Did you know that England is now home to roughly 770 vineyards and 165 wineries? English sparkling wines have become famous in recent years for topping the awards lists and beating it’s more well known European counterparts to more and more accolades. Rosé wine looks set to continue this tradition with an increasing range of delectable rosé wines produced on our shores!
In the range of grapes that flourish in the UK climate & soils, the three traditional rosé wine grape varieties feature highly. Of the vines growing in the UK, 33% are Pinot Noir (including Precoce) followed by 32% of Chardonnay and 13% are Pinot Meunier. Largely used to produce beautiful, high quality rosé sparkling wines (72%) a ever growing number of still rosé wines are appearing from wineries.
As the number of English Rosé wines on the market expands we are spoilt for choices of fantastic wines to enjoy. Here are some of my favourite rosés that I enjoy sipping, especially in the summer!
Possibly my favourite discovery in the past year is Folc rosé wine that was launched by Elisha & Tom in 2020. Focusing on delivering a high quality wine with a modern mindset, the grapes are selected from a small community region in Kent and delivered to their expert winemakers. The winery is accredited with WineGB Sustainability scheme and they aim to be carbon neutral in the new few years.
Redesigned this year to enable a plant-based and carbon neutral cork to be used the wine is already vegan & gluten free! A beautiful pale salmon colour the wine is a very delicate, dry rosé with a very balanced acidity that English wines excel at producing. It is lightly perfumed with raspberry and elderflower floral notes and has the classic strawberry & floral finish in flavour that makes it the perfect wine for a host of dishes and occasions!
To read more about Folc wine, read my post on the perfect picnic here.
Kent, England – 11%
Simpsons – Estate Rosé
Ruth & Charles Simpson are known for their award winning southern French wines, but in 2012 on their return to the UK they established the Simpsons Wine Estate in the North Downs of Kent. This is their inaugural rosé, and it displays lots of fresh citrus and lychee notes. It has a very crisp and slightly acidic finish which makes it ideal with crustacean based or fish based dishes. I really enjoy this with a Vietnamese style prawn salad.
They also produce a Railway Hill Rosé that uses 100% pinot noir grapes to produce a Provencal-style English Rosé that is definitely worth trying too.
Kent, England – 12.5%
Marks & Spencer English Pink Lily
Produced exclusively for M&S by Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey this is an extremely affordable rosé at only £12 a bottle! The blend combines lesser known grape varieties of Dornfelder, Regent & Dunkel with the staple Pinot Noir grown on south facing chalky slopes of the North Downs. It is a beautiful pale pink colour, with scents of berries and vanilla. It is an off-dry variety with strong berry and citrus notes that make it the perfect accompaniment to simple salads, grilled fish and therefore ideal for a BBQ!
Surrey, England – 11%
Known for their Sparkling wines, Hattingley Valley launched their first still wines in 2019. Followed by an even better harvest in 2020 to produce their beautiful pale pink Rosé made using the saignée method from Pinot Noir & Pinot Noir Précoce. This means they slowly press whole bunches of the grapes to bleed the colour from the skins before fermenting in stainless steel to retain the fruit’s flavour. The end result is a fruity dry wine with notes of red fruits, peach and blossom alongside a still creamy mouthfeel. Perfect with Asian prawn salads and BBQs.
Hampshire, England – 12.1%
Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé
Notably served to Michelle Obama by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace Banquet, this is a Award winning fruity sparkling Rosé. Produced from a blend of the three classic Champagne grapes; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It is delightfully smooth with notes of raspberry, honey and fresh citrus that makes it the perfect drink with classic English berry dishes like Summer Pudding and extremely refreshing on hot days.
Sussex, England – 12%
Black Chalk Wild Rosé
Beautifully crafted in the chalklands by Jacob Leadley, the family produce their wine in small batches with traditional processing methods. The Wild Rose uses the classic grape varieties as well: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, with oak barrels and roughly 20 months time on lees to give the wine a great depth. A more complex blend leads to this being a well balanced, crisp and wonderfully fruity sparkling rosé wine that is a world class representation of English sparkling wine. I sampled this at the fantastic Vineyards of Hampshire – Fairylights and Fizz event in 2019 and the taste has stayed with me it was that memorable!
Black Chalk have also just released (July 2021!) a new still rosé wine, Dancer in Pink that I can’t wait to try!
Hampshire, England – 12%
We are the Uncommon – Eleanor & Peggy!
We are the Uncommon bring high quality English sparkling wine and wine spritzers to can format, making them perfect for those summer picnics! The wines are all vegan friendly and naturally low in sugar, plus the cans are endlessly recyclable for an all around feel good factor. They are both lower ABV, especially the spritzer, which just enhances their drinkability at events.
Eleanor is strawberry led bubbly dry rosé wine made from Pinot noir grapes from both Kent & Hampshire vineyards. As it’s low in sugar the wine is a little tart, with sharp tastes of strawberries and raspberries.
Kent & Hampshire, England – 11.5%
Peggy is a new addition as a bubbly Rosé spritzer! Using 70% Pinot Noir & 30% Pinot Meunier grapes combines with spritzer that combines rose, mint, hawthorn & lavender. The mint really shines through on the flavour making it extremely refreshing and summery!
Kent & Hampshire, England – 5.5%
Have you tried any of these wines?