Although we can't technically call this Champagne, the Hampshire Downs lie just 80 miles north of Champagne, on the same chalk basin that curves from France to the White Cliffs of Dover and across Southern England. The process is the same, and the result is very much on a quality par with Champagne - but English!
Both the Blanc de Blancs and the Rose' Brut from the vineyard carry the terms "Methode Britannique" and "Britagne" (pronounce Brit-an-ye) on the label, a testament to the quality and invdividuality of sparkling wines here that will at least rival their French neighbours.
This is a beautiful wine - on the nose; aromas of freshly picked green apples with a touch of ripe lemon citrus and hints of brioche. A round and full palate with plenty of ripe apple character and great levels of refreshing acidity. A long, persistent and lively finish.
Wonderful as an aperitif, and a celebration!
In 2006 Christian Seely, the English Managing Director of of Axa Millésimes (owners of Château Pichon-Longueville, Chateau Suduiraut and Quinta do Noval, among others) had the first inklings of an idea.
At around the same time in the City of London - an old friend of Seely's, Nicholas Coates, resigned from a successful career in finance and returned to his home at the foot of the North Hampshire Downs in England, determined to discover a new way of life in tune with the countryside around him.
The vineyard is in the Wooldings, 30 acres of south and south east facing chalk slopes.