Six wonderful wines made by women
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There has been a female focus around wine early this month, with many relevant events on and beyond International Women's Day on March 8. I have a personal interest here, for my brand-new book, Sussex by the Glass, focuses on two leading women in English wine: Sam Linter and Tamara Roberts, who respectively head the Bolney and Ridgeview estates.
The story of their multi-generational businesses (both are daughters of the founders) is inspirational, and is woven into a broader account of wine in Sussex – the county that put English sparkling wine on the world map. To buy a copy (£12 including UK postage) please email me at email@example.com.
But enough about words, on to bottles that if not made by women have strong links to them. At Bolney, where Sam is MD and head winemaker, both still and sparkling choices are excellent – in line with the theme of this week's main article, try the pinot noir (£20, bolneywineestate.com). Everything bubbles at Ridgeview, skilfully made by CEO Tamara's brother Simon: Fitzrovia rosé (£35, ridgeview.co.uk) is the essence of spring.
Other talented women who create great wine in Sussex include Alison Nightingale, who has a tempting offer of all six of her Albourne still wines (£88, albourneestate.co.uk). From Oxney Organic Estate Kristin Syltevik's non-vintage sparkling wine (£27, oxneyestate.com) is a classic introduction to England's fresh, flavour-filled and relaxed yet sophisticated style.
Increasingly good reds are being made in England, but head to southern France for a warmer, richer style suited to heartier food. Claire Clavel follows in a family winemaking tradition stretching back close to 400 years. Her grenache-dominated Domaine Clavel Syrius 2017 (£11, akeandhumphris.co.uk) hails from one of the least-known Côtes du Rhône villages, Saint Gervais – I love the sweet spice and generous length.
Way beyond Europe, in southern Australia's Mornington Peninsula, but back to cool pinot, Kate McIntyre's Moorooduc Estate 2017 sings glorious cherries and more (£27.50, thesampler.co.uk, henningswine.co.uk – both also have the step-up McIntyre, £45).