Try local wines for English Wine Week
- Credit: Julia Kirby-Smith
Starting this Saturday, English Wine Week is a great chance to try the fantastic wines made in this country.
You may have heard of producers in Kent, Sussex and Essex - but what about London's handful of urban wineries such as Renegade in Walthamstow and Blackbook in Battersea?
Organised by trade body Wines of Great Britain, running from June 18 to 26, it's a week when vineyards throw open their doors and winemakers showcase their stills, sparklings, pét nats and natural wines being made here.
There are now some 880 vineyards in the UK producing almost nine million bottles a year. The biggest, such as Nyetimber, have multiple vineyards, while large producers like Gusbourne, Denbies and Chapel Down have more than 200 acres of vines each.
To the north, there are now commercial vineyards successfully making wines in Monmouthshire (Ancre Hill) and even Cheshire (Carden Park), while to the south, French wine-growers are now turning to the UK due to the threat of global warming.
Some regions in France fear they will no longer be able to produce wine as droughts increase and heat-waves damage their vines. Champagne house Taittinger was recently granted planning permission for a large winery at Chilham in Kent, and many others have bought up land in the South East.
Throughout English Wine Week, Crouch End farm shop Fridge of Plenty will be opening a different wine each day for customers to try. Lyme Bay Winery from Dorset will also hold a free tasting from 4-7pm on Friday 24. Pop along to 132 Crouch Hill, Crouch End for a sip!
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Julia Kirby-Smith is Director of Fridge of Plenty and a Trustee of the food Charity Feedback.