English wines are ticking so many of our boxes. They’re sustainable, lower on emissions because they don’t have to travel far, and they taste so good, they’ve been winning awards, and they’re sustainable, but which ones should make your summer wedding drinks edit? We ask Charlotte Brook, drinks’ expert for Whirlowbrook Hall and Mosborough Hall.
“The quality of English wine has improved dramatically in recent years,” explains Charlotte. “The changing climate means prolonged periods of warmer weather and this has provided ideal growing conditions for varieties of grapes that previously only grew across the channel. The South of England is an area that is doing particularly well; our hotels are championing many local wines, like Chapel Down in Kent, and those made on the Bolney Estate.”
Bolney Estate vineyards have been producing award-winning wines for more than 40 years. It lies on the edge of the South Downs just a few miles from the south coast and uses traditional production methods and cultural practices that actively promotes and maintains the health, fertility and stability of its sandstone soils.
“A popular choice at many of the weddings we host,” Charlotte tells us, “is Bolney Estate’s Lychgate White; it has a zesty palate of grapefruit, lime and elderflower that makes it taste like summer in a bottle.”
Chapel Down’s Kit’s Coty Chardonnay 2016, is also worth tasting; it is a gold medal wine with rich, fresh apple flavours and a soft, notes of hazelnut and butter and a long, smooth finish.
“We love the simplicity of these wines,” Charlotte says. “It’s something we always advise couples. When choosing wines, keep it simple; don’t over complicate the palate.”
As a rule, summer wedding white wines should be light and refreshing; reds, crisp and fruity – never too heavy.
If you’re looking for a vegan wine, there’s good news. “Many domestic wines are vegan and cruelty-free. Look to the Hush Heath Estate and the Albury Organic Vineyard for organic wines that are free of animal-based products,” advises Charlotte. Hush Heath’s Balfour Brut Rosé is an exceptional, multi-award winning sparkling wine made from traditional Champagne grapes; its lingering notes of raspberry and strawberry make it a refreshing choice for a summer wedding wine.