French champagne house invests in English wine

03 May, 2017

Champagne Taittinger has become the first Grande Marque champagne house to grow vines in the UK with ambitions to produce English sparkling wine.

Taittinger acquired the Domaine Evremond vineyard in Chilham, Kent in 2015 and has begun planting the first of 20 hectares of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier vines and will double in size over the next three years.

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, president of Taittinger, said: “We have been very impressed by the quality of English sparkling wine being produced, and we believe the combination of chalk soils, climate and topography of our site in Kent are ideal for producing quality sparkling wine.

These attributes are perfect for grape growing, and are very similar to the terroir in champagne, for us it was a natural step to do this.”

The first English Sparkling wine from Domaine Evremond will be released for drinking in 2023, after three years of ageing and Taittinger aims to produce 300,000 bottles per year.

The Evremond vineyard is a joint venture between Champagne Taittinger and its UK agency Hatch Mansfield Ltd.

Patrick McGrath MW, managing director of Hatch Mansfield, said: “Ultimately we will be aiming to produce 300,000 bottles per year of premium English sparking wine, but this will not be for six years or more as the vines will take time to reach the stage where they are producing the quantity of quality fruit required. It will be a gradual process.”  





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