How things have changed. A combination of global warming and improved techniques have elevated English wines. Wine guru Oz Clarke now has material to fill a book on just that subject, English Wine: From still to sparkling: The NEWEST New World wine country. We in the UK will glow with pride and the French will likely cringe. That is a heart-warming state of affairs for all of us who have longed for our home-grown bottles to be appreciated by an international audience.
Until the 1990s English wine was no more than a talking point. The long-held view of English winemaking was that it was a classy hobby rather than a serious industry. The contemporary view is of a country bristling with vines on some of the soils best suited to viticulture, and the same as that found in the vineyards of the more celebrated Champagne and Chablis. We are now growing and harvesting the same grape varieties found in the very best sparkling white wines from those regions. These days England is considered by many as the newest of the New World wine nations.
From Yorkshire to the West Country and across to Wales
Oz has long been a champion of English wines and his new book helps you find the best wines, from fizz, whites, and some impressive reds to even dessert and orange wines. The opportunity to meet growers, winemakers and winery owners is what draws people to visit wineries and have a charming and educational experience in the vineyard. From Yorkshire to the West Country and across to Wales, Oz discovers a small but dynamic part of the UK’s flourishing wine revival – yes, we did make wine here back in Roman times. He recommends wines he has enjoyed and found interesting, and encourages you to try for yourself.
English Wine: From still to sparkling finds Oz listing a host of English wine makers, and the ‘glass’ icons at each entry indicate if the wines are still or sparkling or both. There is full contact information and plenty of vineyard background. Oz recommends his favourite bottles and tells you where you can purchase them. This is a great handbook for anybody wanting to plan an English vineyard tour.
English Wine: From still to sparkling: The NEWEST New World wine country
Author: Oz Clarke
Publisher: Pavilion Books