Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.

English Wine Week: Week 21 of BigBarn’s Food & Drink Weeks

English wine week is now only a week away, starting this Saturday 26th May and finishing on June 3rd. More here. The perfect week to enjoy the warmer weather with a glass of English fizz and tub of English strawberries.

England is now starting to get some recognition it’s fantastic selection of wines and award winning sparkling wines.

For some people it seems hard to believe that Britain is even attempting to make wine. But why not? Viticulture in the UK is over 2000 years old and was only partly destroyed in 1536 when the Dissolution of the Monasteries ruined much of England’s wine growing.

It is worth noting that wine can also be made from many other products such as strawberries, elderflower, rhubarb and even nettles and clover.

Believe it or not but the southern part of England actually has the same climate as that of champagne so why shouldn’t Britain make it’s own wine. All over England there are chalky or sandy soils that you need to grow wonderful grapevines and while you might think, but it snows and gets so cold here, the vines thrive in the winter with a hard frost and the cold to kill of any nasty bugs while they lay dormant.

English sparkling wines are made in the same way the french champagnes are and use the same grape varieties of pinot noir and chardonnay. So why is it that we are so inclined to go French when we create a truly spectacular product here? British wines hold a certain elegance and finesse that you wont find in other wines and it is all made right here on your very door step.

Pinot noir finds it’s self very much at home in the English climate. Light in tannins with hints of raspberries and cherries and sometimes in a more savoury pinot noir you will find earthy flavours like mushrooms, vanilla and forest. This wonderful wine is light enough to go with baked salmon but complex enough to be paired with a simple roast duck and found right here thriving in the UK. As a matter of fact British wines even win awards, including eight trophies for the Best International Sparkling Wine and four for the Best Sparkling Rosé.

If it is being recognised as a serious wine contender abroad we

should be focusing on it being a wonderful product we are proud of here.

For great wines see what is on our local food & drink map in your area or search our MarketPlace for unusual, and delicious, fruit or herbal wines.

You could even become a wine maker yourself and use some of your your home grown produce of forage some local hedgerows!

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