English Wine Week now officially marks the start of summer as it falls across the Summer Solstice and Midsummer Day, from 19th to 27th June 2021. It’s been a long, cold and wet spring and we are all ready to celebrate. Champagne Pommery is doing just that with its English sparkling wine, Louis Pommery England.
In the past English wine had a well-deserved bad reputation but things began to change a couple of decades ago. English wine has become better known and continues to grow in popularity worldwide. It is increasingly recognised as a premium wine-producing region and with climate change there will be more vineyards planted in the UK in future. Our soil in the South of England is exactly the same as that found in the slightly more celebrated vineyards of Champagne in France.
The house of Pommery was the first to produce an English sparkling wine, initially using grapes from Hampshire-based growers, and now harvesting from its own vines in that area, which is becoming known for its English wines. There are more than 450 wineries in England and around 3.15m bottles are produced per year, much of it from the south and south east.
Perfect growing medium for vines
Award-winning Louis Pommery is produced on the Pinglestone Estate from a 40-hectare site where the chalky soil offers the perfect growing medium for vines. Pommery has 30 hectares of vineyard, planted between 2017 and 2019 with the classic Champagne trio of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier vines. Three years after the first vines were planted, Pommery brought in its first ever grapes harvested on UK soil.
Clément Pierlot, Champagne Pommery Chef de Cave and head of winemaking for Louis Pommery England, comments: “I have been involved with this project since its inception and it has been very exciting to explore the growing of vines and winemaking in the UK. As soon as myself and Mr Vranken came across Pinglestone Estate we knew this was the right location for our vines, we felt it was extremely special land and the first vintage has proven exceptional. English Wine Week celebrates the incredible English wines available and we’re very proud to be part of this and to have been the first Champagne House to produce an English sparkler.”
In the glass, Louis Pommery England offers white fruit with a hint of white blossom on the nose. On the palate it has tart apple to the fore with fresh citrus and nectarines adding a balance, the bubbles well-integrated and lingering. The finish is pleasing with a suspicion of wet stones. This excellent sparkling wine works well with light seafood, grilled vegetables and soft fruits.
Louis Pommery England sparkling wine is available at Ocado and Majestic.