English Sparkling Wine Could Overtake Champagne!

24th March 2016

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Research from Harvard University suggests that the south of the UK could overtake France’s Champagne region as top bubbly producers if temperatures continue to rise.

As the climate has become warmer in recent years, there has been at least one positive outcome: better wine. France’s Champagne region has been able to produce better vintages thanks to the warmer climate which causes grapes to ripen quicker. This in turn has brought harvesting times forward.

However, if temperatures continue to rise it could have an adverse affect on the vines and can cause the flavour deteriorate. If this is the case for France, the research suggests it could become too hot for ideal vine-growing conditions.

This is where the south of England shines as conditions there would become perfect, possibly making it the new European centre of sparkling wine production.

Even now, conditions in the UK already allow for competitive sparkling wines to be produced, particularly in Surrey, Kent and Sussex where the chalky soils are similar to that in Champagne.

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Champagne producers have already caught on to this, with Champagne Taittinger buying up land in the UK. The future could see more Champagne houses investing in British soil.

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, President, Champagne Taittinger said “We believe we can produce a high quality English sparkling wine drawing on our 80 years of winemaking expertise. Our aim is to make something of real excellence in the UK’s increasingly temperate climate, and not to compare it with Champagne or any other sparkling wine.”

Could south east England become the ‘new Champagne region’? Perhaps the UK sparkling wine industry will gain from a warmer climate and be able to produce even better wines. Still, France has it’s own expertise, prestige and a great diversity in it’s sparkling wines – there’s no doubt they will always be producing excellent bubbly. The more the better!

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