This week the industry, and the south east, is a buzz with the news from the Decanter Wine Awards which awarded a Gold to the Grosvenor Sparkling Chardonnay from the Ridgeview vineyard in Ditchling, Sussex.
Cue The Daily Mail to blow the dust off their stories that “English Wine is better than French” which come out every six months.
The Decanter award is great news, but beware of awards: very rarely do wines get judged alongside their true peers. So often a good English wine is judged alongside a crap champagne.
Here, the Grosvenor held its own against 700 wines, so no small achievement.
Of course, the unadventurous consumer will look at the price of an English sparkle and be put off as you can buy a bottle that says Champagne on it for the same money.
English wine has a story to tell and we need to start bigging it up a bit, putting our money where our mouth wants to be.
I’ll do my pick of English fizz in a future show, but hopefully this video gives you some idea of why the price is set as “high” as it is.