English Wine: Court Garden

In Ditchling, East Sussex is a farm that has a history dating back to Saxon times. From the Manor of Ditchling Garden to the priory in Lewes to ownership by the crown, fertile lands have been part of English agriculture for centuries. Today, Court Garden offers one the most acclaimed wineries in all of the UK.

The Wines

In 2015, Court Garden won the IWC awards for the English Vintage Trophy and the English Sparkling Trophy. This can be placed alongside dozens of other awards and commendations. The 2010 Court Garden Ditchling Reserve is a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, this lovely vintage sparkling wine has a slight vanilla sense with a full mouth-feel.

The 2013 Classic Cuvee is an excellent sparkling wine with a Brut style and a fresh under-ripe pineapple taste. The slightly greenish wine has ultra-fine bubbles, giving this wine a wondrously light feel in the mouth. We particularly enjoyed this one at a well-known seafood restaurant in Brighton called Riddle & Finns, which is classed as a ‘Wine & Oyster Bar’. Definitely a place we would equally recommend if you want to combine the two.

The Court Garden Rosé 2011 Vintage Sparkling Wine is perfect for nearly every occasion. It has red fruit flavours and a lovely mousse texture. It offers a dried cranberry character with a savoury finish.

In 2010, they put up a Ditchling Reserve Brut that is amazing. Made with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, this fizz has been aged for nine months in French Oak barrels. There is a slight hint of vanilla and it has a soft and round mouthfeel. As their website says, they won’t be able to create a reserve every year, so get this reserve now.

With ripe peach and apple, Court Garden’s Blanc de Blancs is a crisp and dry wine. The bubbles are tiny and continuous, making this a wonderful celebration fizz. A beautiful wine like this is perfect for any occasion.

Court Garden also offers three wines without bubbles. Their Pinot Noir/Ortega blend is a medium-bodied wine that offers bright citrus flavours, including lime and grapefruit. It’s perfect with lightly flavoured foods like fish and seafood.

They offer a Rosé that is dry and has the freshness of summer. It’s a great companion for salty and earthy foods like sheep’s cheese. Their Vintage 2014 Ortega is lovely, with hints of peach blossom and tropical fruits. The oak aging gives it depth and beauty.

About the vineyard

Court Garden is one of England’s finest vineyards and wineries. Established in 2005, the south-facing slope looks out upon the South Downs. The chalky ground and maritime climate are perfect for growing grapes that offer a distinct smoothness and grace.

They offer winery tours that take visitors around the vineyard, the winery, and the tasting room. This is a wonderful opportunity to see a small wine house in action.

All of their wines can be ordered on their website and are delivered with little or no shipping throughout the UK mainland. They also offer shipping to Eire and the Continent.

These wines are a prime example of the quality of wine that English vintners are providing. These are wines that rival their Continental counterparts with a smoothness and beauty that is 100% English. Court Garden wines are ideal for every occasion and are well worth being in any wine cellar. Take a look for yourself.

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