By George! It’s time to celebrate English Wine Week…

By George! It's time to celebrate English Wine Week...

It kicked off last Saturday and runs through to this Sunday June 26. Times Drinks Editor James Viner suggests four top, mouth-watering, locally-made wines to aptly toast the quality of our winemaking superstars.

The English wine industry is on a roll and quite rightly there’s a loud buzz around the thrilling English wine scene right now. There’s lots to discover and enjoy with some 800 vineyards in Great Britain, over 200 of which are open to visitors, offering a wide range of facilities. English Wine Week which is currently on until this Sunday (June 26) is a brilliant opportunity to get involved with the local community, applaud the budding English wine industry and sip some great wines in the sun, perhaps on a vineyard visit. Cheers to grape Britannia! 


  1. Fresh, aromatic white from the country’s aromatic substitute for Kiwi sauvignon blanc

Chapel Down Bacchus 2021 (£12-£16.99, Chapel Down, The Wine Society, Cambridge Wine Merchants, 11.5%)

The country’s still wines go from strength to strength. Grape varieties such as the early-ripening aromatic German cross Bacchus – the country’s second most planted white grape after Chardonnay – with its taste of nettles, cut grass and hedgerow deliver an idiosyncratic, relatively low alcohol substitute to Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. This one from Chapel Down is a tongue-tingling, lime, gooseberry, grass and elderflower-scented joy. A summery zinger for alfresco sipping and delicious with sushi, asparagus, raw oysters, fish and chips, simple salads, Thai cuisine, prawns or trout.

  1. Ravishing silky red showcasing the potential of Essex’s Crouch Valley – push the boat out!

 Lyme Bay Pinot Noir 2020, Essex & Devon (£27-£27.99, The English Wine Collection, Grape Britannia & Lyme Bay Winery, 12.5%)

Exquisite savoury, seared pink salmon fillet/ roast beef-loving, floral and red-fruit-scented Pinot Noir from high-quality fruit sourced from vineyards next to the River Crouch in Essex. It’s subtly toned, layered and finely textured with vibrant acidity, subtle spicy oak-derived notes and soft, supple, silky tannins; the balance and length are nigh-on unimpeachable. A fiesta of finesse, with cooling acidity through the finish. 


  1. Cornwall’s greatest hit – a paradisiacal pink vintage sparkler

 Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut 2019, Cornwall (£32-£36, Camel Valley & Waitrose Cellar, 12.5%)

This sophisticated pink bubbly from the first English wine producer to be granted a royal warrant has emerged as one of the country’s finest. The Lindo family’s stylish, sparkling vintage rosé from north Cornwall is a cracker with a rich tang of wild red berries, especially strawberries and red cherries, plus a touch of lemon sherbet and biscuit. Pour with light canapés, charcuterie, seafood sushi, smoked salmon, fish and chips and Cantonese cuisine. Pink sparkling bullseye brilliance. Celebrate English Wine Week in style!


  1. Luxurious W. Sussex bubbles from the Irish winemaking virtuoso Dermot Sugrue

 Wiston Estate Blanc de Noir[s] Brut 2014, West Sussex (£50.95-£56, Lea & Sandeman, Swig, Hennings, Hedonism & Wiston Estate, 12%)

Irish winemaker whizz Dermot Sugrue was at the Goring family’s Wiston Estate in the heart of the rolling South Downs for 16 years but recently left to focus on his own venture, Sugrue South Downs, as well as continuing to consult for numerous other estates. This rousing release from his back catalogue is a whistle-clean, hedonistic vintage brut, with a cocktail of Seville orange, rhubarb, Braeburn apple and macadamia nut with prodigious length and aftertaste. It will make a superb match for (cold) seafood – think caviar and sashimi.

It was left on its lees for around 54 months and will likely develop new tricks for the patient. A striking, dreamy and lip-smacking sparkler from a ripe vintage.  One to celebrate a new job/home or a special anniversary/birthday, perhaps. Super-smart wine, ogling perfection in the eye.

Visit for more information, a list of events scheduled throughout EWW and a comprehensive listing of English and Welsh vineyards. Wines of Great Britain (Wine GB) is the industry body for the wine growers and producers of Great Britain

Follow #EnglishWineWeek @Wine_GB & James on Twitter @QuixoticWine

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