There can’t be many better things to do on a cold Monday morning than tasting a selection of top sparkling wines in one of London’s finest pubs. And that’s exactly what Noble Rot asked an influential panel of wine writers, chefs and sommeliers to do, when they wanted to find out whether English sparkling wine now has the quality to compete with Champagne. Read about their findings ....
With rise of English Sparkling Wine being a popular talking point amongst those in the know, 2015 is set to be a great year for us at Hambledon and it could not have got off to a better start than receiving an international award.
In the last few months we've opened our doors at Hambledon to a whole range of visitors. We've been running tours and tastings several times a week for people from all walks of life - from a local Probus Group to corporate parties and families of all ages. We've also hosted a number of meetings in our meeting room and have just had our first wedding in the vineyard!
The beautiful Indian summer that we're currently all enjoying is doing wonders for the vines and we're starting to get (cautiously) excited about the harvest. Not only do the vines look fantastic with even-coloured green leaves and no sign of disease, but the grapes are also very healthy, with less than 1% affected by rot.
Reading the investment news in the media usually consists of scanning through the business pages at the back of the broadsheets or picking up the latest copy of the FT. So it made a very nice change to read a feature in last weekend’s Sunday Times that combined not only finance, but also human interest and wine - and of course featured an interview with our very own managing director Ian Kellett. We hope you enjoy it!
We've started to welcome more and more visitors to Hambledon, now that we are open for tours and tastings three times a week. However, this week we had some very important visitors of a slightly different kind!
For all of us at Hambledon the last month has been something of a whirlwind! On the winemaking front we had the major blending period, leading up to our final assemblage day on 11th April. On the marketing side, we began to host visits and tours in earnest, culminating in a Sparkling Wine Workshop on 25th April. Even the vineyards were getting in on the act, with bud burst occurring a full two weeks ahead of usual!
On Sunday 17th October, Livia Xin from The Drinks Business joined us for the first day of Harvest picking Pinot Noir grapes in the gorgeous sunshine. We successfully harvested enough grapes to fill two four tonne presses. Follow this link to see the lovely slideshow story on The Drinks Business website... http://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2013/10/hambledon-harvest-in-pictures/
On Sunday 20th October Hambledon's MD, Ian Kellett met with Georgie Windsor at the BBC Radio Solent studios to be part of the English wine feature on 'The Good Life' show. Ian managed to escape the harvest for a couple of hours to talk to Georgie about Hambledon's heritage, future and of course the journey of the grape to the glass! Follow the link to hear this interesting interview in full.... http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002tzfg/clips
After much nervous waiting and poring over the weather forecasts, we finally started harvesting our grapes on Thursday. In one day alone we were able to pick around 8 tonnes of mature, healthy Pinot Noir fruit, filling our small Coquard press twice over. It was a huge achievement! We've now moved onto the Pinot Meunier and expect to start picking the Chardonnay some time in the next 10 days, touch wood.
The lovely weather in the last couple of weeks has given us a real boost in the run up to harvest. Last week's warm and sunny spell in particular helped to produce a big jump in sugar and acidity levels of the grapes. We don't want to jump the gun, but I think you can safely say that we are quietly confident that we should get a good, healthy crop this year, providing the rains stay away for the next couple of weeks. We are now in the midst of a formal survey of maturation to identify the best potential harvest dates.