Forget the sun-kissed golden vineyards of France and South Africa, wine produced on our very own slightly wet shores is beginning to capture the palates of connoisseurs across the globe.
Believe it or not our very own Berkshire is home to several vineyards, producing glorious reds, whites, roses and fizz.
To mark English Wine Week (June 19-27) we thought we would celebrate them, while also recommending some affordable supermarket wines which are better than the rest.
We spoke to Berkshire wine educator Abbie Bennington about local producers and asked her opinion on the best wines from around the world, available in your local supermarket, to enjoy this summer.
Abbie has more than a decade’s experience in the business and runs courses, virtual tastings and is a published wine writer.
Four great supermarket wines to try this summer
These are some of the best supermarket buys for summer.
- Aldi: Specially Selected Picpoul de Pinet £5.99.
Abbie says: “White wine, food-friendly and makes a great aperitif.”
- Aldi: Italian Aglianico £6.99.
Abbie says: “Dark, rich and packed with strawberries and plum. Offers great value for this high quality Italian grape variety.”
- M&S: Vinho Verde rose £7.
Abbie says: “A rare pink wine made from traditional native Portuguese varieties.
“Intense, spritzy, red fruit and lower in alcohol makes it great outdoor summer drinking with or without the sunshine.”
- Waitrose: L’Atzar Cava Reserva Catalunya, Spain. On offer at £8.99.
Abbie says: “Made in the champagne method this small scale cava producer ticks every box and you won’t buy better quality at this price.
“Packed with green apple, pear and citrus this is a cracking cava.”
Supermarket best buy wines for under £10
Pick up Abbie’s bargain buy wine recommendations to enjoy this summer.
Find a gorgeous red or white wine for under £7 from Aldi
Discover the perfect rose from M&S
Or if you fancy some fizz? Try Abbie’s recommended cava from Waitrose
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Five Berkshire vineyards and why you should discover them
Stanlake Park Wine Estate, Twyford
This is the place to go for sparkling wine on our doorstep.
Abbie said: “Stanlake Park showcases some of the highest quality vineyards in Berkshire and produces a wide range of English wines, including white, rosé, red and traditional method sparkling wine.
“Favourites include the Pinot Noir Rosé. This wine is made from a small parcel of Stanlake Park’s Pinot Noir grapes. This pale and elegant wine is reminiscent of the great wines of Provence in colour.
“England is the newest frontier for quality sparkling wine production and Stanlake Rosé Superior English Sparkling Wine is leading the local pack.”
Wine tasting tours – or even cheese and wine tasting tours – are an option.
Fairmile Vineyard, Henley
After a sparkling white near Henley? You should try a locally produced option.
Abbie said: “Heading Henley-way, Fairmile Vineyard’s Classic Cuvée sparkling white is well worth a detour.
“This wine offers quite the citrus and apple punch in their much-lauded sparkling white offering.”
Tours and open days allow wine fans to visit.
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All Angels Vineyard, Enborne
Abbie also recommends sampling the offerings from All Angels.
This family-run vineyard was planted in 2010 on land that has been farmed for more than 300 years.
Just over three hectares of vines are planted on All Angel’s south facing slopes.
Their wines include the Classic Cuvee and sparkling rose.
The vineyard’s website suggests becoming a member to experience wine tasting dinners.
Windsor Great Park Vineyard, Windsor
Fancy a royal tipple?
The crop was planted and harvested by wine retailer Laithwaite’s.
Served at many royal occasions, the sparkling wine won a gold medal in The Sunday Times Wine Club Vintage Festival.
More information is available online.
Winding Wood Vineyard, Hungerford
Producing up to 6,000 bottles per year, this boutique vineyard exports to Scandinavia, the US and China and also sells through local wine merchants.
Their second release – the 2016 classic Cuvee – won a clutch of medals including a gold from WineGB, the wine equivalent of the Baftas.
It’s another that Abbie suggests seeking out.
You can book guided tours and tastings on the vineyard’s website.