Sparkling Wines of Great Britain
In just over a decade, English and Welsh sparkling wine producers have gained a world-class reputation for ultra-premium quality. Sparkling wines produced by the traditional method are the products which are almost entirely responsible for this remarkable status in the wine world. It is these 'Classic Method' wines that remain the dominant style produced in Britain, accounting for some two-thirds of total production. From Buckingham Palace and Downing Street to British Embassies the world over, English and Welsh wines are flying the flag for Britain at home and abroad with Classic Method wines as the nations flagship style.
Typically the three Champagne grapes are used (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier). These three varieties represent over 70% of all vines planted in the UK. Several producers use other varieties, including Seyval Blanc, that lend themselves well to the winemaking process.
Most sparkling wines are made using grapes harvested in a single year (vintage), but more non-vintage (NV) wines are now available. A range of styles are now produced: Classic Cuvée, generally a blend of any or all three traditional varieties; Blanc de Blancs; Blanc de Noirs; and Rosé. From Brut to Demi-Sec, these wines come in many different styles to suit most palates.