REGION: Kent, England
VARIETIES: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay
Everyone is going a little crazy about the potential of English Sparkling Wine, and with very good reason. The climate in the South of England is comparable to that of Champagne 20 years ago, and indeed many big Champagne houses are now buying land in the South Downs. Sussex has exactly the same seam of chalk soil found in Champagne, but here in Kent, it's much more clay-based. This actually suits their style much better, as it (combined with the second warmest temperatures in the country) produces riper fruit and therefore richer wines.