Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Federal Reserve hikes interest rates, raises forecast

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Saudi Arabia and UAE pledge €130M for G5 Sahel Joint Force

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

‘Trump still committed to a two-state solution,’ says Saudi Foreign Minister Jubeir

Read more

THE DEBATE

How to patrol the Sahara? The challenges facing G5 Sahel joint force

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Star Wars, The Last Jedi'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Evo Morales: US exit from Paris accord is 'unforgivable'

Read more

FOCUS

Niger's Agadez: Pearl of the Sahara turned migrant hub

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's Tagus river is drying up

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

'Looking for Oum Kulthum': Breaking the glass ceiling in the art world

Read more

Europe

Vaunted French champagne house begins growing in England

© AFP file photo of the entrance to the Taittinger champagne house in Reims

Text by Monique EL-FAIZY

Latest update : 2017-05-11

The United Kingdom may be quitting the European Union, but at least one delightful vestige of the marriage will be left behind. The storied Taittinger champagne house this month planted its first vines in English soil.

The most recent step in a project that began in 2015, the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes that were planted in early May will be used to produce English sparkling wines, the first of which will be ready for pouring in 2023. Though those are the three varietals traditionally used in making champagne, the bubbly produced in England will not be entitled to use that moniker, as technically the only wines that have the right to be called champagne are those produced in the region of that name in France.

The endeavor is a joint venture between the French champagne giant and UK wine agents Hatch Mansfield, as well as an array of private investors. The group purchased a 69-hectare site near Chilham, Kent, dubbed Domaine Evremond, because Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, the house’s vice president, was intrigued by the properties of the soil there. Taittinger holds a 55 percent stake in the project.

“We were very impressed by the quality of English sparkling wine already produced here,” he told the Guardian newspaper at a ceremony celebrating the first planting. “We believe the combination of chalk soils, climate and topography of our site in Kent are ideal for producing quality sparkling wine. We are aiming to create a wine with a taste that is something truly exceptional. These attributes are perfect for grape growing, and are very similar to the terroir in Champagne. For us it was a natural step.”

The wine, like the site, will be named Domaine Evremond, after Charles de Saint- Évremond, a 17th-century hedonist and writer who was exiled to England after a satirical piece he wrote caused him trouble in his native France. He is credited with having given the English a taste for champagne, the Guardian writes.

Champagne house Vranken-Pommery also has plans to produce sparkling wines in the UK.

The French houses aren’t the only operations that think England is fertile ground for wine. A record 1 million vines are expected to be planted in the island nation this year, Decanter.com reported.

“2017 will see the largest number of vines ever planted in a single year in the UK,” Master of Wine Stephen Skelton, who consulted on the Taittinger project, told the wine specialty magazine.

Date created : 2017-05-11

  • FRANCE

    A good year for French wine despite drop in production

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Video: French champagne sales bubble up after 2-year slump

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France celebrates 56% jump in Champagne production

    Read more

COMMENT(S)