Will English Sparkling Wine Ever Edge Ahead of Champagne?
19th September 2016
Naked Wines are predicting that 2016 will be the year that English sparkling wines edge ahead of Champagne for the first time. The record breaking Indian summer has meant that 2016’s grape crop will be the ripest, most concentrated and highest quality for decades. In contrast, France has had one of the toughest vintages with frost, hail and drought impacting the Champagne region.
Naked Wines is forecasting the English vintage of the Century. The long Indian summer, low rainfall and September heat wave have resulted in a corking vintage for English wine producers. The chalk soils that English vines sit on also have a two year reserve of water to draw on and so these have been the perfect conditions for a brilliant harvest.
France, in contrast, has had a particularly difficult 2016. A warm spring left French vine buds vulnerable to attack when hail and frost covered Northern France in early May, affecting Champagne.
Winemaking is one of the UK’s fastest growing industries. Over the past five years, sales of sparkling wines have risen by 80% in the UK (Source: UHY Hacker Young)
Eamon Fitzgerald, MD of Naked Wines UK commented: “For the first time in English winemaking history, weather conditions have favoured English winemaking more than our French neighbours. We believe the brilliant 2016 vintage and weaker sterling mean there’s never been a better time than to pile in to our own produce.”
Ian Kellett, English winemaker commented: “Should the weather keep this up it looks likely to be one of the best vintages of the last 100 years in England – this would most certainly overtake many regions of France in quality and quantity. It’s an exciting time to be part of English wine and I’m looking forward to tasting the results of a brilliant British summer!”
Glass of Bubbly
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