Celebrating English Wine Week with The Bluebell Vineyard

Photographer: Yuri Gupta

Photographer: Yuri Gupta - Credit: Archant

With English wine week starting this weekend, the Bluebell Vineyard Estates in East Sussex tells us why their English Sparkling Wine is becoming the subject of much critical acclaim.

Photographer: Yuri Gupta

Photographer: Yuri Gupta - Credit: Archant

“There couldn’t be a better time to be producing English Wine. English Sparkling is winning a growing reputation for elegance, finesse and freshness. In fact, world-renowned wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, said she had “never felt more excited by the quality of English sparkling wine”. And our Hindleap range of wines is right there in the vanguard.


- Credit: Archant

Respect for the soils and vines, hand harvesting and careful fruit selection are the key to the standards of excellence that are our hallmark. But supporting our hard work is nature’s endowment too. The sandy/clay loam over sandstone bedrock closely replicates conditions found in Champagne’s Montagne de Reims sub-region, less than 90 miles from us here in Furner’s Green.

And then there is our climate; in this case there can be little doubt that the South East of England has the advantage. In Sussex, the average temperature is a degree warmer than it was for most of the 20th century, but, in comparison with the very hot Champenoise summers, ours are cool enough to avoid the danger of over ripening.

The Bluebell Vineyard Estate, tucked down a shady lane between Furners Green and the famous Bluebell Steam Railway (not far from Sheffield Park), was established in 2005, producing English Sparkling Wine by the méthode traditionelle, using only the classic champagne grape varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – (we now also make a superb Seyval Blanc!)

Since our first vintage in 2007 we have been awarded more than 20 regional, national and international medals and trophies, including awards from the UKVA, Decanter and IWC.

Most recently, we were delighted to be awarded the top mark for a Rosé at the prestigious ‘Judgement of Parsons Green’ and took third place overall for our Brut Rosé 2010, beating 92 other English Sparkling Wines from 47 different producers.

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Although produced by the same method, rather than mimicking Champagne, our winemaker Kevin Sutherland, has established a confident ‘English Style’ that is fruit-driven, fresh and full of interesting character.

English Wine Week is a great platform in which to celebrate these achievements and we will be out and about in Sussex, promoting our multi-award winning range.


Visit Bluebell Vineyard Estates at the following events:

Saturday 24th May – The Rural Vintner, Trading Boundaries

Sunday 25th May – Food Rocks South Food and Drink Festival – Ardingly Showground