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First commercial English Sauvignon Blanc

Three hectares of Sauvignon Blanc have been planted by Denbies, England’s largest wine estate. Clone 108 on Gravesac rootstocks were chosen for early ripening and limestone tolerance.

The Sauvignon Blanc planting is part of Denbies strategy to move to more premium dry white wine styles.

“There is always an element of risk with any new variety that is introduced to the UK,” says John Worontschak, consulting winemaker with Litmus wines which is working with Denbies on its expansion plans. “Three hectares, although small in terms of Denbies overall size is larger than the average English Vineyard! We are confident with this great site that we will achieve full ripeness.

“It is our aim to move towards more complex and challenging Northern European wine styles that will offer the consumer something more at the top end than just fruitiness: the wine world has moved on enormously and we are moving with it.”

Chris White, MD adds: “This is exciting times for Denbies, we have planted many varieties here that have been considered a risk, 20 years ago Pinot Noir was the major example and is now one of England’s premier varietals and an integral part of Denbies wine production. Many English vineyards recently have concentrated solely on sparkling wine growing, and although an important sector of the market that we also compete in, as an industry, we should not abandon the quest for truly great premium still wines.“

Established in 1986, Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey, is England’s largest vineyard with 265 acres of vines. The estate can produce up to 500,000 bottles of sparkling and still wine per annum and currently has a range of 12 wines



1 April 2010 - Felicity Murray