The Grange Estate Classic Sparkling is a dry English sparkling wine from Hampshire.
Grange Estate Wines is an exciting new Hampshire sparkling wine project. Their vineyard, named Burge’s Field, is located at The Grange Estate in Itchen Stoke near Alresford, which is approximately 5 miles to the east of Winchester. The estate was bought by John Baring (7th Lord Ashburton) in 1965 and it remains owned by the Baring to today. In fact the estate had been in the Baring family ownership, purchased by the 1st Lord Ashburton, some 200 years previously, and passed through various other owners before returning to Baring ownership. The wine part of the business is a coming together of John Baring’s four children and is run by managing partner Zam Baring. The Grange Estate is also an arable farm and hosts an opera and dance festival each year.
The Burge’s Field vineyard gently slopes southwards down towards the River Itchen, whose clear chalk streams are world famous for their fly fishing. The soils in the vineyard are composed of Cretaceous chalk dotted with hard silica flints, the same chalk soils that extend through Hampshire, the Sussex Downs and onward to Champagne. It is this chalky soil that is perfect for growing sparkling wine grapes and help impart a steely minerality to the wines. The 52,000 Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines were planted in 2011 and the vineyard surface covers 30 hectares. The first Grange Estate wine were released in 2018 and the wines are made by the talented wine-making team at Hattingley Valley led by Emma Rice and Jacob Leadley (they also make the fantastic sparkling wines for Raimes).
The Grange Estate Classic Sparkling is currently (as of summer 2019) made with grapes from the 2015 vintage. The grapes were hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed. 85% of the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks with the rest going into 4th-fill oak barrels. About 50% of the wine in stainless steel vats was allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation. The individual parcels of wines were then tasted and 11 base wines were blended to produce the cuvee in January 2016. The wine then underwent the traditional secondary fermentation in bottle followed by 33 months on the lees prior to disgorging in February 2019.
The Grange Estate Classic Sparkling is a blend of 55% Chardonnay, 28% Pinot Meunier and 17% Pinot Noir. The dosage is 8 g/L.