Windsor Great Park Sparkling Wine 2015
Windsor Great Park Sparkling Wine 2015 has been soaring in quality over the last decade and today England produces some of the finest in the world. Fitting perhaps as the sparkling wine method was discovered by Sir Christopher Merret in 1662. Vineyards aren’t new to England either – the Romans were the first to plant them, while Henry II did at Windsor Castle in the 1100s. Eight centuries later, in 2011, we discovered 4-hectare south facing plot in Windsor Great Park, with slopes down to Great Meadow Pond. It’s an ideal location, with gentle breezes, a moderate climate, well-drained soils – all the attributes for a top-class vineyard. We planted Champagne’s classic varieties and harvested our first grapes in 2013. The result: a fine fizz with rich toasty length.
Vineyards were first planted in Windsor during the time of Henry II. Fast forward to the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and there is a new three-hectare vineyard in Windsor Great Park which revives an ancient tradition. In 2010, Tony Laithwaite (CBE) was presented with the opportunity to plant a vineyard in Windsor Great Park. Tony grew up and went to school in the area then started Bordeaux Direct (that became Laithwaite’s Wine) under the railway arches that looked up at Windsor Castle. With this connection, he simply could not refuse the chance! The plot is in Windsor Great Park which slopes down to the adjacent lake. It’s an ideal location with gentle breezes, a moderate climate and well-drained soils – all the attributes for a top-class vineyard.
The under-2,000 bottles of the first vintage, 2013, all have already been sold, at £34.99 a bottle, via Laithwaite’s, the Sunday Times Wine Club and the Windsor Farm Shop, and Robert and I have done our damnedest to ensure that the Royal Household Wine Committee acquires some of this very respectable, delicate wine, made at Ridgeview’s winery, for the Queen’s cellar.