Bow down to British Bubbly



Thanks in part to warmer temperatures (2007 was the second warmest year in the UK in 356 years) more and more English land is becoming suitable for wine production and perhaps in 50 years time, England will be able to compete with Champagne.

Today, there are 1,000 vineyards in England across Kent, Hampshire, Essex and Sussex and production in 2006 was just over 3.3 million bottles. Berrys believes, the amount of English farmland devoted to wine production may rival that of France by 2058.

French Champagne producers such as Louis Roederer have been looking at the chalky soil of the South Downs with interest, believing it offers them a great opportunity to produce sparkling wines similar to Champagne itself.

Recent international blind-tasting competitions even saw some English sparkling wines triumphing over the best Champagnes.

If British growers get support from British drinkers and are able to compete on price will they be able to compete with Champagne in the future?


 Simon Field, Berrys’ Champagne and Sparkling Wine Buyer views the vines at the Nyetimber Vineyard in Sussex.