Fairmile Vineyard English Rosé Sparkling Wine
From the home of Henley Royal Regatta, this stylish pink English fizz is produced from classic Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir to yield an award-winning glass of bubbly. Made by the traditional in-bottle fermentation method as used in Champagne, here’s a wine to celebrate the summer of 2021 in style. The vineyards rise majestically up on your left hand side as you approach the town along the elegant Fairmile. These chalky slopes could not be more appropriate for classic grapes as used for Champagne – the only surprise is that it took so long for someone to realise this!
First planted in 2011 by local couple Jan and Anthea Mirkowski, this suntrap for vines also acts as a useful shield for poor winter weather as the steep slopes don’t allow water to pool amid the vines. If you’ve ever been to Chablis, you’ll recall how sharp are the inclines for the Chardonnay cultivated there, especially on Grand Cru vineyards. In England, damp is the enemy of the vine and growing on free draining soil and on a hill means humidity is lower and the dread fungal diseases cannot thrive on the young grapes. The Mirkowskis point out that they are a mere 150 kilometres from the original home of Champagne and the soil is remarkably similar on this side of the Channel. And they are not the only growers to notice this fact – as climate change impacts grape cultivation everywhere, even famed French Champagne houses such as Taittinger are investing in land to create their own English sparkling wines using all those centuries of expertise.
“A mere 150 kilometres from the original home of Champagne and the soil is remarkably similar.”
This wine has a pleasing buttered toast aroma, an English take on the classic French tasting note of ‘brioche’. The colour is a delicate pale raspberry with just a hint of grey, as befits a fizz created under cloudier skies. On the palate it is slightly fruitier than a typical French Champagne with hints of summer pudding, and then the finish is lingering and balanced. As for so many UK vineyards, wine tourism is a key element in their success, so if you ever feel inclined to head toward the Chilterns, this should certainly be a destination on your list.
About The Author
I’m Rosalind and I’m here to talk to you about Rosé. Whether it’s your first choice or your last on a wine list, this site is for you. After years of writing about and tasting wine, there is something truly special to me about the pink stuff. On the Rose Report, I write reviews of the best Rosé Wines. You can find out more about me HERE.