Introducing Wessex

Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight

Meet the Chairman Tim Ingram Hill

of Southcott Vineyard in the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire

“We’re thrilled that the Wessex wine region will be kicking off our series of #EnglishWineNight events. This has been one fastest-growing regions in the UK, producing many award-winning wines. With a great range of sparkling and still wines and a variety of vineyards from large to small, there is plenty to discover!”

Background information:
  • Number of vineyards: 60
  • Vineyards of Hampshire is a pro-active group of nine top county vineyards, formed with support from Hampshire Fare, the official organisation promoting the produce of what is one of the largest rural counties in England. Their annual tastings such as Fizz Fest in July and Fairy Lights & Fizz in December are now in their 8th and 5th years respectively.
Notable awards:
  • With their award-winning winemaker Emma Rice, Hattingley Valley won a Gold Medal in the International Wine Competition for their Rose 2015, and at the TexasSomm in the USA they won a Gold Medal for their Classic Reserve and Silver for their Blanc de Blanc.
  • Coates & Seeley have won many awards including a Gold Medal in the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships 
  • Raimes English Sparkling Vintage Rosé has been Trophy Winner and awarded a Gold Medal in Glass of Bubbly Awards 2019. It has also won IWC 2020 Silver Medal, having earned a classification of 92 points. Described by Matthew Jukes as “bristling with energy and freshness. With a keen dosage of only 4g/l only 2000 bottles were made of this beauty and this is the only negative I can find because I adore the flavour of this stunningly balanced wine”.
  • Leckford Estate, the Waitrose & Partners Farm in Hampshire, also make an award winning sparkling wine.

Wessex region was formed when the Central Southern Vineyard Association split in 1990 and was then primarily a still wine area but it is now better known for the sparkling wines produced in East Hampshire and West Dorset. The sparkling wine territory follows the chalk and greensand around the northern and western rim of “the Hampshire Basin” running from south of Winchester through Wiltshire north of Salisbury plain and down to Bridport.

Some of the original vineyards from the 1970s are still in operation and some of these are still with the original owners but there is crop of new smaller vineyards that are setting out to make great still wines.

Among the oldest vineyards are Beaulieu in The New Forest, Adgestone on the Isle of Wight, Priors Dean in the Meon Valley, and Teffont/Fonthill west of Salisbury but Hambledon is the oldest site by a long way but now a very different proposition to its pioneering days in the 1950s.

Pam Elkins ( Priors Dean) and John Edginton ( Fonthill) would vie for the longest serving owners still working in the Region.

Wessex has always been a growers organisation built on mutual help and friendship.

DON’T FORGET TO TUNE IN!:

Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – YouTube

  • At 7pm each Friday log on to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, follow the activity by using the hashtag #EnglishWineNight
  • Take photos or even a video to share your enjoyment of English or Welsh wines
  • Feel free to post and share your photo/video
  • Feel free to ask questions or start a conversation with other live followers. Team WineGB and winemakers will be online throughout the hour to respond and join in the conversation
  • Open and enjoy some English or Welsh wine! Search for a local vineyard or retailer – many are listed on our SHOP LOCAL listings page that highlights where you can order wines online that can be delivered to your door
  • Remember to tag all posts with hashtag #EnglishWineNight plus @WineGB (Instagram/Facebook), @Wine_GB (Twitter). We’ll be reposting any posts we are tagged in
  • You will be able to view all the videos via our YouTube channel

Are you a vineyard? Get involved! More information here.

Download the evening's promotional banners (click on the images, then right click and 'Save Image As').