Editor, Kelly Andrews visited one of the UK's most successful English wine producers

Couple drinking wine while looking out over a vineyard Gusbourne, near Ashford, is one of the UK’s most successful English wine producers receiving acclaim for its award-winning sparkling wines and exceptional visitor experience. Founded in 2004, Gusbourne produces a range of sparkling and still wines from grapes grown at its vineyards in Kent and West Sussex. Its sparkling wines are well known, but it’s also growing its reputation for great still wines, and is soon to launch its first 100 per cent Pino Meunier.

The vineyard in Appledore, Kent, is home to The Nest tasting room, and it’s here editor Kelly visited one particularly dark, dank and dreary afternoon. She says, “Located in a beautiful spot The Nest at once feels welcoming and oh-so modern. We were warmly greeted and shown to our seats on the ground floor for our Sparkling Tasting Flight, accompanied by a plate of absolutely delicious local crackers and cheese. Here, mum and I spent an incredibly enjoyable hour sampling the vineyard’s delightful produce, and being educated on how each came about along with how to pair them.

“English sparkling wine is experiencing a heyday at the moment, with plenty of domestic producers giving the Champagne region a run for it’s money. With delightful sparkling wines like Gusbourne’s it’s very easy to see why. It’s so difficult to pick a favourite as it feels like this would be doing the wines I didn’t pick an injustice, so I’d definitely recommend booking this wine flight for yourself to see which would work best with your wedding breakfast.

Pizza and other food next to a bottle of wine “After the wine flight we headed upstairs for a Wine Lunch, which gave us a good idea of what wines complement various courses, meats, fish and so on. We started out with an aperitif of the Brut Reserve, which would be the ideal glass of bubbly to serve at a wedding drinks reception. Fine and delicate it’s bursting with orchard fruit notes, perfect for summer nuptials. It’s also worth mentioning the lovely 2018 Rosé here, which we sampled on the wine flight – an English summer’s day in a glass it boasts a fresh palate dominated by red cherry, ripe strawberry and raspberry.

“The incredible starter of spiced venison carpaccio, roasted beetroot, parsnip puree, sweet pickled onion, cheese, watercress and parsley emulsion was served with the Blanc de Noir. It’s a generous wine on the palate with notes of redcurrant, raspberry and red cherry, with floral hints of rose and jasmine. It worked beautifully with the gamey flavour of the venison. Main course was fish, a pan-roasted stone bass with butter beans, lemon, dill and sorrel, crispy pancetta, spinach, roasted cauliflower, toasted hazelnuts, golden raisins soaked in Gusbourne verjus and sea herbs. Again, every mouthful was perfect and we were treated to a glass of Blanc de Blanc along with one of the still wines, Chardonnay Guinevere. The citrus nature of both suited the delicate flavour of the fish beautifully. The meal was rounded off with a dark chocolate and sea salt tart, torched fig, Gusbourne honey and orange gel, vanilla whipped mascarpone, crushed pistachio and orange tuile.”

To find out more, visit www.gusbourne.com

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