English winery, Chapel Down is one of a few wineries in England that are forging the way forward for English wine. They recently have joined forces with Harvey Nichols to launch two new wines - a Blanc de Blancs 2007 and a Chardonnay Reserve 2010.
This just reinforces the clear demonstration of the exploding interest in English wine amongst both domestic and international shoppers.
This speak of a booming production along with mounting interest across the Channel for national wines – a product which, even just a decade ago, most Frenchmen would simply refrain from tasting, is phenomenal. Maybe we will be able to literally drink our way out of the recession?!
Elsewhere in the South, it’s the Ridgeview vineyard in the South Downs that has caught the attention over the last few weeks, with a now impressive production of around 240,000 bottles a year, a tenfold increase on the initial output. Among the other rising stars of the English wine industry are also Camel Valley in Cornwall, Nyetimber in West Sussex, and, the biggest wine producer on this side of the Channel
Helped by the recent heatwaves of English summers, this industry has an expanding potential for growth: it is estimated that by 2015 around 4 million bottles will be produced in the over 400 active English vineyards, up from 250,000 just over ten years ago.
So now can England call themselves the Land of hope, glory and wines? If the English wine industry keeps sending signals as positive as the most recent ones, this description may as well one day be used for England.
In the year of Britannia, with the olympics and the Jubilee, it seems that the English wine business has now got the confidence and quality it takes to conquer sophisticate consumers.
I reckon if this continues we will have to add a new section on the site 'English' wines.