Two Christmases ago we were looking for ideas for a present for my Mum and Dad. Being fans of wine and, in particular, English wine, I think we stumbled upon the ideal present - we leased them some vines from Chapel Down.
Chapel Down are one of the most recognised names in the English wine scene. They produce excellent quality sparkling wine, as well as some highly regarded still wines and a rather pleasing selection of beers.
What happens when you lease their vines then? Actually, quite a lot. As part of the deal for leasing their vines you get all of the following:
- A certificate confirming your vines' location
- The option to visit Chapel Down and, importantly, your vines
- You can participate in the harvest
- You are invited to a special two-course dinner for you and the other vine leaseholders, where you will be able to tour the winery and, of course, taste the wines!
- You get to take a case (or more, depending on how many vines you lease) of Tenterden Estate Bacchus Reserve. These wines have commemorative personalised labels
Marvellous Milford Mouthful...
My parents went down the vine leaseholders' dinner last weekend and were very impressed with what they saw (and what they tasted...) I was even more pleased when they gave me one of their special bottles - the 2014 Tenterden Estate Bacchus Reserve "Marvellous Milford Mouthful". Well, it's got something of a ring to it... doesn't it?
The wine didn't last very long in our flat as I was keen to try it out straight away. Bacchus, which was the Roman name for the Greek god of wine - Dionysus, is a cross between a Riesling/Silvaner cross and Müller-Thurgau. It was originally grown in Germany, but has become somewhat of a staple in England as the wine-making scene over here has blossomed. Bacchus is often described as being similar to Sauvignon Blanc when it is done well.
On the nose the wine had strong aromas of gooseberry and grape with a touch of lime and a hint of jasmine. On tasting it had a noticeably high amount of acidity which left it vibrant and punchy with some pleasingly fresh lemon and crunchy green apple notes. The wine had a pretty decent finish to it with a nice balance. If this were a Sauvignon Blanc, I'd've put it in the Loire rather than Marlborough (which was ideal for me as that's how I like my Sauvignon Blancs!). This truly was a marvellous mouthful.
If you would like more information on the vine lease hire scheme from Chapel Down then follow this link.