English Wines at the Shed
The number of vineyards in England and Wales is rising rapidly and many vines are being planed each year. Last year over 5 million vines were planted and in Kent new vineyards can be found throughout the county. At the Goods Shed we offer the widest range of Kent wines to be found in the county and offer wines from over 8 vineyards.
We have sold the wines of Barnsole Vineyard for several years now and, under the new ownership of Sal and Phil, their range is increasing. We carry the Barnsole Bacchanalia and the Red Reserve. The white is refreshing and crisp, shows green apple fruit with some vibrant nettle and herbal notes and a fresh finish. The red has plenty of bramble and raspberry fruit, gentle mellow tannins and has a character similar to the reds of the Loire valley.
Overlooking the Weald of Kent, and lying on the southern scarp face of the North Downs is Westwell Vineyard. This estate has been quietly perfecting its wines and experimenting with different styles over the last years and is now excelling in sparkling, dry white and rosé wines. We carry a couple of the beautifully crafted wines, the Pelegrim Sparkling and Ortega Rosé. The Pelegrim is a fresh, crisp creation with nut, apple and leesy notes, a bright foam and plenty of verve. The rosé, a blend of Ortega and Pinot Noir, is vibrant and dry offering a raspberry and cranberry fruit edge to the citrus of the Ortega.
Closer to Canterbury are three vineyards. In order of age they are Elham Valley, Chartham Vineyard and Simpson’s. The Elham Valley vineyard is run by the Fifth Trust and lies at Breech, just along the Elham Valley from Barham. The small vineyard produces a small range of wines and we carry the Elham Sparkling Brut. It is crisp and fresh with a lemon sherbet character.
The Simpson’s vineyard, set out on two areas on either side of the village of Barham harvested their first grapes in 2016. They aim to produce high quality, traditional method, sparkling wines and the wines produced. The wines produced at Simpsons carry the hallmarks of quality wine; balance, elegance and depth of flavour. We currently carry a number of wines from the 2018 vintage, including the Gravel Castle Chardonnay, Roman Road Chardonnay, Rabbit Hole Pinot Noir, Derringstone Pinot Meunier and the dazzling Pinot Rosé. We have also just taken some of the 2019 Gravel Castle Chardonnay, a stunningly crisp, mineral creature with depth and a great future.
Chartham Vineyard is situated on a gentle south facing slope just outside the village and is producing wines of delightful quality. The vineyard covers a small south facing slope and volumes produced are small but, as they say, perfectly formed. We carry the Pinot Gris 2018 and the Bacchus 2018 as well as their Blanc de Blanc 2017.
Another long-term favourite, and by all accounts the oldest ‘working’ vineyard in Kent, is Biddenden vineyard. The wines from this estate can be found throughout the county and we carry the traditional Ortega with its notes of ripe yellow apple and ripe lemon on a just dry, rounded palate which finishes with a clean crisp note. In addition to the Ortega we carry the Biddenden Sparkling and sparkling rosé.
One of my favourite wine estates is Davenport Vineyards. Will Davenport has been making terrific organic wines for many years. The first vineyard he planted was at Horsmonden, in Kent by the way, but the winery and larger vineyard is over the border at Rotherfield in East Sussex. Will’s wines are always characterful and well made. The Horsmonden Dry White is a refreshing blend, based around Ortega, with citrus, floral and apple notes. This is one of England’s oldest organic estates and one of the best in the country.
We also have the wines of Gusbourne, Woodchurch and Squerryes