Over the last few years, the south of England has become home to a wealth of award-winning vineyards which are now providing the whole of the country with a host of fantastic wines. Pioneering the influx of English wineries was Camel Valley [Vineyards] who Knightor winemaker, James Thornton, describes as real trailblazers: “They led the way for many other wineries to open, not just here in Cornwall, but in other parts of England.”
Now in their 25th year of wine making, Camel Valley Wines are the producers of some pretty spectacular white wines that appear in all of the top restaurants all over Cornwall, including Rick Stein’s as well as further afield in places such as much-revered food merchantFortnum and Mason and Michelin-starred restaurant Hakkasan in London’s uber-suave Mayfair.
If you’re looking to celebrate some of south England’s finest wines for English Wine Week, Camel Valley is certainly a good place to start. On Sunday they offered wine lovers a tour and a tasting followed by a sumptuous meal at the vineyard. But, fear not; more of the same action is available by booking similar tours and tasting sessions via Camel Valley’s website at www.camelvalley.com/vineyard-tours/
A visit to Knightor boutique winery and café is the perfect way to celebrate England’s bountiful wine produce. Sample Kniqghtor’s premium still and sparkling English wines, all crafted from grapes grown in Knightor’s very own vineyards at nearby Portscatho and Seaton, as well as grapes from other selected specialst English growers, while gorging on second-to-none tapas served at Knightor’s Cellar Door Café.
During English Wine Week, Knightor will be celebrating by offering wine lovers tours and tastings from Thursday 29 May until Sunday 1 June. Wine buffs can ogle at Knightor’s Enomatic wine dispensing machines – the only ones in Cornwall – which will be offering a taste of a wide selection of regional wines from the South West.
English vineyard and winery Furleigh Estate has a multitude of reasons to celebrate. For one, its sparkling wine has won numerous awards and, most recently, it has been added to the wine lists of a raft of top London restaurants including La Trompette in Chiswick, Mark Hix’s six London restaurants and Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen.
Situated in Salway Ash in West Dorset, this former dairy farm grows a variety of vines on the south-facing slopes of the estate, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, which are used to produce its classic quality sparkling wine and Bacchus and Rondo grapes, which produce fine, still wines.
Rebecca Hansford, owner of Furleigh Estate, said: “We may be a small business, but our product speaks volumes and has opened doors for us at some of the capital’s finest establishments. We are especially proud that our Classic Cuvée sparkling wine is to be sold by the glass at the Michelin starred La Trompette and are confident that it is the perfect aperitif to enjoy before a meal on a warm summer evening.”
Those looking to taste Furleigh Estate’s wines during this week’s celebrations should email [email protected] or phone 01308 488991 for more information. If you can’t make this week, though, don’t be despondent — tours and tastings take place every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer.
Award-winning wine lists at Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club
Elite Hotels will be celebrating English Wine Week (May 24 to Sunday 1 June) by offering a list of exclusive fine wines obtained from local vineyards, which will be available in each of their luxury hotels, including Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club in East Sussex.
Wines will include a delicate sparkling Ridgeview Cuvee Merrett Bloomsbury from the winners of the Decanter World Wine Awards Best Sparkling 2010 – Ridgeview Wine Estate; the refreshing and elegant Denbies Surrey Gold, England’s best-selling English wine produced by the largest vineyard in England – Denbies Wine Estate; and a Bronze Medal winning 2011 Lychgate Red from Sussex based vineyard – Bolney Wine Estate.
Commenting on the launch of the exclusive wine list, general manager at Ashdown Park Hotel said: “We are proud to support the English wine making industry and have featured English wines on our menus for many years now. The quality of the wines is outstanding and we are delighted to be able to offer our guests the chance to celebrate English Wine Week with a full menu of some of the finest English wines available.”
The Wine Pantry
The Wine Pantry in London’s famed foodie central, Borough Market, will be opening its doors for the first time under a special license to showcase an endless range of English wines and British beers and spirits in celebration of English Wine Week 2014.
Hush Heath Winemaker Dinner
To add to the nationwide celebrations of the great and the good from the English wine industry, Hush Heath Estate will be throwing open the doors of its newly-opened City outpost, The Hide at The Bull, for a quintessentially English tasting dinner on Wednesday 28th May 2014.
The ticketed four-course tasting dinner has been curated by Head Chef Kalifa Diakhaby and Hush Heath winemaker Victoria Ash, to highlight prestige wines and to commemorate the launch of its tasting club, The Cunning Plan Wine & Spirits Club.
Tickets for the Hush Heath & English Wine Week Dinner will be available to buy at £25 per person from www.hushheath.com.
The menu includes: Skye’s English Chardonnay Roasted Figs with Stilton *** Balfour Brut Rosé Roasted Scallops, Cauliflower Puree & Caramelized Pineapple **** Cuvee Skye Blanc de Blancs Ballotine of Rabbit with Wild Mushroom Fricassee ***** Jake’s Orchard Sparkling Strawberry and Blackcurrant Cider Goats Cheese Pannacotta with Poached Strawberries