Couple trade in semi for English vineyard

8th August, 2014 by Lauren Eads

A couple who sold their house and bought a Somerset vineyard are set to launch their first English sparkling wine under the banner Smith and Evans English Sparkling Wine.

Untitled

Husband and wife duo Guy Smith and Laura Evans said goodbye to suburbia in 2008 selling their home and buying up a nine acre farm in Somerset with plans to produce English sparkling wine.

Six years after planting Burgundian Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier vines, the couple are launching their first release 2010 vintage.

Guy has a unique insight into the drinks trade having worked in the drinks industry for most of his career at company’s including United Distillers, Rémy Cointreau and Freixenet.

With the burgeoning English sparkling wine getting increasing recognition for its quality, Guy believes the future of English and Welsh sparkling wines is “incredibly bright”, but warned of “inevitable growing pains”.

He said: “Volume and value are intrinsically linked and so with a large potential harvest this year plus big new plantings coming on stream, it will be important that producers keep their nerve when all this hits the shelves.

“We must look for new consumers rather than cutting prices. Many look to New Zealand as their model for market development but we could end up looking more like Switzerland with an ultra-loyal domestic market willing to pay premium prices but, with the added bonus of strong exports. We don’t always appreciate how well England is perceived in other markets“.

The couple’s Higher Plot Farms lies on a limestone ridge with calcerous clay soil in South Somerset planted with Burgundian Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier vines.

Of their vineyard Guy said: “We are tiny compared to the big money plantings elsewhere in the country but we are intensely proud of the quality that Higher Plot has achieved since planting. The wines show a distinctive minerality and our aim is to reflect the particular qualities of each vintage and not to produce a single homogenous style”.

Smith and Evans’ first release, a 2010 English Sparkling Wine, is expected to retail at £29.90 and already has distribution online and is available in London Retail at The Wine Pantry in Borough Market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Administrative Assistant

Swig Wines Ltd
Chiswick, London, UK

HR Manager

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

Beer Development Specialist

Matthew Clark
London, UK

Senior Sales Manager

Haynes Hanson & Clark
Gloucestershire, GB

Customer Services Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Group
London, UK

Inventory Analyst

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

Events Executive - Atom Supplies

ATOM Supplies Limited
London, UK

Off-Trade Sales Account Executive

Domaine Direct
Nationwide, working from a combination of home & London office.

Sales Executive/Brand Ambassador

Glenfarclas
Ballindalloch, Speyside, UK

Client Manager

Noble Rot
Wandsworth, London, GB

Spirits Investment Director

Stilnovisti
London, UK

Junior Brand Manager

Enotria Winecellars
Park Royal, London, UK

Content & Digital Assistant

ABVGlobal
London, UK

Sales Manager

Cellar Trends
London, UK

Champagne Masters 2017

Deadline : 7th July 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Syrah Masters 2017

Deadline : 18th July 2017

Click to view more

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

Click to view more