Wines from Yorkshire
Although the British have been importing wines, off and on, from the time of the Roman Empire, wine drinking has been the preserve of the wealthy for much of that history. From the late 1970s, a number of wine merchants set out to change that, first by introducing sweeter, German wines, then fruity New World wines, until we were drinking so much that the UK is now the biggest importer of wines in the world. It's surprising, too, how quickly we have taken to wine growing. Historians will shout out that those Romans planted vines in the first century, but you wouldn't call it a significant industry, and it was more or less confined to the southern parts of what is now England. Today, more and more land is being cultivated for vines, as the English and Welsh discover what can be achieved with the right grape varieties and careful viticulture. Scotland and Northern Ireland have not yet produced wine on an economically viable scale. I've written about Welsh wines in the past (http://blog.theaperitifguy.co.uk/2019/03/wales-foodie-roadtrip.html); this time I'll focus on my nearest producer, Dunesforde Vineyard, in North Yorkshire.
|Typical Yorkshire sky
The owners of Dunesforde are confident that the difficulty of life up here for their vines forces them to produce grapes of particular complexity and interest. There was only one way to find out!
Both of these wines are available to buy on the vineyard's website, https://www.dunesforde.com/our-wines, where you can also pre-order their sparkling wines, which will be released next year.
Next time: exciting developments in English distilling.