- Written by Secret Sommelier Secret Sommelier
Champagne Taittinger acquired the Kent farmland in autumn 2015, announcing the launch of Domaine Evremond that December. The initial planting to bring the Domaine Evremond vineyard to life, will take place during May 2017, with plans to plant a total of 40 hectares over the next two to three years.
Taittinger is the only Grande Marque Champagne House to be run by its eponymous family and is the first Grande Marque Champagne to establish a vineyard in the UK to make premium English Sparkling wine. The first English Sparkling wine from Domaine Evremond should be released for drinking in 2023, after three years of ageing in bottle.
Comments Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger: “Our family has always had a great affection for the UK and for Kent - my father Jean Taittinger twinned Canterbury with Reims when he was mayor of the latter in the 1950s. We have been very impressed by the quality of English Sparkling wine being produced, and we believe the combination of chalk soils, climate and topography of our site in Kent are ideal for producing quality sparkling wine. These attributes are perfect for grape growing, and are very similar to the terroir in Champagne, for us it was a natural step to do this.”
The Evremond vineyard is a joint venture between Champagne Taittinger, its UK agency Hatch Mansfield Ltd, and friends. It reflects the family focused philosophies and mutual respect of both companies.
Patrick McGrath MW, MD of Hatch Mansfield adds: “Ultimately we will be aiming to produce 300,000 bottles per year of premium English Sparking Wine, but this will not be for six years or more as the vines will take time to reach the stage where they are producing the quantity of quality fruit required. It will be a gradual process.”
The Taittinger family has over 80 years of winemaking expertise in Champagne and plans to use this, alongside its British team, to help create a Premium English Sparking wine of real excellence. The family has already had considerable success planting vineyards for sparkling wine in the USA in 1987 when they launched ‘Domaine Carneros by Taittinger’, a joint venture with the Kopf family of Kobrand Wine & Spirits.
Stephen Skelton MW, one of the UK's leading viticulture consultants, has worked closely with the Domaine Evremond team in the capacity of viticultural advisor in securing this ideal plot for vineyard development.
Abruzzo winery tasting notes
Winemaker and owner Nicola D’Auria greeted us at the entrance of this fascinating cantina. The winery and cellars have been designed by Rocco valentini in the shape of a vertical barrel in order to immerse the tasters senses in wine.
Abruzzo: fine wine in an Italian idyll
East from Roma to Abruzzo
From Rome we headed east to Abruzzo, a region of Italy that rises up like a burly landlord to greet the traveller. The Apennine mountains at their tops are stark and beautiful, lonely, yet fulsome. Rustic doesn’t quite do this landscape justice. It’s a place for pilgrims, peace lovers and, of course, we followers of Bacchic and gastronomic pleasure.
Watch: Wine Tips from the Grape-Pickers Party
After days of picking grapes in one of the world’s most famous wine regions, the pickers get together to drink, chat and enjoy the drinks they are meticulously involved in the making of.
Also check out local winemaker, Nico’s, top tip for a white Burgundy from Saint Aubin that you don’t have to travel to Burgundy to get!
From Picasso to Pecorino Wine (not cheese!!)
What started in El Quatre Gats tapas bar in Barcelona, soon became an adventure in the Marche region of Italy, that lies along the east coast facing Albania across the Adriatic Sea. El Quatre Gats is famously where Picasso had his first solo exhibition as a young edgy artists in the Catalan capital and I was there dining with Dr Pia Casarini Wadhams, Director of Italy’s only Polar Institute, Il Polo.
Fermo and the genteel pleasures of the Palazzo B&B
The Palazzo is located in the centre of Fermo, a small Roman hilltop town with a rich history dating back to antiquity. Flying from abroad, Ancona is the closest airport, 67km north (about an hours drive) along the coast of the Adriatic sea.