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If there's one country that has a vast and diverse history when it comes to wine it's England! The history of English wines is both fascinating and diverse, reflecting the country’s forever changing climate, technological advancements and evolving tastes. English wines date all the way back to the Roman period, where the cultivation of grapes and winemaking in England dates back to these times Romans introduced vine cultivation to the region, planting vineyards in southern England around the 2nd century AD which were mainly centred around what is now known as Kent Sussex. Wine was even used for religious purposes during the Medieval and Middle Ages in ministries and churches and still can be seen to this day.
In recent years, English winemakers have focused on growing grape varieties that are well suited to the country’s climate and terroir. English wines, particularly the sparkling kind have gained recognition for their overall high quality and are often compared to Champagne. One of the most popular and famous grapes used for both sparkling and still wines is Chardonnay, which is a widely planted grape variety in English vineyards and is especially good for adding delicate and fruity flavours to beverages.
English wine is created in a very traditional way, from grape cultivating to bottling. The process can vary slightly depending on the type of wine being produced whether it's still or sparkling and the winery’s specific methods. English wine making typically begins in Vineyards where grapevines are cultivated, pruned and managed throughout the year to ensure healthy growth and optimal fruit development and grapes are typically harvested when they reach the desired level of ripeness, the timing of picking the grapes is also crucial to achieve the desired flavours and balance in the wine.
English Wine Types
English wines come in a huge variety of styles , with such a huge selection of wines to choose from that are all created to the highest standard, what are the nations favourites? England is definitely famous for their sparkling wines and is definitely one of their most acclaimed types, it’s often made using the same traditional technique that is used in luxurious Champagne production. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunior are all commonly used grapes in English wines.
The South of England, particularly Sussex and Kent, has gained a reputation for producing high-quality sparkling wines. White wine is also a hugely popular wine that has been gaining lots of recognition for their quality and unique characteristics. Distinct varieties like Bacchus, Ortega and Seyval Blanc are often used, producing wines ranging from aromatic and floral to crisp and refreshing. These wines certainly showcase the cool climate and distinctive terroir of English vineyards.
English Wine Regions
England has several distinct wine regions, each and everyone being unique. One of the most distinct regions is the South East of England, with regions such as Kent known as the “Garden Of England”. Kent is one of the most well-established and renowned wine regions in England. It’s particularly known for producing high-quality sparkling wines due to its chalky soils and favourite climate. The region of Sussex, including East and West Sussex, has gained a reputation for its sparkling wines due to its chalky soils and favourable climate.
These regions collectively contribute to England's emergence as a notable wine-producing country, with a particular emphasis on sparkling wines that have garnered international acclaim.