Chapel Down imports grapes from Argentina

13 April, 2012

Chapel Down has joined forces with Gaucho Restaurants and Wines of Argentina to create the first Argentinian-grown, English-made Malbec.

The experiment, which was organised in conjunction with the generic body's Malbec World Day (April 17), saw 2,100kg of old-vine grapes from Gaucho Restaurants’ vineyards in Lunlunta, Mendoza flown to the UK

The grapes were chilled for the entirety of the 7,100 mile journey to the Kent-based winery.

A total of 1,300 bottles labelled as 'An England Salute' were produced and will be available in Gaucho Restaurants across the UK.

Andrew Maidment, European director of Wines of Argentina, said: “No-one has ever done this before, so it’s an exciting and serious winemaking project that we have put together with Gaucho and Chapel Down.

“The project was and is all about making a uniquely English version of an Argentinian classic. It represents the very first time that an English winemaker has had the opportunity to work with this variety.”

At 14% abv the Malbec is described as a “big red wine" with a blackcurrant, blueberry and raspberry nose and a finish of berry fruit and herbs.

Chapel Down CEO Frazer Thompson said: ““Of course, it’s not possible to produce a ‘hot-climate’ style wine with grapes grown in England where we major on more delicate varietals such as Pinot Noir.

“However, at Chapel Down we encourage our winemakers to further their knowledge and passion with new winemaking techniques from other countries and cultures.”

It has been reported that the wine has been classified as a 'fruit-based alcoholic beverage’ by the EU as the grapes from which it was produced were imported.


Nick Strangeway

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