Raise a toast to the Queen with English fizzBy Abbie Bennington
June 01, 2012
With the Jubilee on the horizon Abbie Bennington went to find out how you can add some English sparkle to your street party.
My last journey of discovery in Wokingham saw me taking in the great fields and forests near the town centre and I was left rather hungry and thirsty.
Speaking of the latter, I thought what better way to quench that thirst than a glass of bubbles.
New to the town I am still in celebratory mode and with the Jubilee just around the corner there is little more excuse a girl needs.
I came across a bottle of Binfield Brut which was being sold at The Wine Place in Wokingham market. I am a fan of English wine and bubbles particularly so I was delighted to discover that we are making Champagne in all but name just a stone’s throw away from the town centre.
I went to Binfield Vineyard, the home of this delicious fizz to find out more.
Although not open to the public except by special arrangement, John Hickey of Binfield Vineyard was more than welcoming as he showed me the estate. He has four acres of land which produces (with a little help from other local grape growers) around five thousand bottles of Binfield Brut a year.
The wine was a long time in the making. It took around five years after planting before the vines could be harvested. The grapes used to make Binfield Brut include Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc and Reichesteiner, the last of which I could see on site going from strength to strength.
There’s no winery on the estate but once the grapes are safely gathered in the crop is transported a little further up the road to the Stanlake Wine Estate, where Binfield Brut is born.
Lovers of Champagne and all things sparkling will not be disappointed by this fizz. Those who find the yeasty and rich tastes associated with old school Champagne a little much will find this drink refreshing, lively and floral in taste. A perfect celebration of fresh, zingy flavours.
As I walked up and down the vineyard this years vines were already starting to flourish. John was keen to point out how in just another two weeks the vines will have grown again to almost cover the wires above them.
Although it won’t be until October that the grapes are harvested it’s good to know that these rich yet lively bubbles are available from local shops, wine merchants and even restaurants.
It’s great to see a local wine flourishing and I for one was excited to discover such an exciting gem in the area. Cheers!