Top 10 cool climate wine regions

2. England

three-choirs_2572519a-largeGST: 14.1

Plantings: 1,500 ha

Main grapes: 21% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir, 9% Bacchus

England is still pretty new to the wine world stage, yet regional differentiation is already moving up the agenda. The country’s first (modern era) vineyard in 1952 was Hambledon in Hampshire.

“We could have done [sparkling] fifty years ago”, said managing director Ian Kellett of the country’s burgeoning (from a microscopic base) sparkling wine industry. “In 1952 Hambledon made still because of cashflow. [But] having had Nyetimber demonstrate you can successfully make sparkling wine, what’s happening now is professionally planted vineyards, with winemaking teams and investment teams.”

He added: “Champagne has left the door wide open on quality because you have the vineyard on one side and houses on another … houses don’t get the best juice.”

Following the opposite ‘estate’ model, he said: “Hambledon’s plan is to grow all our own grapes on our own vineyard land, all on chalk. Chalk matters to the way in which acidity deploys across the palate.”

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