AirSP members and their guests enjoyed a pleasant and informative evening exploring the qualities and diversity of English wines.
The Group was addressed by Julia Trustram Eve of Wines of Great Britain Ltd. Julia is an eloquent and knowledgeable spokesperson for English wines, a cause to which she has devoted many years.
It is certain that the gathering’s awareness of the quality and range of English wine and the wine industry was limited, but Julia soon put an end to that and the group quickly developed a new appreciation of these wines.
Giving an outline of the industry in the UK, Julia explained that there were over 500 commercial vineyards and 164 wineries in operation and annual production in 2018 was some 15.6 million bottles, of which 31% was still wine and 69% was sparkling. The most active region was the South East, where some 76% of the total area in production was situated. A large percentage of all wines produced were white, but red was also being bottled.
It was evident that the quality of English wines has progressively improved since Roman times and that quality was reflected in the ever increasing international awards won by these wines.
The group had the pleasure in tasting wines produced from a range of areas, from Cornwall to East Sussex which included still, sparkling and dessert wines.
A comment from one of the attendees:
“Contrary to the widely held medical view that alcohol destroys brain cells, I left this evening’s event feeling that I knew a little more than when I arrived!
Many thanks to Julia for the most insightful and entertaining “virtual” vineyard tour.”
One last thought—it was explained that the fermentation process involved the production and release of carbon dioxide—let’s hope the environmentalists do not pick upon this, or wine and alcohol will be the next thing they will try to ban!!!