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Simpsons Wine Estate in Barham, Kent, is embarking on phase two of its exciting sparkling wine development. They are currently preparing their second vineyard site for plantation in mid May and are awaiting news about DEFRA grant funding in order to begin the creation of a state-of-the-art winery. This will be launched in September this year, in anticipation of the first harvest in October 2016.


Owners, Charles and Ruth Simpson planted their first 10 hectares of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir on their estate near Canterbury in 2014. The vineyard sites occupy glorious positions on the sunny, sheltered slopes of the North Downs of Kent. The initial plantings have been so successful that they will again be bringing over their French plantation team from their Languedoc property, Domaine Sainte Rose, to plant a further 10 hectares of the same varieties this May. The final 10 hectares are due to be planted in 2017.


As plantation and winery creation progress, the team is beginning to unveil the branding and logo for Simpsons Wine Estate. Capturing the brand essence of ‘savoir-faire with British flair’, the crest has been designed to reflect the Simpsons’ aspirations to create exquisite méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines of provenance. The new look will be rolled out across their website by mid-May 2016.


Comments Charles Simpson, co-owner, “We have been making wine at our beautiful estate, Domaine Sainte Rose, in the Languedoc since 2002 and are excited to be back in the UK creating a range of finest-quality sparkling wines. We are both great proponents of the two red Champagne grape varieties. Whereas some English wineries are focused on Chardonnay to produce single varietal Blanc de Blancs, we will be looking to use a higher proportion of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to create elegant, more complex Blanc de Noirs, as that is where our passion lies.”


His wife and co-owner Ruth adds, “We have a busy year ahead of us, not just with the developments in Kent, but also with reinvestment and improvements at Domaine Sainte Rose. Vintage 2015 was our 14th harvest in southern France and we continue to be delighted with the quality of the wines we can produce at our Servian estate, which benefits from 320 days of sunshine a year.”