English sparkling wine producers Digby Fine English has become the official supplier of English sparkling wine to the House of Commons Gift Shops. The House of Commons retail division selected the new vintage of Digby’s flagship style to jointly create the Digby Fine English House of Commons Vintage Brut 2013 (RRP £35.00). Adorned with the House of Commons portcullis and a shimmering neck of Westminster green, the House of Commons Vintage English sparkling is available online now and in the House of Commons’ three Gift Shops once they reopen tomorrow, Thursday 3rd December.
Trevor Clough, CEO & Head Blender of Digby Fine English, said, “With this thrilling development today, we are starting to build a new set of traditions – whether toasting the big national moments or enjoying an evening in with loved ones, all with world- class sparkling made right here at home. Becoming the official fizz of the House of Commons is a deep honour for Jason, our team and me – and also a responsibility.
We hope our MPs and visitors from around the globe fall in love with the new fizz in town.”
Andrew Griffith MP, Member of Parliament for Arundel & South Downs where Digby Fine English is based and where the 2013 vintage is produced, said: “I am delighted that Digby, based in the heart of English wine making in West Sussex, is now the official fizz of the House of Commons Gift Shops. An injustice to British growers and drinkers has been corrected – no one imagines the Élysée Palace in France showcasing anything other than their home-grown products. With English Sparkling wine regularly beating French Champagne in blind tastings, visitors to the most iconic of British buildings – Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster – can now secure a souvenir worthy of the location.”
The House of Commons wanted to support the British wine industry by establishing a strong relationship with a British sparkling producer and to place these products in front of House of Commons customers in their Gift Shops. The House of Commons operates three retail gift shops on and around the Parliamentary Estate plus their online shop, representing a unique opportunity for Digby to place its products in front of not only a global and growing audience of tourists, but also high-profile Members of Parliament and 4,000 House of Commons staff members who enthusiastically embrace the work of their retail operation.
Digby was selected through a rigorous process that started in January 2020 with the tender for an official retail English sparkling wine partner launched by the House of Commons retail team, searching for a wine that would complement the House of Commons brand. The appointment was awarded to Digby in August after which began top-secret preparations for today’s launch, which coincides with the emergence from November lockdown and reopening of Parliament’s stores.
The wine itself is a blend of 65% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier grapes hand-harvested in English Wine Country in October 2013. Tasting Note from Trevor Clough, CEO & Head Blender: “I declare a vintage for our flagship style when the Chardonnay shows taut power and the structure for long ageing. Pristine yet sophisticated, the brand-new 2013 rendition of Digby’s flagship combines the energy and style of all special vintages with 2013’s unique concentration. This wine’s chalky confidence is supported by deep levels of richness from the Pinots on the long finish.”
Digby boasts a track record of national and international Awards (see below) as well as a strong commitment to minimizing its environmental impact. Since January this year, every bottle sold is Net Zero from a carbon emissions perspective.
Adds Trevor: “For years the House of Commons Champagne has been a go-to within the Palace of Westminster, but now there is a new fizz in town which is made by a passionate, local team in English Wine Country. From Digby’s Toast: To Green and Pleasant! Cheers!”
Digby’s awards: Digby has a penchant for winning Gold medals and trophies. The precursor vintage to the brand-new 2013 was presented with the gong “Best-in-Class English Vintage Brut” on top of a Gold medal at world’s most prestigious sparkling wine competition, The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships in November 2019. This same wine had previously won three other Golds, two trophies and pluckily beat Dom Pérignon 2009 and Krug Grande Cuvée in a renowned blind tasting, all helping to cement the impression that Digby’s flagship style is one of England’s best wines.