Following on from Stephen's recent visit to Flint Vineyard in Norfolk, the winery has just launched its first sparkling wine. The Flint Charmat Rosé 2017 is one of the first of its kind in England, utilising the 'Charmat' method (the same process used to make Prosecco), rather than the traditional Champagne method used for the production of English Sparkling Wine.
While the production method, which sees secondary fermentation take place in a tank rather than in the bottle, is commonly linked to Prosecco, winemaker Ben Witchell points out that Flint's Charmat is quite different:
“This is not a simple, fruit-bomb wine. I used methods such as partial barrel ageing and extended time on yeast lees with the production of the base wine to try and achieve more complexity and texture in the final wine”.
It's an interesting time for the proliferation of English wine, with many producers focussing on protecting the prestige and premium price point of English sparkling. Ben is keen to point out that this new wine should be seen as an innovative development rather than a threat:
“We use different grape varieties and press fractions to those that we use in our bottle fermented wine. And we’ve deliberately packaged our Charmat to make it clear that it is not a traditional method."
The Flint Vineyard Charmat Rosé 2017, a sparkling blend of Bacchus, Solaris, Rondo and Reichensteiner, is now available to purchase for £21.99 from the Flint website.