Kent’s beautiful secret vineyard that rivals one of the best wine regions in the world

It’s hard to believe, but Kent hides a secret vineyard, producing wine so fantastic it rivals that of Champagne, France. Champagne in France is considered one of the best wine regions in the world. With Kent’s temperature rising, it now enjoys the same climate as the region.

Many parts of southern England and Wales are now at the same temperature as Champagne was 60 to 90 years ago. Not only is the temperature the same as in the famous region, but the quality of the soil is almost identical, making it the perfect place to grow French-style wines.

A bottle of chic plonk can cost well over £1,000, depending on the vintage, but this hidden treasure is only a fraction of the cost and produces excellent quality sparkling wine.

Sparkling wine can only be sold as champagne if produced in the French region. But you can buy a bottle of Kent sparkling wine made using the same method for just £30 a bottle.

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Ruth Simpson and her husband Charles own Simpsons Wine Estate, located just outside Canterbury and twinned with Reims in the heart of Champagne. She told KentLive that the area has chalky, lime-rich soil that is very similar to France.

Kent wine is compared to Burgundy as well as Champagne

“One of the most important factors in viticulture is the terroir,” she said. There is no direct translation from France, but terroir refers to a combination of several elements of viticulture, including temperature, climate, soil and composition.

She added: “There is a chalk that is not only similar but identical to the terroir in Champagne and also in Burgundy. This is why most of the vineyards are located along the North Downs in Kent, through Sussex, Hampshire and all the way to Dorset.

“People have been growing wine in England for years. But they planted Germanic grape varieties because the climate is so inclement. Whereas now people have really gone for Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir because they are the quality grape varieties which we can in fact make very good sparkling and still wines.”

Ruth added that cultivation expertise has also improved. England and Wales are now very successful wine producers and the UK wine industry is considered one of the fastest growing wine producing regions in the world today.

When asked if sparkling wine from Kent could compete with that from Champagne, Ruth replied: “Certainly, absolutely. Some still wines are even compared to parts of Burgundy as well.

“But obviously those quality wines aren’t as expensive. There are a lot of great English craft wines out there.”

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