Marks & Spencer will be welcoming 20 new English wines to its shelves in time for English Wine Week, boosting its range to a total of 37 wines from 14 counties. Existing relationships with Denbies Wine Estate, Halfpenny Green Vineyards, Eastcott Estate and Plumpton College have yielded eight new wines, including a Dornfelder sparkling rosé and a Pinot Blanc from Plumpton, made respectively by M&S scholarship students Karen Telford and Joe Marsh. In addition to the Plumpton Sparkling Rosé, Eastcott Classic Cuvée Brut and Halfpenny Rosé Sparkling Brut, six further sparkling wines will be launching as a result of new partnerships with Bluebell Vineyard Estates, Camel Valley, Castlebrook, Digby Fine English, Giffords Hall and Hambledon Vineyard.
M&S Wine Buyer Elizabeth Kelly commented, “We’re delighted to be working with so many new producers on sparkling wines. The grapes for the Castle Brook are grown by the Chinn family, who also grow the English Asparagus for M&S, and the wine is then vinified by one of our long term partners – Ridgeview. This is exactly the sort of collaboration that is making the English wine scene so exciting to be a part of.”
Three new Bacchus whites will be launching from Giffords Hill, Oaken Grove and Winbirri Estate, but other new still wines to the range are evidence of English wine producers branching out to incorporate less widely used varieties such as Auxerrois, Huxelrebe, Madeleine Angevine, Ortega, Phoenix, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Rondo, Seyval Blanc, Siegerebbe and Solaris.
Elizabeth Kelly added, “Whilst there is now a wealth of great sparkling wine and Bacchus available, it is encouraging to see producers experimenting with other varieties. We’re excited to be launching a Pinot Blanc from Stopham and the Elgar Promenades Dry White, an interesting blend of Phoenix, Madeleine Angevine, Huxelrebe and Siegerebbe from Lovells Vineyard in Worcestershire. We have also managed to secure a small parcel of Pinot Gris from Denbies, which is made in the vein of the traditional Alsace style but with that trademark English acidity running through it.”
The new launches are available now and will also be supported by a range of promotional activities running over English Wine Week.
Photo courtesy of Denbies Wine Estate