Cheers to the Vineyards of Hampshire

Cheers to the Vineyards of Hampshire

English sparkling wine has been causing quite a stir on the international wine circuit in recent years. Sunday was an opportunity for people to come and see just what all the fuss is about and the time and skills that go into making Hampshire’s award-winning bubbles.

The Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival took place at Hattingley Valley Wines in Lower Wield near Alresford and attracted close to 500 visitors. The event brought together seven of the county’s leading vineyards with tastings and plenty of knowledgeable chat about the local wine scene.

Festival goers were also treated to tractor rides up to the vines and tours of the winery. Tasty local food was available to enjoy or take home from Savage and Bean, Parsonage Farm, Jake’s Pies, Winchester Cocoa Company and Honesty Bakery, as well as produce from charity stall MOVE.

The Vineyards of Hampshire collaboration brings together Cottonworth, Danebury, Exton Park, Hambledon, Hattingley Valley, Jenkyn Place and Meon Hill. By working as a group the vineyards are able to strengthen the message about excellent wine being made across the county.

Simon Robinson, owner of Hattingley Valley Wines commented on the Wine Festival:

“We were honoured to host this year’s Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival and particularly delighted to welcome East Hampshire’s MP, Damian Hinds, who officially opened the festival. It was fantastic to see so many people enjoying the day. Our vineyard and winemaking teams were on hand at the vineyard and winery, respectively, to show visitors around. This is a fantastic opportunity for our staff to showcase what we do and for our visitors to learn about the production side of winemaking before sampling the finished wines. The main festival arena was buzzing with activity as visitors enjoyed an array of the finest food and wine that Hampshire has to offer. It was also great to fundraise for our chosen charity MOVE and raise over £6,000 for this worthwhile local disability charity. To top off a fantastic day we were blessed by the sunshine making an appearance, at last! “

The Mayor of Winchester, Jane Rutter attended the event with her husband: “Duncan and I were very impressed with the quantity and quality of the wines we tasted, and in fact bought three bottles to take home with us for special occasions. Similarly we enjoyed tasting various foods from chocolate to salami and, and are enjoying the boozy cupcakes we brought home with us. It was a wonderful celebration of the variety and quality of Hampshire Fare now available, which so many people have invested much time and resources into building up over recent years.”