France champagne maker introduces English sparkling wine
Drinks Business Review - Jan 9th 2012, 08:06
France-based Grand Cru Vineyard has released the English fizz wine, Meonhill, made from grapes grown from rootstocks planted in Hampshire.
Meonhill is said to be the first English sparkling wine made by a French champagne maker. It will go on sale early in 2012.
The planned release of the first 5,000 bottles by Didier Pierson-Whitaker, owner of a grand cru vineyard in Champagne, comes as established English vintners of champagne-style sparkling wines report a dramatic growth in sales and demand, reported The Guardian.
Whitaker has invested in grape cultivation in Hampshire, a place closely resembling the chalky geology and climate of northern France.
According to data held by the Food Standards Agency, cultivation in the UK of the three grape varieties including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier has more than quadrupled since 2005.
UK-based retailer Marks & Spencer has reported a 70% surge in sales of English sparkling wine in the past year.
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