‘We’re England’s oldest vineyard, in the birthplace of cricket!’ exclaims Ian Kellett, owner of Hambledon Vineyard, ‘it doesn’t get better than that!’
It’s been a commercial vineyard since 1952. Formerly owned by Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones, who began a lifelong love affair with wine in the trenches of WW1, where French officers shared around their precious wine rations with their grateful English companions. Today, all Hambledon’s wines are 100% estate grown and produced, currently to the tune of around 400,000 bottles a year, with a winery capable of handling up to 2 million bottles every single year.
The buzzwords for the Hambledon brand are ‘purist and principled’, 100% estate grown and produced using exclusively chalk-based soils to guarantee the best possible quality. ‘We just want to do things properly’, says Ian, ‘The geology is so important. The chalk in our front garden at Hambledon is exactly the same chalk as you find in Champagne.’
It’s fascinating, exciting stuff – and demonstrates how, to paraphrase slightly, the English have all the tools with which to overtake Champagne in the future.
From Winerist Magazine