English Wine arrives at The Ritz
English wine used to literally be a joke in the wine industry, not in part due to the fact that it was thought that this country was too wet and soggy to actually produce quality wine. But, an intrepid band of wine pioneers planted the first vines back in the 50’s and with a big push in the 90’s and early 2000’s, English wine is no longer to be laughed at. So much so that it’s now making an appearance at that bastion of British tradition, The Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly.
Speaking to Head Sommelier Giovanni Ferlito at lunch recently, he explained that due to a combination of demand from guests and the exceptional quality of English wine, both sparkling and still, The Ritz has broken with tradition and now offers English sparkling wine as well as Champagne.
The list is small but made up of English sparkling from the likes of Nyetimber (2009 Blanc de Blanc, £140 for example) and Gusbourne (Vintage 2011, £110) as well as a 100% , single vineyard Bacchus (Darnibol, 2014, £65) from Camel Valley and an exceptionally silky and smooth Pinot Noir (2014, £90) by Gusbourne.
I was most impressed by the still table wines. The single vineyard Bacchus, having weight and body to it as well as an intensity of flavour that is usually lacking in English white wines. The pinot noir as well had my lunch companions nodding their heads in agreement with some even comparing it to a fine Burgundy.
Well done to English wines for arriving at The Ritz and I looking forward to seeing what other English wines they will add in the future.