Best of British | When wine and fashion meet

14 Dec 2015
2 min read
Dame Vivienne Westwood’s recent visit to the West Sussex heartland of Nyetimber sparkling wine, saw the bringing together of two great British pioneers of their fields…
British pioneers

The Nyetimber estate is a true landmark in British history in terms of pioneering the English sparkling wine trade. The planting of it’s first wines took place in 1986 and it wasn’t until 2006 that Nyetimber wines received a well-deservedinternational following.

Not usually known for it’s prime wine growing climate,Nyetimber has prevailed in producing award-winning English sparkling wines from the holy trinity of Champagne grapes:chardonnay, pinot meunier and pinot noir. The reason for the success of the estate is down the fact thatSouthern England is perfect for the production of sparkling wine. The chalk seam that supplies Champagne grapes with the perfect green sand and chalky soil to flourish is the very same that runs under the lee of the South Downs. This is where, sheltered from the coastal winds, our vines are planted across eight separate sites.The climate here allows for the slow ripening of thegrapes, allowing Nyetimberto achieve the optimum level of acidity for the wine, as well as the complexity and finesse that the sparkling wines are known for.

A true pioneer for England, the story of Nyetimber is akin to the successful career that Dame Vivienne Westwood has seen through her pioneering British fashion label. They both share a passion for championing the best ofBritish and for this have earned themselves an audience on the world stage. The Nyetimber estate have partnered with Vivienne before in abid to support causes such asthe Trillion Fund, Climate Revolution and most recently, the‘Mirror the World’ Red Label SS16catwalk show for London Fashion Week 2015.

On arrival at the Estate, Vivienne Westwood and her husband and Creative Director, Andreas Kronthaler, joined head winemaker Cherie Spriggs for an intimate tasting in The White Barn. Together they discovered the craft and philosophy behind the West Sussex producer’s award-winning sparkling wine.

Following the tasting, Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler toured the Manor vineyard, walking amongst the oldest Chardonnay vines in England, with the beautiful backdrop of the South Downs and West Sussex countryside.The visit concluded with a specially created three course lunch, with each dish paired to a Nyetimber English sparkling wine which was as follows:Starter |crispy hens egg, herb-dressed quinoa, scorched lettuce & radish.Paired with Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2010; Main |Fennel confit, oat crumb, mash, cauliflower textures & wood sorrel.Paired with Nyetimber Rose NV;Pudding |Bay-poached pear, caramelised walnuts, lemon-infused ice cream & honey madeleine.Paired with Nyetimber Demi-Sec NV.

FOUR caught up with the fashion icon to find out what the trip meant to her and why she loves the Nyetimber estate…

What do you particularly like about Nyetimber?

There is something very special about the Nyetimber Estate.The wine tastes wonderful and their vineyard is beautiful. I like that they have preserved the history of the place, and I love that they kept the original12thCentury name of the area meaning ‘New Woods’.

Which Nyetimber wine is your favourite?

The Tillington is my favourite, it’s really incredible, so light and just different.

What do you like about English sparkling wine?

The joy of drinking English sparkling wine!That’s champagne and this is Nyetimber.

Find out more information about the Nyetimber Estate here..