15 DEC 2015

Helen Grant MP to bridge the Atlantic with Kent Vineyards

English sparkling wine wins challenge against Champagne says new report

Helen Grant MP with Herbert Hall Founder Nick Hall (left), Associate Winemaker Peter Morgan and Winemaker Kirsty Smith

English Sparkling Wines take the two top spots in French champagne challenge according to a new report.

Tom L'Anson Wines, a leading UK specialist independent wine merchant, has published a report comparing the quality of English sparkling wine with French Champagne which shows the two countries products standing very much on equal terms.

MP for Maidstone and The Weald Helen Grant was sent the report after being spotted by a leading US distributor of fine wines and spirits, ahead of a planned visit to local English vineyards next summer. Mrs Grant has invited her friend, who is a Director of the US distributor, to come and visit two premium brands being produced by separate wineries in Marden; Hush Heath Estate and Herbert Hall. Neither were sampled in the Champagne comparison report.

Helen said "This report is great news for our sparkling wine industry. It confirms we have come of age and the only way is up. I have frequent contact with the proprietors of both wineries in my constituency and I am happy to help with their export drive in any way I can. Hush Heath Estate and Herbert Hall wines are both exceptional products and demand for English sparkling wines in the US is clearly developing strongly".

Richard Balfour-Lynn of Hush Heath Estate said "The quality of our wines has been recognised through numerous gold medals in international competitions. Our success came first domestically, but achieving strong export markets illustrates that English wine is not just a local novelty. We are now exporting to countries such as Germany, Finland, and Japan, and are optimistic about the potential in the United States, we hope to see Hush Heath Estate wines there in 2016."

Nick Hall of the Herbert Hall Winery said "English Sparkling Wine is firmly being placed at the premium end of the wine market internationally, on a level with Champagne. The best is confident, stylish, and quintessentially English - artisan in the sense that a Savile Row suit is artisan. That is what people around the world will be buying in to. The recent purchase by Champagne house Taittinger of land to develop vineyards in Kent is testament to this. We have been overwhelmed with requests to export to the US, Scandinavia, Africa and Germany and recently featured in a tasting in Epernay."

Click here to view the report. 

Back to all posts

Helen's column

16 NOV 2017


Kent Messenger Column – 16-11-17  To lay a wreath at the annual Remembrance Sunday service in Maidstone is one of the great honours that I experience within my role as your MP. It is humbling to...

09 NOV 2017

Leeds-Langley relief road public meeting

Kent Messenger Column - 09-11-17  My neighbouring colleague Helen Whately and I held a public meeting in early 2016 at the Maidstone Studios to facilitate an open discussion about the Maidstone...

02 NOV 2017

Stay Warm this Winter

Kent Messenger Column – 02-11-17  There was certainly the feel of seasonal change in the air this week; as the clocks turned back, the nights drew in and the winter chill descended. As we know,...