the origins of the English vineyard , we discover that the oldest vineyard in Great Britain, Hambledon , was settled in the limestone South Downs of Hampshire since 1952. Since then, its owner, Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones , gave way to new owners.

As for the largest British vineyard, it is located in Surrey. The Denbies estate then had 265 acres of vines, and its owner was one of the largest English wine producers.

English wine grape varieties

As we have seen, the English climate is very close to that of the Champagne wine region. In this logic, we find essentially the same grape varieties. Thus, according to information from WineGB, the English producer mainly cultivates the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier grapes , to produce still wines (reds, white wines and rosé wines), as well as sparkling wines.

Lesser-known grape varieties include Ortega and Bacchus . The latter, mainly grown in Norfolk and Kent, also gives very good wines, particularly acclaimed by critics.

The reputation of English wines abroad

If the English know how to produce very good still wines, it is especially with their sparkling wines that they manage to ensure a very good reputation throughout the world. The British sparkling wines that receive all the praise then fall into two categories:

  • Classic cuvées , from 3 Champagne grape varieties (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier);
  • The Blanc de Blancs , exclusively from chardonnay.

Of course, the UK wine industry is not limited to sparkling wines, and there are also excellent still wines , whose quantity and quality are constantly increasing. Moreover, our English neighbors are particularly curious and daring, and are increasingly trying to experiment with wine production with more varied blends and grape varieties.

UK's award-winning wines

If there is one element that does not lie about the quality of wines from across the Channel, it is the awards they receive. However, in 2021, it is indeed a vintage Brut from Kent that won the Best In Show prize at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Facing him, more than 50 wines competed for this coveted title.

But the British producers also won other glorious titles, including 2 platinum medals, 9 gold medals, 81 silver medals and 51 bronze medals. So many awards that speak for themselves to describe the quality of English production.

Our range of English wines

English vineyards don't really need to prove anything to us anymore, but if you want to make up your own mind, here is a selection of bottles of wine straight from England .

  • Harlot, sparkling white brut : made from the best bacchus, pinot meunier, pinot noir and chardonnay grapes, this sparkling white from England with a pretty pale yellow color seduces us with its aromas of pear, apricot and of elderflower, as well as the energy of its fine bubbles;
  • Harlot, sparkling rosé brut : made from the same grape varieties as its white counterpart, this cuvée of sparkling brut rosé surprises with its freshness and its aromas of strawberry, pear and apple;
  • Silver Reign, sparkling white : gold medalist at the Effervescents du Monde 2022, this sparkling white wine from Kent offers a nose that is both fruity and floral. On the palate, its freshness and aromas of citrus fruits and ripe stone fruits work wonders.

Long on the sidelines, English wines now know how to prove their quality and make a place for themselves on the world wine market. And if you've never had the chance to taste one of these bottles, treat yourself to one of our English sparkling wines .

Our current wine selection

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Red 2021 AOP Côtes du RhôneM. Chapoutier
1 bottle - 75cl
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New product
Rosé 2022 Pays d'Oc IGPPuech Haut Argali
1 bottle - 75 cl
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Sale -7%
White 2021 ChablisVieilles Vignes Les Malantes Jean Marc Brocard
Regular price €25Sale price€23,25
1 bottle - 75cl
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Rosé 2021 AOP Côtes de ProvenceGrande Récolte
Case of 6 bottles - 75 cl
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