The Jubilee Weekend, cricket, trips... and summertime is upon us!

Well, what a weekend we have all just experienced… the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was such a magical event.

I was even lucky enough to be in London for two days; and whilst not at the Palace, we were able to get the vibe of the city, whilst watching England’s cricket team put on an edgy yet entertaining display of Test cricket, which thanks to their ex-captain Joe Root culminated in victory!

I can’t help but mention the month of May, now just past. I have been lucky enough to travel first to the Champagne region where we spent two amazing intense and yet downright spoily days, courtesy of Legras & Haas Champagne.

This was a new listings to us at the beginning of the year and I can’t rate them highly enough.

The second trip was courtesy of Mrs R, a surprise 4 day trip to Vienna and all its sumptuous palaces and art – as well as a timely visit to Johanesshof Reinsich, where Michael and Hannes and his son also treated us as if we were guests from the Belvedere Palace.

At both venues we tasted the current releases, as well as wines expected to be released later this year.

Of course there were some truly wonderful expressions of vintage Champagne and mature single vineyard white wines.

It really is proof (if proof be needed), that certain wines just need to be stored for a few years and they take on a whole new dimension… that is sometime as wild, wacky and enjoyable as the Queen’s Pageant.

June also promises to be a busy month with another sell out wine tasting in the cellars, along with new vintages and wines slowly emerging from parts of Europe. Talking of which, do keep an eye out for some new Bulgarian wines we will be listing in the coming months.

However, we need to at times trumpet our own wines and this is the ideal time to do so after a weekend of British euphoric patriotism and with ‘English wine week’ coming up at the end of this month.

We now have several English still wines to sit along side our local Welcombe Hills wine, Henners and Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs. New listings from Henners feature their excellent Barrel Aged Chardonnay and Henners English Sparkling Brut Rosé.

When it comes to English wine there’s a lot to shout about, not least the stunning sparkling wines as just mentioned from Henners.

Based just 4 miles from the sea in Herstmonceux, East Sussex, the 7 acre vineyard was created in 2007 by ex-Formula One engineer, Lawrence Warr.

The winery was named in honour of Larry’s French ancestor, Henners Dubois, who was forced to flee Paris for England during the French Revolution in the in the late 18th Century.

We also have the welcome return of Lyme Bay wines Shoreline and Bacchus and the latest releases of their award winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Also we have a new listing of sparkling wines from Rathfinny Estate. This family-owned estate was established in 2010 by Mark and Sarah Driver, with the first vineyards being planted in April 2012.

 Rathfinny’s estate vineyard now extends to over 93 hectares in the South Downs, just three miles from the Channel. Lying on a south-facing slope, the site is predominantly planted with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier and benefits from a semi-continental maritime climate and free-draining chalk soils, providing the ideal conditions to ripen grapes for sparkling wine.

Rathfinny uses only estate-grown fruit for their four traditional-method sparkling wines: Classic Cuvée, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs and Rosé. Each of their wines is produced and labelled as a vintage wine.

So, whilst we are all experiencing many negative things in our lives at present – there is also much to be celebrated, so please do get involved in our English wines, as they are here to stay and will only get better.

Santé