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Best vineyards in Hampshire

PUBLISHED: 16:25 16 September 2014 | UPDATED: 16:25 16 September 2014

Hattingley Valley

Hattingley Valley

Archant

English wine is flourishing. Whether sparkling or still, our Hampshire vineyards are producing award-winning bottles

Did you know?

Vines have been grown in England since Roman times for winemaking. The Doomsday book refers to over 42 vineyards in Southern England at the end of the 11th Century and there are now more than 400 vineyards in England and Wales producing still and sparkling wines.

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Coates and Seely

Nestled in the north Hampshire Downs, a mile or so uphill from Whitchurch, is Wooldings vineyard, hugging the banks of the River Test along the valley floor. 25 miles to the south, in the South Downs, is Exton Park, looking out over the Meon Valley. Both of these vineyards are based on chalk soils and with our Hampshire climate, are perfect for the planting of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines which make the award winning sparkling wines. Not surprisingly, Coates and Seely have over 300 years of winemaking experience – all bought together in the heart of Hampshire.

What they say: “A number of sparkling wines from this country often beat French sparkling wines in blind tastings. We then have the potential to rival any in the world. So much so that the time has come to coin a generic word for our own English Sparkling Wine: ‘Britagne’.”

Have a glass: Try the Brut Reserve NV at £25.85, the Blanc de Blancs NV at £25.85 or the Rose NV for £27.95. Visit www.coatesandseely.com/shop to order online.

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Hambledon vineyard

Hambledon is England’s oldest commercial vineyard, established in 1952 by Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones. With help from Champagne House Pol Rager, he planted a variety of grapes and went on to produce the first commercial range of English wines. Awards were won and their wine was even served on the QE2. For a brief period in the 90s the vineyard was reduced to just four acres under new ownership, but in 1999, wine lover Ian Kellett took over the vineyard, convinced that sparking wines were the future. He was right of course, and now visitors can visit the 50-acre vineyard to see how the process works. Book a tour for just £10.

What they say: “We want to produce the best multi-vintage sparkling wine in England that will make Hambledon and the local community proud. There are two crucial elements to producing fine sparkling wines: using the best possible raw materials and working with the best winemakers in the business.”

Have a glass: Hambledon Classic Cuvee is £28.50 and Mill Down 2010 is £24.95. Visit www.hambledonvineyard.co.uk to find out more.


OFFER: Hampshire Life readers get 2 for 1 on tours on Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm. Just quote Hampshire Life at the time of booking and bring the magazine with you on the day.

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Hattingley Valley

Situated between Medstead and Wield, Hattingley Valley is among the top 20 largest UK wine growers. Planted in the spring of 2008 by Ernst Weis from Germany, the 7.3-hectare site supports 22,000 vines on its chalk soil, of the three principal champagne varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. After the grapes are picked they are taken to the winery in Lower Wield where they are mostly turned into sparkling wine. There are plans to make still wine, but only in exceptionally good years.

What they say: “If you’re interested in finding out more about the world of English winemaking then take a tour of Hattingley Valley. Go on a private trip down to our beautiful vineyard for an informative insight into the art of grape growing. Discover the inner workings of our state of the art wine making facilities before taste testing some of the vintages.”

Have a glass: The 2011 Classic Cuvee is £29.95, the 2011 Rose is £34.95 and the 2010 Hattingley Valley Kings Cuvee is £65. Visit www.hattingleyvalley.co.uk to buy online.

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Jenkyn Place vineyard

Originally from Yorkshire, Simon Bladon and his wife Rebecca moved to Jenkyn Place in Bentley in 1997. The property investor had to renovate the property and in 2004 decided to plant some vines in their hop fields. Ten years on and the number of accolades and awards for their sparkling wines are still growing. It’s about quality over quantity for Simon, who produces two sparkling wines and a Cuvee, which was awarded the top wine to pair with fish and chips at the Somelier Wine Awards 2013.

What they say: “Our wines are made in the traditional Champagne method from classic grape varieties and spend around three years on the lees before being released to the public. Quality control is paramount throughout the whole process – from the design, planting and tending of the vineyards to the wine production.”

Have a glass: Jenkyn Place Cuvee 2009 and 2008 is £150 for six bottles, and the 2008 and 2009 sparkling Rose for £150 for six bottles. Buy online at www.jenkynplace.com.


OFFER: Hampshire Life readers can enjoy 10% off and free delivery when they buy a case of six bottles of Jenkyn Place wine. To order, email camilla@jenkynplace.com, quoting ‘Hampshire Life Jenkyn Place’, with your order and full contact details.

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Danebury Vineyard

The privately owned estate on the edge of Stockbridge is on the site of a famous 19th century racehorse training track. As well as their English sparkling wine Cossack, they also produce Madeleine Angevine, a white wine made from a grape from the Loire Valley; Schonburger, an unusual German grape grown in England which is great with fish and chicken and a Reserve, which is a dry to off dry blend of all the grape varieties - a true Hampshire ‘terrior’ wine.

What they say: “We may be on the fringes of the wine producing regions of the world, but our long summer days allow for maximum ripening of the grapes, ensuring strong fruit flavours and the chalk and flint soil, characteristic of our region, lends our wines their minerality.”

Have a glass: Visit www.englishwineshop.co.uk to buy any of their still wines for £10.50, or their sparkling for £21.99. Find out more at
www.danebury.com

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Wickham vineyard

Wickham is under new ownership, but the wine sales continue through distributor Wickham Wine Sales (see www.wickhamvineyard). Three Choirs are the new owners and bring with them a wealth of experience from their other vineyard in Gloucestershire. Plans include refurbishment of the existing buildings and a tranformation of the winery into a function room.

What they say: “Some of the vines here are getting quite old and there are lots of gaps where vines have died, so during the winter we’ll be planning the replanting and hope to replace three acres a year to help establish a productive vineyard for years to come.”

Have a glass: There are a plethora of wines to try including Row Ash Rose 2011 for £8.99, Row Ash Red 2013 for £10.99 and the Special Reserve 2009 for £12.99. The Premier Cuvee Brut is £24.99.


OFFER: Buy any six Wickham still wines for £50 or get 3 4 2 on Wickham Sparkling Brut Premiere through Wickam Wine Sales on 02392 466310.

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Setley Ridge

Paul and Hayley Girling, are the couple behind this picturesque vineyard and Farm Shop just outside Brockenhurst. They grow the grapes, make the wine and bottle all on site; and you can take a tour to see exactly how it’s done. Try their medium dry white, rose, dry white and pinot noir.

What they say: “We produce five wines on site and we offer free tastings everyday in the farm shop.”

Have a glass: A bottle of the Red is £12.95. Dry White is also £12.95 and their Medium Dry is £9.95. Also try the Rose for £10.95 and Pinot Noir for £12.95. All available from the farm shop.


OFFER: Hampshire Life readers get 10% off a case of 12 direct from the farm shop when you show a copy of the magazine.

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Cottonworth Vineyard

Hugh Liddell started his ‘wine career’ in Burgundy, working as a producer and studying at the Centre de Formation Professionnelle et de Promotion Agricole. In 2005 he was back on the family farm at Cottonworth, between Stockbridge and Andover, planting vines of German and French varieties.

What they say: “On the farm there are a few different soil types: very chalky (perfect for Chardonnay), not quite so chalky (Pinot Noir) and not chalky at all (Pinot Meurnier). We are lucky enough to have all three soil types conveniently in the same field, so all three varieties feel quite at home and reward us with fantastic fruit.”

Have a glass: Cottonworth’s Sparkling Rose costs £29.95; their Classic Cuvee is £28; St Aubin les Perrieres is £25.95 and Pommard les Combes is £26.20. Buy them at www.cottonworth.co.uk

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