According to a recent report by Harpers, sparkling wine was the top-performing grocery category over Christmas. 2014 was also a special year for English wines, which has us reminiscing about how far we’ve come with our very own award-winning English bubbly.
On a clear, frosty morning in mid-October 2010 (yes, it takes 4 years to produce a sparkling wine of this quality!), a team of volunteers headed by Barbara Laithwaite, Cherry Thompson and their sons Henry and Ben, were out picking grapes which were destined to become part of something special. Even at this stage, the healthy fruits were recognised as superior to other English harvests.
Wyfold Vineyard was created in 2003 by Barbara and Cherry. 4,000 vines were planted, spread across a hectare – tiny, in vineyard terms – of the Chiltern Hills. Since then, volunteers from nearby villages, good friends of the Laithwaites and Cherry, and enthusiasts from Laithwaite’s Wine have helped Barbara and the team lovingly maintain the vines.
Dubbed by Tony as “easily the best ever vintage in this particular vineyard”, the 2010 sparkling won silver in the 2014 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships, among other accolades. Crafted from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, it has fascinating marmite and coffee hints on the nose. Described by Decanter as boasting “savoury, quite serious fruit and vibrant acidity that linger”, its fine bubbles and toasty apricot length make it a real treat.
Tony reported on a very good crop at the vineyard in September 2014, so we are eagerly anticipating what the crop will bring… Meanwhile, we recommend you treat yourself to a bottle of this elegant English sparkling while it lasts – only available at Laithwaite’s.