A taste of summer: fine English wine from Devon vineyards

The Lyme Wine vineyards produced a bumper harvest last year

The Lyme Wine vineyards produced a bumper harvest last year - Credit: Archant

Food editor Susan Clark gets a first taste of Lyme Bay’s elegant Fine Wines

here’s something shifting in the world of English wines and Lyme Bay Winery is at the forefront of artisan makers bringing fresh and fruity English fine wines to the market for the first time this year.

With some 3,500 acres of Engish countryside now given over to the grape, the Department of Food and Rural Affairs predicts that global sales of English wines could hit £100 million for the first time this year and whilst English sparkling wines have now claimed a hard-won and highly respected stake on the international wine stage, non sparkling English fine wines are hoping to garner the same kind of plaudits and start giving more established producers a good run for their money.

I visited East Devon’s Lyme Bay Winery - already well known for its excellent fruit and country wines, traditional ciders, liquers and meads - to learn more about the move into Fine Wine production and left with a sample of the newly-launched white Bacchus to share with friends. I say share but actually, it was more of a blind tasting as I did not reveal anything about the wine we were about to drink. The first aroma to hit the nose was an elegant elderflower followed by zingy grapefruit and we all agreed the wine brought a refreshing, crisp summery lightness to the table. This means you could serve it with salads, lighter suppers and summer fruit desserts.

I know the name is Bacchus but if anything, it felt more of a bucolic experience than a bacchanalian one, although to be fair, the wine is named after the grape variety it has been made from.

The new Lyme Bay 2014 Fine Wine range, produced from three East Devon vineyards, includes Bacchus (£14.49); Shoreline (£14.29)) Bacchus Fume (£15.49) and Pinot Noir Rose (£14.99) . A sparkling wine is coming next.


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