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When you think about sparkling wine, what production regions come to mind?
Champagne in France…
Prosecco in Italy…
Well, did you know that amazing sparkling wine is produced right here on our doorstep in the UK? And yes, even using grapes grown in British vineyards.
In fact, in 2018 over 13 million bottles of wine were produced by British wineries, 69% of which were sparkling wine.
British wines have been rising year on year in the sparkling wine market, predominantly due to the changing climate increasing the viability of sparkling wine grapes in the country.
And what’s equally as amazing is that many of these British wineries and vineyards are located in the south of England, meaning you can visit them yourself on a day trip from London.
For those interested in finding out more about British sparkling wine, Hattingley Valley Wines is one such winery.
Hattingley Valley is located in Hampshire and is one of the premium producers of sparkling wine in the UK.
The winery produces several varieties of sparkling wine, including their classic reserve, a sparkling rose and the award-winning Blanc de Blancs.
Hattingley Valley’s owner Simon Robinson is the chairman of the industry body ‘Wines of Great Britain’, while the winery’s head winemaker Emma Rice is also extremely well respected within the industry, having won UK Wine Maker of the Year in both 2014 and 2016.
A Hattingley Valley winery tour
A tour of Hattingley Valley includes an explanation of the production processes involved to create the traditional method sparkling wine, from harvesting the grapes all the way through to the fermentations and finally the bottling process. This is followed by (the best part of course) a tasting of their current range.
Tours must be pre-booked and run throughout the year, except during the busy harvest which takes place from mid-September to mid-November.
A tour of the winey and tasting costs £15 per person, while a tour of the winery, vineyards and a tasting is just £20 per person.
And lastly, don’t forget to pick up a few bottles to take home with you. Hattingley Valley’s sparkling wines are best paired with seafood including oysters.
How to get to Hattingley Valley Wines in Hampshire:
If you have a car, you can drive from London to the winery in roughly 2 hours, however, this does mean you’ll need a designated driver who won’t be able to enjoy sampling the wine themselves.
Therefore the best option for visiting Hattingley Valley winery from London is by train…
Jump on the train at London Waterloo towards Salisbury. You’ll want to get off at Basingstoke Railway Station. The journey takes roughly 45 minutes.
From Basingstoke Railway Station get in a taxi which can take you to Hattingley Valley in 25 minutes.