Taittinger First Champagne House to invest in English Sparkling Wine
9th December 2015
Champagne Taittinger has acquired land in Kent to establish a UK Vineyard.
Champagne Taittinger has announced the launch of Domaine Evremond. Working with Hatch Mansfield and private investors, this unique collaboration marks the first time that a Champagne House has invested in the UK with the intention of producing premium English sparkling wines.
The team has purchased 69 hectares of farmland at Stone Stile Farm in Kent. Forty hectares of this will be planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines to produce English sparkling wine. The first fruit for winemaking will be available in 2020 and bottled in 2021. So it will be around eight years before the first Domaine wine is produced. Ultimately they are aiming for around 300,000 bottles plus per annum.
Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, President, Champagne Taittinger said “We have dreamt for a number of years of working with our dear friends in the UK to create a special Franco/British project. Built on the values of friendship, this venture will create something special to show our appreciation of the UK support for Champagne – it is Champagne Taittinger’s number one export market. We are very excited that this dream is now becoming a reality.
“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.”
“Our family has already had considerable success planting sparkling wine vineyards in the USA in 1987 when we launched Domaine Carneros by Taittinger, our venture with the Kopf family of Kobrand Wine & Spirits. We hope to replicate this success in the UK, working alongside our UK agent, Hatch Mansfield.
“Our family has strong connections to Kent through my father, Jean Taittinger, who twinned Canterbury with Reims over 45 years ago when he was Mayor of Reims (1959 – 1977); so I am looking forward to being able to strengthen these links with Kent and with Great Britain as we embark on this venture.”
Domaine Evremond takes its name from Charles de Saint-Evremond (1614-1703), a Frenchman and the first true ambassador for Champagne, who fueled its popularity in England during the court of Charles II. A poet, epicurean and literary critic, he is buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. A passionate historian, Pierre-Emmanuel named this new venture, Domaine Evremond, in his memory.
The land, a former apple farm, is near Chilham in Kent, close to Canterbury and Faversham. The plots to be planted are a maximum of 80 metres above sea level, with chalk soil and south-facing slopes, creating an ideal terroir (soil, microclimate and topography) to plant and grow high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines.
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