Although the history of English wine stretches back to the Roman era, historically growing grapes in England was difficult because of the climate. In the Middle Ages, English people began importing wine from other countries such as France and Portugal, and in the mid 19th century English wine struggled because foreign products were made available at a lower cost to consumers.
However, wine growing in England began to recover in the 1930s when more vineyards were planted, and due to global warming England has become a more suitable location for growing grapes.
The grape most commonly grown in England is the Seyval Blanc, followed by the Reichensteiner and Bacchus. All three are used to make white wine. Popular red grapes grown in England include Pinot Noir and Pinor meunier. Most of England’s vineyards are based in the south of the country, which typically has a warmer climate during the summer than the north.
Purchasing English wine is a great way to support local independent and family run businesses. Wyfold in the Chiltern Hills is one vineyard which produces high quality wines. Their sparkling wines combine deep, fruity flavours with a crisp taste which is ideal for an apéritif. The Upperton vineyard in West Sussex also produces a delightful selection of sparkling wines, using the Champagne method. This includes the fresh, vibrant Nebula Brut and the bright, flavoursome Erubesco Rose.
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