Interview With Cecilia Haszlakiewicz – Goodworth Clatford Vineyard

10th May 2024

Interview With Cecilia Haszlakiewicz Goodworth Clatford Vineyard

Exploring the sparkling wines in our very own back garden, English Bubbly is on the rise, and if you have the passion, time, a bit of land and knowledge, then you too can start your own bubbly empire.

Today we’re discovering the remarkable story of Goodworth Clatford Vineyard, and speaking with one of the remarkable minds behind it, Cecilia Haszlakiewicz, we’ll discover a little about herself, the creation of Goodworth and so much more!

It’s Lovely To Speak With You Cecilia, Before We Start Exploring Your Incredible Range Of Award Winning English Sparkling Wines, Can You Share With Us A Little About Yourself And How You Launched The Goodworth Clatford Vineyard Brand?

“I arrived in London from Sweden 50 years ago. When I married, after a career in hotels, (The Savoy, The Ritz and The Mandarin Hong Kong), I moved to a small village, Goodworth Clatford, in Hampshire. My days were filled with three stepchildren, horses and cats, plus my own consultancy business and voluntary work in the community shop. When the stepchildren had grown up and left home and the horses were sold, my husband, Mark and I wondered: ‘What do we do with the old paddock?’

The answer was: A Vineyard! Goodworth Clatford Vineyard.

So in 2016, we planted 1,325 vines – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. A crazy retirement project. The first harvest was in 2018, and in 2021 the first vintage of Goodworth Classic Blend 2018, an English Quality Sparkling Wine became available with the help of our winemakers, Halfpenny Green in Staffordshire. It was a great success winning Gold in the Glass of Bubbly Awards.

2019 was an amazing year when we picked 5,000 kgs so we decided not only to produce Goodworth Classic Blend 2019 Brut which was released in November 2022 but also a Goodworth Pinot Blend Brut 2019 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Pinot Meunier.

Late frost hit us in May 2020 and we lost most of our crop only yielding 150kg of mostly Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir with a dash of Chardonnay. By good fortune we had some Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir left from the blending in 2019 so we were able to produce a delicious Goodworth Rose NV adding skins from 2021 which has gone down very well at our tastings. Our latest wine is Goodworth Chardonnay Brut 2019, which has had almost four years on the lees, was released in mid March has already received very positive comments at tastings and is destined for wine lists and shops in Hampshire and beyond.

Awaiting release in the next couple of months in time for the Spring/Summer season is our Goodworth Rose 2021, which is looking very promising. As we are an English wine we like to call it Classic Blend rather than Classic Cuvee, Pinot Blend rather than Blanc de Noirs, Chardonnay rather than Blanc de Blancs and Rose rather than Rosé.”

When It Comes To Pairing Sparkling Wine With Food, Do You Have Any Favourite Combinations That You Would Personally Recommend?

“Our favourite is locally smoked trout on brown bread accompanied by a dill and mustard sauce. The Test Valley is famous for its trout filled chalk streams. Our wine also pairs very well with quails eggs and soft cheeses, like Isle of Wight Blue or Tunworth – all from Hampshire, of course!”

What Has Been Your Hardest Obstacle To Overcome In Producing English Sparkling Wine?

“Finding a local winemaker when we first started turned out to be an issue. At the time of planting, we asked who could make our wine and we were told that Hampshire was full of vineyards with wineries that would make it for us. Come 2018 and time for our first harvest the big vineyards were not interested, we were too small they said, which gave us a bit of a headache, but by chance and good fortune, we came across Halfpenny Green Wine Estate, a family business in Staffordshire, who took us on and are producing award winning wines for us.

Another issue was the late frost in 2020. When we planted we decided to install heating wires on the fruiting wire to protect the buds from the early frost in April, so there would be no need for boujis and getting up in the middle of the night to light them. This has been very successful to date for the early frosts but for late frosts we have now purchased candles to avoid the disaster of 2020.”

How Do You See The Future Of English Sparkling Wine?

“According to Stephen Skelton’s latest guide, there are now over 1,150 vineyards covering approx 11,200 acres in England, there will most likely be a surplus of English sparkling wine in the future which may affect pricing.

Although Champagne seems still to be the go to for celebrations I believe the trend is that more people are willing to try English sparkling wine (now available by the glass thanks to the latest Coravin) as an alternative, to discover that it is delicious and be willing to convert. Hopefully, that trend will continue.

There needs to be a better word/description than English sparkling or English Fizz as a collective name, like Cava, Prosecco, to facilitate the marketing of English sparkling.

It is great to see how the quality of English sparkling wine produced continue to go from strength to strength and often outdo Champagne in international competitions.”

Where’s The Most Memorable Place You’ve Enjoyed A Glass of Bubbly?

“Sitting in the sunshine in our garden in Goodworth Clatford tasting our very own first ever vintage of Goodworth Classic Blend 2018 Brut in September 2021. It does not get more special than that!”

Thank you, Cecilia, for sharing your story and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!

Photo Credit belongs to Cecilia Haszlakiewicz, Glass of Bubbly was granted permission, to use them.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.