The Rise of British Wine

For centuries, the British were fully committed to drinking wine rather than really producing it! So when it comes to quality wine, the UK is probably not the first country to come to mind. However, we have actually been making wine on a very small scale since the practice was introduced by the Romans following their invasion in 43AD. It is most likely these were fruity and sweet wines fermented with added honey and drunk young. Under the Normans wine production prospered for communion purposes and over 40 English vineyards are mentioned in the Domesday Book. 

With the onset of the First World War, as the need for crops and food, and the rationing of sugar, took priority over wine production, our tradition of wine making was brought to an end & it wasn't until the 1960's that a handful of enthusiasts recommenced the practice.

Today, England is an exciting new force in the wine world, producing world class bubbles, winning awards and, for the first time, beating major Champagne houses in competitions and earning well-deserved recognition across the globe. 
With a relatively small number of bottles made each vintage and the high number of accolades already under their belt, English Sparkling is considered in certain high profile circles as a chic alternative to Champagne. Found in luxury restaurants globally and served at exclusive events, the reputation for English sparkling appears to be on a steep upward trajectory. So much so, that some of the most prestigious Champagne houses are now buying or planting English vineyards and selling luxury English Champagne under their Champagne house label.

Generally the best regions for viticulture are found along the southern strip of England’s coast, from Cornwall to Kent, which share similar climates & soil types suitable for growing an array of cool-climate grapes varieties such as Chardonnay & Pinot Noir. However, there are superb wines also coming out of Wales, Norfolk & even as far norther as Yorkshire. So why not send an Easter gift of a locally made wine as part of a Thackray Brown sustainable hamper for memorable & shareable moments.