The UK is the 6th largest consumer of wine in the world, and over the last few years, our own home-grown juice has been getting more and more limelight - and deservedly so.
Sales of English and Welsh wines have risen 6% since 2019. By 2021, the trade was shifting a whopping 9.3 million bottles a year. The area under vine has also more than quadrupled since 2000, hitting 3758 hectares.
The Henners team sampling their wares
One of the things we love here at Reserve about English wine is that it's not mass-produced. Many of the vineyards and wineries found across the country operate on a smaller scale due to the lower yield of grapes. A lower yield means a more labour-intensive production method. Of course, this does mean English wines tend to be a little pricier. But the wine you do get is really great quality.
At work in Henners winery
In celebration of English Wine Week, which runs from the 18th - 26thJune, we're delighted to be bringing some brand new wines into our range from two brilliant producers of English wine, Artelium and Henners.
To help you get a better idea of who they are and what makes them special, we’ve put together a small introduction into both wineries and some of the stand-out wines they have to offer.
The team behind Artelium, Julie Bretland and Mark Collins, quit their day jobs to pursue their dream of making wine.
Bretland and Collins outside their winery
Working with winemakers such as Dermot Sugrue, who is really starting to make a name for himself, the team take a hands-on approach, overseeing each detail with a fine-tooth comb. From the planting of the vineyard, all the way to the distribution of the final wines, they ensure sustainability is at the heart of every decision.
Their latest limited-release wine collection, Artefact, is made up of just 500 bottles and really celebrates what it means to be an expert artisan winemaker. Combined with a beautiful tasting room in a stunning Sussex setting, the Artelium team really do live by their mantra of creating a space where art, wine and nature come together.
Artelium Blanc de Blancs 2015
A real stand-out for us is their Blanc De Blancs 2015, which is a sparkling wine made exclusively of 100% Chardonnay, grown at their partner vineyard in Hampshire.
The wine has a round and textural mouth feel as a result of the extended time on the lees. On the palate, expect refreshing flavours of lemon sorbet with a long finish. On the nose, you will pick out a delicate orange blossom and sweet, shortcrust pastry. This would pair perfectly prawns, shellfish and smoked salmon. Or try it with fruit-based crepes if you were looking for a really luxe take on dessert.
Sure, it's a little pricey for everyday. But trust us, this really is worth it for those special occasion when you are entertaining or celebrating as an alternative to traditional Champers.
Artelium Pinot Meunier Rose, 2020
This crisp, dry, pale pink rosé has subtle flavours of wildflowers and white peach. A gorgeous newbie to try for summer and as our Buyer Nic says, 'really worth the asking price.'
It's crafted by renowned winemaker Owen Elias from Meunier grapes grown in West Sussex, blended with a dash of barrel aged white Pinot Noir.
Since 2007, Henners have been growing the three classic Champagne grape varieties - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier - at their East Sussex home in Herstmonceux village. Thanks to the vineyards' location, close to the sea, it benefits from coastal breezes that reduce the risk of frost on the vines while adding a crisp salinity to their wines - which we love.
Henners Brut NV, the star of their collection
Henners Brut NV
Their core range of wines is lead by the Henners Brut NV, a traditionally produced bottle of sparkling wine made from the three classic grape varieties mentioned above. The components of this wine are blended each year with reserve wine added in smaller quantities to bring additional depth and structure. Aged on lees for three years, the Henners Brut NV is a refined and elegant wine that delivers a great balance and acidic long finish. On the nose, there's rich sourdough aromas and crunchy green apples. Super classy.
Henners Gardner Street Classic Bacchus Chardonnay 2021
A still English wine for you here and one that's super evocative of English summertime.
This has the classic floral, elderflower note we have come to know of contemporary Bacchus. There's also a touch of stone fruit from the Chardonnay, which gives a mid-palate weight and structure to a wine that ultimately finishes with a brisk, present acidity
Gardner Street is the historic name for Herstmonceux. The old name captures the hand-harvested, artisanal craft of tending vines and wines down English country lanes.
You can shop our full English wine collection here
Tasting as a team at Henners