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English Wine Week marked with Chapel Down release of first sparkling Bacchus 2018

By Angela Cole

One of Kent's leading wine producers has put some sparkle into English Wine Week this week by issuing a new release.

Tenterden-based Chapel Down has released its first sparkling version of Bacchus to mark the week, which runs until Sunday, June 2.

The Chapel Down Sparkling Bacchus 2018 is the seventh Bacchus that Chapel Down have produced and it is due to the knowledge they have built up about the grape variety that head winemaker, Josh Donaghay-Spire, experimented with carbonation.

The new sparkling Bacchus from Chapel Down
The new sparkling Bacchus from Chapel Down

Bacchus is widely becoming known as England’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc, and this release is from the exceptional 2018 harvest. The fruit was cool fermented before being carbonated at the bottling stage.

Josh said: “Deciding to carbonate the wine and not to put it through the traditional method was a considered choice as I wanted to retain the youthful aromatic components which Bacchus showcases so well. It’s not a wine to discuss and debate for hours or a wine to cellar for years to come, it’s an uncomplicated and very refreshing wine to open and enjoy this summer.”

The Chapel Down Sparkling Bacchus 2018 is the latest from Chapel Down’s portfolio of Bacchus wines, featuring England’s signature grape. Previous examples have included England’s first Orange wine, a barrel aged Bacchus and a single estate Bacchus.

Chapel Down Winery
Chapel Down Winery

The latest is described as youthful, fresh and aromatic with intense aromas of pineapple, grapefruit and elderflower and has a refreshing palate.

Chapel Down managing director for wine and spirits, Mark Harvey, said: “Bacchus thrives in England and has become something of a ‘poster grape’ for our young, wine growing region. Having produced several expressions of still wines, we’re excited to release this sparkling version in time for the summer season.”

The Chapel Down Gin Works at Kings Cross
The Chapel Down Gin Works at Kings Cross

The company also recommends enjoying well chilled or served with a splash of Chapel Down Bacchus Gin. Chapel Down Sparkling Bacchus 2018 (12% ABV) costs £17 and is on sale at Waitrose or from chapeldown.com.

* You can taste the gin at the Kings Cross Chapel Down Gin Works at a tasting supported by Southeastern on Thursday, May 30. Book at chapeldown.com/gin-works-reservations

Read more: All the latest food and drink news across Kent

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