In a nutshell: A bright and juicy red wine, full of red fruit flavours, from East Kent.
The lowdown: The south-facing slopes that overlook Canterbury Cathedral are the perfect location for the vines that produce the grapes for this wine. The perfect aspect of the vineyards helps to produce grapes that are perfectly ripe for this wine. And this is very important when producing a red wine from 100% Pinot Noir grapes. The ripeness contributes towards the fully packed red fruit flavours in the wine. On the palate bright notes of raspberry sorbet and cherry are obvious, with a hint oaky savouriness, from some barrel aging, to create a medium bodied red wine. With a low ABV of under 11%, this is an easy-drinking wine.
When to drink: This wine would pair best with light red meat dishes or white meat meals.
Although a relative newcomer to the scene Heppington is among the burgeoning number of vineyards in the Southeast helping to build the reputation of English wine. QC Henry Blaxland and his wife Gill are the ones who started the project and after having some of their land on the Kent Downs south of Canterbury, on which previously grew apples and blackcurrants, assessed as excellent for growing vines, they planted just over 6 hectares in 2016. The climate in their part of East Kent is ideal for the varieties theyre growing; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier together with a small amount of Pinot Gris. And the gently sloping south facing aspect of the vineyard combines with the chalky and flinty geology to give them the ideal spot.
Their first harvest was in 2018 and since then theyve built up a range of still and sparkling wines, whites, reds and rosés which arent extravagantly expensive, but are superb adverts for increasingly high quality wines being made in English vineyards.