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English Wine Week

Last weekend with some time to kill I wandered into the wines aisles of a (gasp) supermarket. I found myself in the one which, it is alleged, has the power to make house prices in its locality rocket, housewives salivate over Heston's Buns and house martins, well, the house martins don't care. They are birds. Or an 80s alternative musical outfit which our student union DJ would inevitably play at last orders sending sweaty young men with 'Snakey B' dripping from their eyeballs, stampeding towards the bar, the prospect of getting lucky being delivered a fatal blow shortly after their eighth pint of the night.  I like to think I've come a long way since then. I now enjoy my beer without the addition of cider or blackcurrant juice, get up before midday. I have a mortgage, a family, I can just about grow a beard; and there I was in the supermarket with the green and white stripes instead of blue and white ones. With English Wine Week on the horizon I scanned the shelves for something half decent and English that might appeal and suggest that, just possibly, this English Wine too has matured. Lo and behold; a bottle of fizz, made in Kent, using Champagne grapes, traditional method and reasonably priced (once it had one of those silly supermarket discounts applied to it). It ticked all the boxes. Which is great and a sign of how English wine has now entered the consciousness of the mainstream wine market.

But, beyond this, for the real wine enthusiast, English wine has so much more to offer. Here at South Downs Cellars we currently offer over forty different English wines, still and sparkling. Two years ago we launched the wines of Albourne Estate, responsible for the production of some of the finest still wines available in the uk today. We have our own series of wines produced by possibly England's most exceptional producer of sparkling wines, Wiston Estate, and work closely with sixteen local vineyards, a thought that a decade ago would have been unthinkable. English wine, it appears, has stopped lying in all day, shed its bum-fluff and grown up. It's happy hour again and again and again...

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