Vineyard Blog

How many English Wines in a Century?

IMG_6789 Sharpham Madeleine

Madeleine Angevine grapes at Sharpham

Instead of my usual New Year wine resolution to drink less but better, for 2014 I have resolved to to drink the same but different. By which I mean the same amount of wine but made from as many different types of grape as possible.

I’ll already taste anything once (usually twice, just to make sure) and have tried well beyond the usual suspects, with Bourbelenc being my favourite discovery of last year. So after reading recently about the Wine Century Club, I’m going to attempt to taste 100 different grape varieties in a year. Getting to 10 by 5th January certainly got me off to a good start.

IMG_6756 Kenton Ortega

Ortega grapes at Kenton Vineyard

To make it more interesting though, as many of my 100 as possible will be in English and Welsh wines. With such a diverse range of grapes being cultivated here there will be plenty of opportunity to taste some great wines while ticking varieties off the Wine Century Club list. English staples such as Bacchus, Seyval Blanc, Ortega and Dornfelder are all included and new ones can be added if they don’t already feature. Although a few carefully chosen bottles of blended wines will get my total up in no time, I’m also going to try to find as many single varietal wines as I can, to get the most out of my quest and fully appreciate the endless variety available to the adventurous wine drinker.

Jancis Robinson has mentioned them a couple of times, she likes their stated philosophy and points to De Long’s wine grape varietal table, which provides information on “184 of the World’s favourite grape varieties” and is available in the UK from wineware.

If any English Wine Lovers would like to join in, it’s free and details can be found on the Wine Century Club website.


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