Wine Enthusiast Magazine


It took two Americans to recognize that the future of English winemaking lay in sparkling wine. In 1988, Stuart and Sandy Moss planted classic Champagne varieties Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Until then, English vineyards had been dominated by early-ripening varieties like Bacchus and Seyval Blanc, which were bred for the country’s marginal climate but struggled to find a market.

Fast forward three decades, and you’ll find a thriving, fast-growing industry that makes world-class sparkling wines. The fact that Champagne houses Taittinger and Pommery have planted vineyards here is a solid endorsement. Even Queen Elizabeth has vines in Windsor Great Park.

Since 2000, vineyard acreage has quadrupled to 8,600 acres, planted mostly to top sparkling varieties Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. More than two-thirds of the country’s production

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