Summer Goes Fizz, Pop & Sip!
Here’s a great excuse to celebrate the easing of lockdown while supporting local. Open a bottle of Hampshire wine. Postponed from May, English Wine Week is now running from 20th-28th June; is there a better way to enjoy a long June evening than sipping a glass of something white and light, pink and delicate or sparkling?
Wine-making is something we excel at here in Hampshire. Just last month, Danebury Vineyards picked up a double win with Danebury Reserve 2018 winning Gold Medal for best English still wine in the English wine category at the Sommelier Wine Awards, as well as the Best Wine by the Glass. This was a prestigious win selected from an impressive field of submissions from top English wine producers.
Simon Hawkins of Hawkins Bros, award-winning wine producers and wine merchants, says: “We've been growing grapes to make wine in England since the time of the Romans. However it is only fairly recently that our sparkling whites and roses have thrust themselves onto the world stage and become recognised for the great wines they are.
"In the last six years English fizz has won more gold medals at international competition than any other country! A combination of global warming, modern winemaking techniques and the local food movement has lead to this happy state of affairs.”
Having grown up in the heart of the English wine growing region, the Hawkins brothers are passionate about English wines and almost evangelical in their determination for everyone to at least try them. During English Wine Week they are holding virtual wine tastings and chats every evening at 7pm. Just buy a bottle or two and follow @Hawkinsbros on Instagram for these live events. Best of all there’s no need to book a taxi or argue over who is the designated driver. Check out their website for listings of wines which include wines from Kent, Sussex and Surrey as well as Hampshire. Hampshire wines feature on Monday, 22nd June, with Raimes English Sparkling Classic Cuvee and Blanc de Noirs, and Thursday, 25th June, with Jenkyn Place Vineyard Sparkling Rose and Blanc de Blanc.
In addition to Danebury Vineyard, Hawkins Bros, Raimes English Sparkling and Jenkyn Place Vineyard (all mentioned above), you could also seek out a bottle of something delicious from one of the following Hampshire Fare members (listed in alphabetical order). Black Chalk is a relatively new addition receiving rave reviews in the national press. Bluestone Vineyards is an exciting up and coming vineyard on the Wiltshire border. Cottonworth Wines produce traditional method fizz from classic varieties grown in the Test Valley. Exton Park Vineyard produces sparkling wines from a single vineyard in the heart of Hampshire’s chalk downs. Grange Estate Wines’ latest edition of PINK NV is now in stock (local pickup available). Hambledon Vineyard is the UK’s oldest commercial vineyard. Hattingley Valley Wines is considered one of the country’s most successful wineries and has a selection that includes Entice – a blossom fragrant dessert wine. Laverstoke Park Vineyard creates vintage biodynamic fizz. Priors Dean Vineyard has modern style fruity and crisp wines. Somborne Valley Vineyard’s choice includes a sparkling rose with summery strawberries and cream character.