Hey there, wine enthusiasts! English Wine Week starts on the 17th of June, which means it’s time to celebrate English wines and producers from across the country!
During the week, English vineyards offer tours and promotions to celebrate the best of English fizz, whilst bars and restaurants highlight their local producers. So, what better way to celebrate the week than by raising a glass of your favourite bubbles in support of English producers?
What is English Wine Week?
English Wine Week is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in June, this year beginning on the 17th. It was started in 2006 by a group of English wine producers with the aim of promoting and improving awareness around the world of English wine. Since then, the celebration has grown exponentially alongside the industry.
Here at Hattingley Valley, people often ask us: Why has the English wine industry seen such growth in recent years? The real answer is that there are many reasons, some of which we are only just starting to appreciate.
Climate change is one factor. Longer and warmer summers in England produce riper grapes that are higher in natural sugars. These successful harvests mean higher quality vintages, some of which have garnered English wine many awards, as well as global recognition from the world market in recent years! Hattigley Valley has recently been among those winners in the first round of awards for 2023, taking home GOLD and SILVER medals at the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition and the International Wine Challenge.
In the south of England, in counties like Essex, Kent and Sussex, winemakers are beginning to experiment with growing different grape varieties that are now viable due to the warmer climate. In these regions, the slightly flatter land area and the influence of the warm sea air from the south coast create the ideal conditions for growing. Our vineyard partners at Hazel Street Vineyard, Stour Valley Vineyard and Wick Farm Vineyard will attest to the improving success of Pinots and other varieties in these regions.
Here in Hampshire, we are no less enviable. With our unique terroir, we are geographically situated on the South Downs plateau, which has the same chalk bedrock as that in the Champagne region. It’s no wonder that Champagne houses like Taittinger and Pommery are taking on ambitious investments and planting vines here in the UK, to grow their very own English sparkling wine.
Wine tourism and direct-to-consumer sales have also increased, perhaps due to the after-effect of the Covid pandemic. These changes indicate a shift in consumer preferences to a focus on buying British, just a small part of the ever-growing market opportunities for English Wine.
What to do during English Wine Week?
1. Visit your local vineyard
Here at Hattingley Valley, we offer a unique Winery Tour and Tasting where you will have the opportunity to see behind the scenes at one of the largest wineries in the UK. Not only that, but you will get the chance to taste a selection of our award-winning premium wines and buy our wine at cellar-door prices.
2. Support Local Businesses
Celebrate English Wine Week and raise a glass to support local businesses and wine producers. Order a glass of your favourite English wine at your local pub or restaurant and let them know just how much you love it! If it's a glass of ours you’re after, check out our upcoming blog on the Top 10 Pubs & Restaurants to Visit During English Wine Week.
3. Celebrate Father's Day and give the Perfect Gift
Father's Day falls on Sunday, the 18th of June this year, which is just around the corner! If you are stumped for a gift this year, no fear! Our luxury gift sets are perfect for wine lovers and a great way to discover our range of premium English wines.
4. Join our Instagram Live Tasting with @winewithhannah
Check our Instagram Live in the run-up to English Wine Week on the 13th of June at 7.30 pm, for an exclusive live wine tasting with details about some of our core wines here at Hattingley Valley. Keep an eye out on Hannah's page for more details.
5. End the Week in Style with a Toast to English Wine!
Mark your calendars and join us on the 25th of June, the final day of English Wine Week for an enchanting evening of live jazz at Gambledown Farm, Hampshire. Enjoy the soulful melodies of singer/songwriter Holly Rose and the band, whilst sipping on a cool glass of our finest Hattingley Valley sparkling wine, the perfect way to end the week. Get your tickets and find out more at Experience Hampshire.
Here at Hattingley Valley, we are proud to produce exceptional quality award-winning wines that showcase the best of our terroir and the skill of our team. We are very lucky to have our Head Winemaker, Rob Macculloch MW (If you don’t know, it stands for Master of Wine a highly acclaimed position in the wine trade!), whose wealth of experience is an invaluable asset to the Hattingley Valley team. Learn more about Rob and our other (fantastic) team members on our meet the team page! So celebrate with us the Hattingley Way, this English Wine Week, by visiting us for a tour, purchasing our wine at discounted prices from our shop or simply saying “Hi!” on our socials, we’d love to see you!