The emergence and growth of quality boutique vineyards in the Three Counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire reflects the national expansion of vineyards and the growing international success of English wines.
Within just a 30 mile radius of Ledbury we now have well over 25 vineyards, producing a fantastic range of wines; white, red, rose, & sparkling.
Simon Day, Award winning wine maker and producer of his new brand Sixteen Ridges explains:
“Growers in the UK are benefitting from over 40 years of experience from the viticultural pioneers of the 1960s and 1970s selecting the best grape varieties to grow in our climate, as well as siting vineyards in the best possible locations; south facing slopes, well protected from frost. Our Sixteen Ridges vineyard resides on a sheltered hillside. It forms a natural amphitheatre capturing sunlight and warmth. Our more recent planting at Redbank, along the Ledbury Wall Hills, is a perfect marriage of aspect, shelter and soil; the precise ingredients to go into quality wine grape production.
These days we are also successfully growing recognised grape varieties such Pinot Noir, alongside the less well known cool climate varieties that are gaining a reputation. Our Sixteen Ridges range of wines are predominantly Pinot Noir, and have rapidly engaged consumer interest. We find the majority of consumers feel comfortable with a recognised grape variety, and as such are more willing to try English, which will lead them onto some of the more unusual varieties.
UK Sparkling wine has really taken off in the last decade gaining an excellent reputation both in the UK and abroad. Our climate tends to suit traditional method sparkling, producing racy base wines that gain layers of complexity with ageing. Building experience and skill in the winery has helped to lift quality levels of English Wine to the point where they regularly out perform Champagnes in blind tastings and competitions.”
English Wine Week during 23rd – 31st May is a national campaign to raise awareness of English wine and to celebrate the UK’s growing international reputation.
Ledbury is playing host to a variety of events during the week, including an exclusive tasting evening at the Feathers Hotel, in conjunction with Simon Day of Haygrove Evolution. The hotel will host nine of the Three Counties vineyards, including Sixteen Ridges, Elgar wines from Lovells vineyard, The Three Choirs, The Lea, Coddington Vineyard, Broadfield Court, Frome Valley, Castle Brook and Sparchall.
Hay wines, Ledbury’s only independent wine merchant, will host wine and cheese tastings on 23rd and 30th May; The Nest, Ledbury’s new deli, restaurant and garden centre will be holding an English wine tasting on 31st May; The Three Counties Cider Shop will be holding tastings of local wine, and its exclusive ice Cider, during the 10 day celebration.
Press release by Sixteen Ridges Vineyard and Haygrove Evolution