The French “enemy” behind the gates of England and the Norwegian track. Fortunately only for iROZHLAS champagne

I probably don’t have to explain to anyone why champagne is called that. The Champagne wine region is located in northern France and grows Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. The original production process gives rise to a bubble miracle, which belongs to the French. I won’t even say that he was brought into the world by the English, everyone knows that.




GASTTROGLOSIS DAGMAR HART
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One of the first wineries to be established in 1995 in East Sussex, near the Brighton coast | Photo: Dagmar Heřtová Source: Czech Radio

The fact is that any champagne made from grapes outside this area is not champagne, but sparkling wine. This also applies if elsewhere it is made from grapes of the same quality and with the same quality process and will be of an even better quality.



Dagmar Heřtova

Food blogger and food journalist, who regularly contributes to print and online periodicals mainly with information on ingredients, their processing and recipes. On the Tastejourney website, he writes about food, new trends and shares gastronomic travel ideas.

And here is the problem. Surprisingly for French winemakers.

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The region known for its original champagne is heating up. The climate becomes too hot to age the wine. The quality of the grapes is changing and the experts are starting to get excited. They try to select the most resistant varietals mentioned and they also look around.

England appeared. It has not escaped the warming, but today there is a climate which prevailed 60 years ago around Reims. The composition of the soil (chalk, clay) is also identical and the fields, sorry, of vines, not yet plowed. The French begin to buy land and establish vineyards in southern England.

The vineyard is already waking up. But we are not in France, we are on the southeast coast of England Photo: Dagmar Heřtová Source: Czech Radio

We can say that “the enemy” is already in English! Be careful not to take me at face value, I would not want to sow panic in the face of the current dark war events.

As I have already written, it is in this case a traditional rival that France is certainly for the British. Specifically on the French giants of champagne production, such as Champagne Pommery and Taittinger.

The latter will launch the first “swallows”, that is to say the first bottles of champagne from its own English vineyard, from 2024. And the Pommery brand has already presented its English sparkling wine, modestly calling it Louis Pommery England. There is something to expect!

Even so, the French do not have it easy. The domestic competition is more than capable, experienced enough and predatory. Plus, they’re all on the same ship. Even the French cannot call English champagne Champagne, although the quality is the same and often better.


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French producers simply sewed themselves a shed. The brand of champagne can bubble like the bubbles of an open bottle of champagne, for example Kentish Sparkling or Sussex Sparkling, which looks sexier. This will possibly increase the production of sparkling wine in the UK to more than 0.2% currently. Sales volumes increase by tens of percent with each harvest

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In distant history, only Vikings came to England from the Nordic states, and they were not very successful. They plundered, robbed, murdered and did all evil. Today there is no northern violence, but praise. Concretely, the Norwegians are completely crazy about English bottled bubbles.

A tour of south-east England, where sparkling wine varieties thrive Photo: Dagmar Heřtová Source: Czech Radio

A few years ago, you couldn’t even find a bottle of “champagne” from England in Norway. Today, Norway and Sweden are among the biggest consumers of these quality wines and drive French brands out of the market.

Champagne lover and Norwegian sommelier, Sara Døscher wrote the book “Sparkling! 101 bottles of bubbles” and adds to the sparkling wine: “I love champagne, and if I had to choose how I would die, I would rather drown in it… English sparkling wine is excellent and Britain is the only country that can compete with the French Champagne, which benefits from the limestone soil and the same temperature that they had in this region half a century ago. »

Popularity with Norwegians stems from the fact that they like wines from colder environments with higher acidity. It is said that he understands these wines and that English wines meet their requirements.

I don’t know what to add, I think everything has been said. Just a little worried about the future. And if in decades it was realized that the best champagne would come from southern Norway and that English winegrowers would offer pineapple liqueur from a plantation, for example from Kent, as the best of their own production…

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There are currently around 170 wine producers in England who operate over 3.6 thousand hectares of vines. They produce around 13 million bottles a year, which is not a staggering number. For comparison, that’s a bit more than the number of bottles we fill with the popular brand Bohemia Sekt. However, “Bohémka” doesn’t even delve into the category, which includes sparkling wines from England.

Some sources claim that there are over 600 wineries in England and Wales Photo: Dagmar Heřtová Source: Czech Radio

Over the past 10 years, the area under vineyards in England has increased by almost 200%. The area of ​​new vineyards is growing at a rapid rate every year, and this growth is not limited by anyone after the EU top-down.


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If you have the opportunity to taste, have a glass of the best producers of British “champagne”, such as Nyetimber, Gusborne or Ridgeview. Attention also belongs to Cornwall’s Hindleap and Camell Valley brands. They are supported by Chapel Down and Breaky Bottom, but I can’t name them all, there are over 50 sparkling wine producers in England and Wales!

Who still has doubts whether they go to selected restaurants in Paris or Cannes. Nyetimber also supplies its sparkling wines here as well.

And I’m going on a trip near Brighton, there’s a lot of vineyards to visit.

Cheers!

Dagmar Heřtova

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