Henry Jeffreys has spent the past two years travelling around the UK’s ever-expanding wineries for his new book, ‘Vines in a Cold Climate: The People Behind the English Wine Revolution’. The book tells the story of how English wine went from the butt of jokes to world-class status in just 30 years, through the eyes of the ambitious and often acerbic characters who made it happen.
Henry has some great anecdotes to share over a glass or three of some of the country’s landmark wines. Naturally, the event will begin with fizz, looking at how Blanc de Blancs has become England’s signature style and tasting two very different examples. But if you think England is just about bubbles, think again because the big story right now is still wine – and not just chardonnay, but even pinot noir – which has come on dramatically in the last five years.
There’s a real treat via the chance to taste the first-ever vintage of Chapel Down’s celebrated Kit’s Coty Chardonnay next to the latest release. For the reds, it’ll be a showdown between the elegance of Kent versus the power of Essex. And to round things off, we look at a couple of producers who have stayed true to the Germanic varieties that were the backbone of English wine in the 1970s and ‘80s.
Wine writer for the The Critic magazine, Henry Jeffreys is the author of three books on drink, including the Fortnum & Mason award-winning Empire of Booze: British History Through the Bottom of a Glass, and an expert storyteller.
The wines we will be tasting:
Ridgeview, Blanc de Blancs Brut, East Sussex NV
Langham Corallian Classic Cuvée, Dorset NV
Gusbourne, Pinot Noir, Kent 2020
Lyme Bay, Pinot Noir, Devon 2020
Chapel Down, Kit’s Coty Chardonnay, Kent 2011
Chapel Down, Kit’s Coty Chardonnay, Kent 2020
Davenport Vineyards, Horsmonden Dry White, Kent 2020
Westwell, Ortega, Kent 2022
Friday 23rd June
St. James’s Room
18:30 – Welcome Drink
19:00 – Masterclass begins
20:30 – Masterclass ends
Fill in the form below to register your interest.