Queen turns winemaker, producing 3,000 bottles of fizz from her Windsor Great Park estate
The Queen has latched onto the English sparkling wine craze by producing 3,000 bottles from vines grown on her estate – and they were soon snapped up.
The industry is booming with the tipple becoming so popular that the UK is currently shipping out to 27 countries and boasts annual sales of about £100million.
Her Majesty has tapped into that success with her own her vineyard on the Windsor Great Park estate, where 16,700 chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier vines were planted on a seven-acre patch back in 2011.
The English Quality Sparkling Wine is made from grapes harvested two years later in October 2013 and was only released three months ago.
However, a second batch is expected to be released later this year priced at £35 a bottle, with production expected to soar to 20,000 bottles a year within six or seven years.
By opening her own vineyard, Her Majesty followed in the footsteps of her ancestors as Henry II first cultivated grapes in the 12th Century at Windsor Castle.
Once picked, the grapes were made into wine at the Ridgeview Estate in Ditchling, East Sussex, where chief executive Tamara Roberts praised it as “delicious” and a “superb example”.
She added: “As the vineyard matures, the wines will get better and better.”
It’s speculated that most buyers snapped up the stock online to keep as an investment, although it is recommended people drink it by 2025.
The Duke of Edinburgh is said to have kept a close eye on the development of the vineyard in his role as the head ranger of the Great Park.
The Royals are no strangers to English sparkling wine having enjoyed it on special occasions, with the tipple being served at William and Kate’s wedding in April 2011.
Julia Trustram Eve of the English Wine Producers trade body said: “It is fantastic to see another home-grown success.”I have not been fortunate enough to taste any myself, but I have dropped a monumental hint with the maker that I would very much like to do so.” Julia said.
(Source: The Telegraph, London)