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England has a long history of winemaking which dates back to Roman times.

You could say that 2017 was the year that England came of age. The far reaching frosts that swept across Europe in April hit England just as hard. Many producers were exposed to the harsh realities that many of their European cousins have understood, and been accustomed to, for many generations.

English winemaking is at an exciting point in its development, every year growing in maturity, and in quality, as producers learn from the land they farm and understand it better. Also benefiting from the amassed knowledge and shared experience from around the world, they are accelerating their prowess beyond their own collective experience.

The latest addition to our English portfolio, Oxney Organic Estate in Sussex, is a prime example of this with wine being only part of a larger mix on the estate. Wine shares the limelight with all aspects of organic farming and benefits accordingly. The ethos is clear, and holistic, matched by the enthusiasm in the belief that treating the land well will benefit all, and that it is the most important place to start. With only three vintages under their belt, their Classic cuvée is already a wonderful fresh, elegant example of what English Sparkling wine can be, and we are proud to have it join our portfolio.

Not to be out done, Albourne Estate have also launched a delightful Blanc de Blancs this year, adding another feather to the cap of Alison Nightingale. A stunning, taut and lithe wine highlighting the diversity and variety that English wine now offers, and shows that whatever the weather may bring the future remains bright.

New for 2018 with minimal intervention, open press ferments is Hidden Spring Vineyard, sited at the southern edge of the Weald as it cascades towards the coast heading for Eastbourne.