A visit to Exton Park Vineyard English Sparkling Wine

31st July 2017


I get to hear a lot about Exton Park Vineyard for their team are always very active when it comes to industry tastings and sharing news and updates online. I was only recently on my ‘A Visit to‘ series in Champagne and I noted a bottle of Exton Park Vineyard in one of the Champagne houses fridge alongside their own wines so they are certainly getting around a bit and appearing within rivals wine collections! So I was very happy to be invited to Exton Park Vineyard to visit and explore their vineyard in more depth, the people behind the label, the wines and what goes in to making a bottle of their bubbly.

English Sparkling Wine certainly packs a punch of aromas and tastes, we are really seeing some high standard wines being produced by the some 500 wineries across the country and Exton Park Vineyard is certainly up there with the best of them. Head wine maker Corinne Seely, who holds a number of years experience in fine wine making internationally, is really expressing her vision and passion for achieving the best results from the grapes being grown in the vineyards which are managed by vineyard manager Fred Langdale and I was lucky to be joined by both of them for a great tour of Exton Park Vineyard and of course an eagerly anticipated tasting.

Exton Park Vineyard is a relatively new name to the industry with their first vines being planted back in 2003 and the brand did not really enter the market until 2011 a couple of years after the estate was purchased by current owner Malcolm Isaac – The winery now offers 6 labels to include Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Rosé and 2011 Vintage. Speaking with Corinne trying to understand what her vision is going forward for Exton Park Vineyard, she passionately replied, as she nearly always does when she speaks about the making of her wines, “My desire is to always make the best wines I can, you can never say I have now made the best ever wine as it is in me always to better what I do. We have exciting times ahead here an Exton Park Vineyard and I have a few surprises up my sleeve.

You can feel the terroir in our wines and for me that is the most important thing and makes them unique, you can not make a great wine without great terrior – Chalk is part of the magic of our wines. Internationally people are recognising English Sparkling Wine and we are not here to be seen as a copy of Champagne, we are here to make a new category of sparkling wine which has its very own identity.” Corinne shared with me. If you ever visit Exton Park Vineyard and are able to meet with Corinne, you will see that she is very experimental and searching for new things, reaching for new tasting experiences and pushing the boundaries, she even has her very own spice rack, a room of wine barrels with varied grape juices in from previous years so she can find the perfect mixes and combinations.

I was particularly amazed with their 2011 rosé that gave great fruits and brioche on the nose with an initial sharp taste that quickly gave way to red berry fruits, fruit crumble and more mouth watering delights. It’s pale and delicate salmon colour was lively with fine bubbles and I made sure that whilst we listened to Corinne during the tasting that I poured myself an extra small glass to enjoy in full.



Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.