For those wondering how English wine stands up to Champagne, meet Ian Kellett, founder and managing director of Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire, Southern England. 

With the heritage of Champagne and a not dissimilar climate, Hambledon Vineyard epitomises the new wave of serious sparkling wine making that is going on in the UK.

Ian has assembled a team with roots that stretch to Champagne but that are very pleased to be digging in in the southern England.

In part 1 Brendan Barratt talks to Ian and Antoine about Hambledon’s ambition for style, balance and precision. Although technical, this mini-series should be of interest to those who want to see how English wine is positioning itself in the fine sparkling wine market place with a determined focus on standing shoulder to shoulder with their French cousins in Champagne.

In part 2 we’ll be looking at food pairings, the terroir and what that magical food pairing is that English southerners will never get right (you can take the lad out of Yorkshire, but you can’t take Yorkshire out of the lad!).

In Part 3, Champagne trained winemaker at Hambledon, Antoine Arnauld takes us on quick tour of the winery and comes up with a controversial food pairing that we put to the test with the ladies…

 Hambledon VineyardGlossary:

Autolysis (“Autolytic character”): When a wine is “sur lie”, or “on the lees”, it is left in contact with the spent yeats that performed the fermentation. As these yeast cells break down, they provide an extra dimension of flavour, viscosity, and complexity to the wine.


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