Rule Britannia! Britannia rule the.. vines?
The Queen — while simultaneously smashing records — has reportedly turned her hand to wine making at her Windsor Great Park estate, where 16,700 chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier vines were planted back in 2011.
The grapes were harvested two years later in October 2013, and underwent fermenting, blending and spent two years aging in the cellars. The result was 3,000 bottles of the English Quality Sparkling Wine — released just before Christmas — which offers both “richness and finesse” and has an aroma of “delicate toasted brioche, apricot and citrus notes,” reports The Telegraph.
The bubbly was available as a three-bottle gift set online for £75 (roughly $94) , but soon sold out. However, a second batch is set to be released later this year priced at £35 ($43) a bottle.
In recent years, England’s wine industry has begun to flourish – its increasingly warm climate and chalky soils are ideal production conditions, and even the French are starting to agree. Last year Taittinger became the first Champagne house to invest in British vineyard real estate, after buying 170 acres of land in Kent. And back in April 2016 a panel of Parisian champagne experts voted that English sparkling wine was better than champagne in a blind tasting.