In celebration of English Wine Week, we spoke with award-winning English wine producers, Bolney Wine Estate. A haven of peace and tranquility in the Sussex countryside, Bolney is one of England’s oldest vineyards, producing premium red, white, rosé and sparkling English wines. Many of us know lots about wine when it comes to choosing between red or white, still or sparkling, earthy or fruity, but that’s not all there is to know. We asked Bolney to share the 7 things you need to know about English wine, from the weird to the wonderful. Here’s what they told us.
English wine is continuing to increase in popularity as people are trying more and more of these quality, local wines. In fact, there are now over 770 vineyards in the UK, so we’re spoilt for choice. Pioneers of English wine, Bolney were one of the first commercial vineyards in the UK, founded in 1972.
The limestone and sandstone soil, and the microclimate found in the South East of England, are comparable to the Champagne region. This is highlighted perfectly at the vineyard in Bolney. It’s even rumoured that our grape growing conditions are improving year on year meaning the UK’s produce is increasingly rivalling that from the Champagne region. We may be biased, but we think English sparkling wines are great and not to be missed!
Some grape varieties thrive more than others in the UK. Plenty love the soil and climate here so we’re not short of quality grapes and therefore wonderful wines. Some of the top grape varieties produced in the UK are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Bacchus – all of which you’ll find grown at Bolney Wine Estate and featured in their wines.
Ever wondered exactly why a sparkling wine cork ‘pops’ and can fly across the room if you haven’t got a good grip on it? Well, this is due to the pressure contained in a bottle of sparkling wine, usually around 5 – 6 bar. In comparison, this is around three times as much as a regular car tyre, and equivalent to the pressure of a London bus tyre!
English wine is now exported to over 40 countries around the world, so it is enjoyed as much by those in other countries as it is here.
The UK is one of the fastest growing wine regions in the world, having produced 10.5 million bottles of wine in 2019
English wine is award-winning! In fact, at Bolney they’ve won many prestigious awards for their wines including Best English Sparkling Wine and Best English Rosé Vintage, as well as 4 gold awards and 18 silver awards in the last two years.
So, there you have it! English wine is pretty special, but don’t just take our word for it. Visit your local Young’s pub and try Bolney Wine Estate’s extraordinary Eighteen Acre Rosé sparkling wine and summery Lychgate Bacchus to see for yourself.