Sunday 13th July 2014
Last Sunday I made my way to Jenkyn Place Vineyard in the village of Bentley, Hampshire. The Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival is the first event of its kind put on by a group of six award-winning English wine producers who have joined forces to promote Hampshire Wine. The six producers involved are Cottonworth, Danebury Vineyards, Jenkyn Place, Hambledon, Hattingley Valley and Meonhill Wines who were all represented by winemakers, owners and other members of their teams.
Jenkyn Place provided a great venue, a marquee (there was only a little rain shower) with super views looking out over their vineyards and on to the surrounding Downs, a hog roast and some live music from local singer / songwriter Martha Paton. The marquee was located right at the end of the rows of vines and it was good to be able to have a close up look at the Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir vines.
I know the Meonhill and Hambledon Vineyard wines quite well but it was good to refresh the memory. The Hambledon Classic Cuvee Brut was brilliant as ever and the Meonhill Chardonnay Brut is a great Blanc de Blancs – fresh, clean and citrus-y with good mineral character. Of the other sparkling wines I tried (and let’s face it Hampshire Wine is going to be all about the sparkling wines) I particularly enjoyed the Cottonworth Classic Cuvee Brut, Jenkyn Place Brut Cuvee and Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvee. I am afraid I didn’t really take any tasting notes on the day, it was more a social than a working visit, but I look forward to tasting more sparkling Hampshire wine in future – they were all very good.
In association with Hampshire Fare, there were also three or four food stalls including Jake’s Artisan Pies selling organic pork pies, a selection of Hampshire charcuterie from Parsonage Farm and gourmet marshmallows from the Belinda Clark Gourmet Confectionery. Being a more savoury sort of person, I drifted toward the pork pies, which were great, and the charcuterie which included a fantastic fennel and garlic salami. Judging by the fact that both stalls ran out of stock quite early I would say they had a very successful day and, I have to admit, I bought some of each to take home.
— EricaDent_EDW 🥂 (@EDW_WSET) July 15, 2014
It was a very enjoyable afternoon. I think some exhibitors were surprised by how many people turned up but I think, with the amazing quality of Hampshire wine being produced and this fact filtering out into the mainstream press, the event will only grow from here. I hope all the exhibitors thought it worthwhile – after all at this stage in the growth of Hampshire wine it is vital to get the message to the most people possible, and what better way then getting them to try the wines. More visitors and more pies and charcuterie next time please!