Celebrate the History of English Wine This Week
English Wine Producers, a trade association for English vineyards, established the event in 2006 to promote English wines. There are over 700 individual vineyards in the British Isles ranging from extremely small ones (the smallest only has six vines) to ones of almost 90-hectares (222-acres). Together they total around 2,000-hectares (4,942-acres). The English wine scene has come a long way in recent years, with the number of vineyards more than doubling since 2006. More and more vines and English vineyards are being planted even now. This growth is due to favourable climatic conditions and increased demand for high-quality English wines. But it’s not the quantity of English wine that has improved in recent years; the quality has increased too.
English wine has been gaining popularity in recent years, and there are several reasons why. First, the climate in England has improved for growing grapes, as the increase in warmth helps extend the growing season and produces lush, ripe fruit. English winemakers have refined their techniques in recent years, resulting in wines with more complex flavour profiles. English wine has a distinct taste, with its high acidity providing freshness and energy that have won it many awards within the wine industry.
With English wine poised to continue its success for many years to come why not get on board and give it a try?
At York Wines we stock English wines from the Three Choirs Vineyards. The Three Choirs Vineyard is based down in Gloucestershire and is one of the oldest in the UK dating back to the early 1973 when a local wine retailer and keen motoring enthusiast Alan McKechnie started harvesting the vines that he had planted on an experimental basis - and thus was born one of the oldest and most important wine producers in England. After nurturing his vineyard that had expanded mainly in part to the record temperatures of 1976 for 11 years, Alan unfortunately had to sell up in 1984 due to poor health and a new owner was found.
Under the new ownership of John Oldacre the vineyards began to flourish to coincide with this the name was changed from Fairfield Fruit Farms to Three Choirs Vineyards due in part to John’s connections to the Three Choirs Festival, England’s oldest choral festival. Unfortunately John was not able to see what Three Choirs has become today, passing away in 2001 and the company largely remains in the hands of his family. After an increase in visitor numbers and the need to modernise, a new state of the art winery and visitor centre was opened up to accommodate.
In 2017, after a yearlong project of rebranding, Three Choirs announced new labels for their wines, produced in collaboration with Amphora Design, a specialist design consultancy working specifically with the wine trade. Local illustrator Jane Randfield was commissioned to produce the illustration for the labels that incorporated the vineyard and the surrounding countryside. With a constant focus on innovation and multiple award wins (including the first gold medal at Vinexpo in Bordeaux to be awarded to an English vineyard Managing Director at Three Choirs, Thomas Shaw, says; "It is great to be packaging our wine with a label that truly reflects the provenance of our produce. English Wine deserves its own identity and Three Choirs is proud to be the first major English Vineyard to fully embrace our English Heritage on the bottle.” So why not take a look at and grab a couple of bottles of Three Choirs award winning wine and help us all celebrate English wine week.
Award winning – Three Choirs Vineyard Classic Cuvee Sparkling Wine N/V.
A blend of Seyval Blanc 80% and Pinot Noir 20% this Three Choirs sparkling wine has lovely fine bubbles with a pale green colour in the glass. Initailly a little appley but then with hints of underripe redcurrants. Dry and fragrant and really pleasing.
Three Choirs Vineyard Willow Brook 2020 –
This is from the 60% Schonburger and 40% Siegerrebe grape varieties. Three Choirs Vineyard Willow Brook 2020 has a soft, delicate nose and aromatic aromas which are followed by intricate spicy soft fruit flavours and a really long aftertaste.
Three Choirs Vineyard English House Dry White
This is the dry white - made from Seyval Blanc 50% Reichtenstiener 30% Madelaine Angelvine 20%. Three Choirs Vineyard English House Dry White wine is fresh and welcoming on the nose with hints of nettles and blackcurrant leaves. Delicate, fresh and tingly in the mouth with flavours of lemons, nettles and elderflower which leads to a crisp dry but not acidic finish. There is a very long aftertaste.
Three Choirs Vineyard Rose
This is a rose – made from Shiraz/Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre On the palate the summer
berry fruit is well balanced with zesty acidity to deliver a fine, complex, off-dry Rose wine.