Sparkling wine lovers the world over gasped at predictions by one Prosecco producer that grape harvests were poor and that the volumes of the bubbly would be down 50% this year. But what’s the big deal? There’s plenty of sparkling wine in the UK to go around - even some award winning ones.
It’s English Wine Week this week, but sales of sparkling wine in the UK are dominated by the Italian and French varieties with sales of Prosecco overtaking those of Champagne in 2014. English wines, however, may be nipping at the foreigners’ heels.
In April, the Telegraph reported that English wine sales at Waitrose were soaring, even increasing an impressive 177% in one week alone. In 2014, sales of English wines were up 95% at the retailer. The UK produces all types of wine but the Telegraph also pointed out that it’s English sparkling wines that are garnering the most attention. In 2010 for instance, the Camel Valley Winery in Cornwall brought home a gold medal for its 2008 sparkling Pinot Noir Rose Brut. In the same year, another English winery, Nyetimber, won a medal for its 2001 Blanc de Blancs.
The Court Garden Vineyard in East Sussex is swimming in medals for its sparkling wines, winning the 2015 International Wine Challenge with its Blanc de Blancs and having previously been awarded for its Classic Cuvée, Rosé, and its Blanc de Noirs. Another, Wiston Estates in the South Downs, has won four gold medals for its Rosé.
So, if you’re finding your local shops short on Prosecco, ask yourself, “What the hell am I looking for Prosecco for anyway?” The answer is easy - there are plenty of great English sparkling wines!