A trip to the Chapel Down winery

English wine has been taking the UK drinks market by storm over the past years. Big names in the industry such as Nyetimber, Gusbourne, Chapel Down and Bolney have been competing with each other for many years, but 2017 is predicted to be the biggest yet for British wine[1]. The chalky soil of South-East England as well as the increasing temperature makes for the ideal terroir to produce the high quality grapes which make great tasting wine. Interestingly renowned champagne brands from France have been crossing the channel and snapping up English land to grow their own produce for similar richness.

Wild Card visited the Chapel Down 16 acre winery this week, situated in the beautiful Kent countryside, a couple of miles outside Tenterden. Chapel Down is listed in many of the UK’s finest restaurants and is also supported by leading chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver who serve a few Chapel Down bottles in their own restaurants.

The visit started with a tour of the vineyards surrounding the winery, still beautiful at this time of year despite the lack of fruit. We learned the mechanics and processes behind the machinery used and the fine skill and precision needed for expert winemaking. We also spent some time understanding the processes of fermentation, disgorgement and the famous winemaking method called ‘traditionelle’.

The trip ended with a tasting of the 15 Chapel Down wines including sparkling and still, where grape variety, nose, body, and food pairings were all taken into consideration. The visit to the winery made it clear why us ‘Brits are developing a thirst for homegrown fizz’ [1].

In May 2016, the brand became the official wine supplier of 10 Downing Street and has recently signed a four-year agreement to become the official partner of The Boat Race Company Limited (BRCL). Chapel Down has also been expanding wider into Europe; just last month the brand launched in France during Paris Fashion Week.

Chapel Down Winery are set for a very exciting 2017 so watch this space! To book your own visit to the beautiful Chapel Down winery you can visit the website or call 01580 766 111.

 

[1] The Drinks Business

 

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