Earlier this year the Queen released 3,000 bottles of wine grown on her Windsor estate.
Because it sold out with Ed Sheeran-like haste (perhaps it was the reasonable £75 for three bottles offer that did it) you won’t be getting your hands on any, anytime soon.
But it’s not just the Royal tipple that’s become popular, says Michael Driscoll, sommelier at our Cambium restaurant at Careys Manor. “We are seeing a surge in the popularity of the English wine we serve” and as a result, we are expanding their wine list.
We will soon be featuring 15 English wines at Cambium – starting during English Wine Week (May 27 – June 4) so here’s how to celebrate English Wine Week in the New Forest.
“As modern-British restaurant in a quintessentially English country hotel, it makes sense for us to redefine our selection in time for this celebration of homegrown wines – particularly when there are so many decent English wines around at the moment.”
Cambium’s customers are in good company. Not content with selling wine, the Queen is known to serve it at banquets and dinners and Number 10 Downing Street is also a fan – they served up English wine to the Chinese premier in 2015.
And there are plenty of vineyards to choose from, says Michael.
“The UK is a premium wine-producing region,” he says. “There are around 500 vineyards in England and Wales.”
These vineyards cover an area of 4,500 acres (including the Queen’s seven acres). Sales of English sparkling wine alone have reached over £100 million a year and are now exported to nearly 30 countries round the world. Even French label Tattinger wants a piece of English soil – it’s planting a vineyard in England.
According to Michael,
“Sparkling wine is the absolute strength of the English wine industry and our guests are always delighted by it. We’ll be featuring five sparkling varieties – including Camel Valley’s Pinot Noir Brut Rosé, Ridgeview’s Bloomsbury and Chapel Down’s Three Graces – as well as a range of excellent still white, red and rosé wines.”
During English Wine Week, we’ll be offering a special menu at Cambium, created by Head Chef Alistair Craig. A 3-course dinner with a glass of Sommelier-selected English Wine is available for just £35 per person (usually £55).
Local produce is key here; pork from Pondhead farm in Lyndhurst, fish from the English Channel and Tunworth Cheese from Hampshire all feature proudly on our ‘English Wine Week’ menu from May 27 to Jun 4, 2017.
Book a table at Cambium now.