England has made wine since the time of the Romans and is currently on a steep upward trajectory.
English wine can be broadly divided into two categories. For many years, English winemaking was dominated by table wines made from grape varieties that were especially suitable for the English climate, which for grape-ripening is particularly challenging. Mainstream varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon would rarely (if ever) ripen in our climate. Therefore, English winemakers planted Bacchus, Solaris, Seyval Blanc, Rondo, Dornfelder etc. All of these varieties are designed to ripen in a relatively cool climate and be resistant to disease in a damp environment.
Over the last 20 years, increasingly English winemaking has embraced sparkling wine, using mainly Chardonnay & Pinot Noir and making wine in the "traditional method". Both the method of production and the grape varieties are identical to that used in Champagne. The results are spectacularly successful with English sparkling wines winning many international awards.
Climate change has had a major impact on the entire industry. Warmer weather means grape ripen better, producing better quality wine.
Whilst internationally, English wine production remains very small, production has more than doubled over the last 10 years, with quality increasing all the time.
Join us on Saint George's Day, as we sample English sparkling, white, rosé and even red wine, including some great wines made in Shropshire.
See for yourself just how well English wine has developed, all accompanied by some suitably English snacks.
Local Wine Schools in the Press
'The best wine courses and classes in the UK'
'Londons loveliest wine tasting classes'