A Guide to English Sparkling Wine

Years ago English wine did not have a tremendous reputation with winemakers influenced by sweet German wine styles. The good news is, things have changed dramatically. Sparkling wines in the UK have undergone a complete transformation to the extent that the best English sparkling wines now beat champagnes in blind tastings.

Top five facts

  • English sparkling wine is mainly produced in the south of England. Many of the vines are grown on chalky soil similar to Champagne.
  • It’s mostly made using the same grapes as champagne.
  • English Sparkling wine growing concern – there were 1 million new vines planted in 2017. There are now more than 500 vineyards and with many people investing and wanting a piece of the action.
  • Fizz from England is drier in style than champagne because the grapes are grown further north.
  • Such is the success of English sparkling Champagne Houses such as Taittinger & Pommery have planted vines over here.

A name of its own?

France’s famous sparkling is champagne, the Italians bring Prosecco to the party and Spain’s very own sparkling wine is cava. Camilla has suggested we need a generic name for our fizz! But do we? There are plenty of sparkling wines worldwide that don’t have a famous name. At the end of the day English sparkling wine has become successful, it’s exported around the world and UK sales increased 6% last year. Hurray!

If you discover one new wine this summer – give our homegrown fizz a go!

Check out our selection of Hoffman and Rathbone English sparkling wines here.