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English Wine Week 2023

7 myths busted, about English WineThis English Wine Week we’re looking at some of the popular myths about wine (and especially English Wine) – that are hard to shift. 

1) “English red wines aren’t very good”.  

This might have been true decades ago, but increasingly English Red Wines are very good indeed. In fact, you’ll find versions from Cornwall to Yorkshire which can prove the case. This is due to the growth of more “noble” grape varieties – like Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Planted largely for sparkling wine production, they can actually make very good still wines in England too in the right circumstances. And a growing understanding of our own landscape and wine growing season is helping winemakers do this more and more often. 

Our brand-new Luke’s’ Pinot Noir 2022 is real proof of just how far these wines have come. From the stellar, warm 2022 vintage it’s a myth-buster in a bottle.  

2) “Global warming is good for English Wine”  

Although warmer growing seasons are helpful for vine production, that’s not the same as saying the climate emergency is a good thing for English Wine. 

Whilst hotter, drier summers will undoubtedly increase the amount of wine we make, there’s also severe risks – not least the increased change of temperamental conditions (such as earlier growing seasons risking more frost, hail or extreme weather). Overall most English Wineries are pursuing a green agenda to help reduce the risk of global warming – as we increasingly see the effects on our European neighbours of its dangers.  

3) “Making wine in England is a constant battle” 

Whilst this one is certainly true of the weather, it doesn’t have to be of nature.  

Our viticulture team, the Turner and Smith family, work incredibly closely with our local environment at Balfour to ensure our vineyards are in harmony with our surroundings. From planting extensive wildflower meadows, to ensuring our ancient woodlands remain untouched – they’ve tended our estate for generations. 

This ecosystem means we can cut down on a lot of the aggressive pest control measures you might find elsewhere, as the abundance of food and natural resources on our 400 acre estate mean our vines remain untouched.  

4) “Red should be served warm, and fizz served cold”. 

Both these ‘rules’ are unproven by English Wine. The (generally) light and fresh styles of red we produce in England are ideally suited to being lightly chilled – and their low tannins and soft summer fruit flavours really come to life on a warm summer’s evening after around 5-10 minutes in the fridge before serving.  

Whilst over-chilling Sparkling Wines can be hugely detrimental to the flavours you’ll find. In fact, we’d recommend taking any fizz out of the fridge for around 8 minutes before serving, and even allowing any chardonnay-based wines (like our vintage Blanc de Blanc) a little while to breathe before serving. You’ll find more notes and nuances which add to the wine’s delicious character.  

5) “You have to go abroad to visit vineyards”

This is a myth which is disappearing rapidly, thanks to the incredible wine tourism industry which is growing in this country. England now has a growing reputation for putting on first class wine experiences. 

From vineyard tours, to yoga sessions, tastings, festival-style events and more. All under an hour from the UK’s capital city, and taking place in our landscape of ancient woodlands, wildflower meadows, orchards and break-taking views.  

At Balfour we see over 15,000 people visit us every year, and we love to work with our neighbours to bring more people down to this stunning part of the world.  

6) “Vintage wines mean better wines”

This is a tricky myth to explain. But a vintage wine purely means a wine from a specific year, whilst a non-vintage (or NV) can be from multiple years.  Does that make it better? Well, it depends on the year. We only release our Vintage Collection wines when we think the year has been good enough – and the amount we make depends. Whereas our consistent NV styles, such as the Leslie’s range, are superb every single year. With such variation in England from year to year, due to our weather, it means that some vintage releases truly are exceptional, whereas other years we have to blend across multiple releases.  

7) “The future of English Wine is French-beating fizz” 

Whilst England’s growing reputation for superb Sparkling Wine is well warranted (and deserved), its future is about making a unique reputation in the world – rather than constantly comparing back to our European cousins.  

The same is true of our still wines, something we at Balfour are aiming to do by creating our own unique styles which, whilst taking inspiration from the world’s great wine styles, are unmistakably English too. In fact we’re aiming to increase our own still wines to 50% of our production. 

The future, we think, for English Wine is to stand on its own two feet and receive international acclaim for both Sparkling and Still – rather than getting too concerned with what the rest of the world is producing.


For English Wine Week 2023 we’re giving away a case of our brilliant new still wines from the stunning 2022 vintage. 


All you need to do is head over to our Social feeds, and let us know what’s your favourite memory of drinking English Wine, and tag us and the person you shared it with.  

We’ll choose one lucky winner at the end of EWW 2023 – the 25th June.  

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