We are extremely delighted to announce the fantastic news of our local county: Sussex has marked its 25th year as a sparkling wine region. It has been named as ‘the best quality producing county in the UK’.
Six of the top 12 bottles in the country are from the beautiful location, Sussex. If that isn’t enough, the wine experts have drawn close and praising comparisons to that of the world-renowned Champagne region in France. This momentous celebration will feature in wine magazine, Decanter’s May edition, so keep your eyes peeled.
Which wine made it to number one?
Scoring 93 out of 100 points, in first place, is Ridgeview’s 2009 Grosvenor. Followed closely by Sussex bound Henners 2009 Vintage Brut then in third place Plumpton Estate’s The Dean.
Ridgeview first planted back in 1994 and started selling at the turn of the millennium. The family-run business produces approximately 250,000 to 300,000 bottles a year (think of how many football pitches that would fill). This also includes selling to some of the finest restaurants in the world! Their successes are not just limited to winning awards; they recently had a visit from the sommelier from the Quay restaurant in Sydney. Twenty per cent of their produce is now exported across to Australia. We don’t see this wine producer going ‘down under’ anytime soon!
So how does Sussex achieve such delicious sparkling wines?
Sparkling wine is often referred to as a ‘cool climate wine’. Therefore it does not come as a surprise that this temperature and setting is associated with Sussex, making it an ideal location for vineyards. It has also been argued that the acidity and soil in Sussex is perfect for producing sparkling wine. These factors are considered extremely important and contribute significantly to the end result; the quality and overall flavour.
England has gradually been gaining credence over the years since 1988 when two US citizens planted their first vines at the Nyetimber estate in West Sussex. In the 25 years since, many new producers of sparkling wine have successfully started up across the county making Sussex the new toast of the UK wine circle.
Raising a glass to Sussex wines
We would like to offer our congratulations to all of the winners and their scrumptious sparkling wines. We hope next year proves to be just as fruitful, if not better! We also don’t mind judging as well…