What does the future hold for English Fizz?
Current predictions are that, within a decade, the climate in the South of the UK will see the optimum growing temperatures for top end sparkling wine, whereas the Champagne region may be too warm to grow the best quality grapes. With this as a possibility, the big names are starting to make sure they don’t miss out on the action; Taittinger was the first to set the trend, buying 69 hectares of Kent farmland in 2015 and then holding a ceremony on 3rd May last year to celebrate the planting of vines in ‘Domaine Evremond’. Meanwhile, Louis Pommery England, launched in March this year, is the first English fizz to be released in association with a Champagne house. Enquiries have also been made by Pol Roger and Bollinger who also see the potential of UK land.
Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
The most recent development in the English Sparkling Wine business is the desire to introduce protected designations of origins, known in the industry as PDOs. In the same way that French law stipulates the declarations that can be made on wine labels, such as ‘Champagne’ only being printed on bottles of sparkling wine that come from the Champagne region of France, Sussex is striving for a similar restriction of the use of its name as a region and applied to get its own PDP last year.
Restaurants and hotels have already noted the spike in patriotism when it comes to wine as guests opt for native English fizz with increasing popularity. Who knows? In years to come, a bottle of ‘Sussex’ or ‘Hampshire’ may become our sparkling wine of choice, leaving Champagne firmly on the shelf.