First Brexit, now English sparkling wine

The British public are taking back control.

  • For the first time in English winemaking history, Naked Wines have asked the British public to decide which blend of sparkling wine to create.
  • Crowdfunding for ‘the people’s English fizz’ was launched last August, and 1,200 Naked Angels raised £112,000 to start the winemaking process.
  • The Angel investors have voted for an expressive blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. They will choose the name and help design the label later this year.

Cast your mind back to last year’s Indian summer. Just a few weeks after the Brexit vote Naked Wines asked its Angels (customers) if they wanted to take back control over English wine. Since then English sparkling wine sales have skyrocketed, reaching over £100m in sales and are now exported to 27 countries around the world. (Source: DEFRA)

1,200 Angel investors raised £112,000 for British winemakers Charles and Ruth Simpson who have spent the past 14 years creating wine in France’s Languedoc region. Now returning to the UK to grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes at their vineyard in Barham, near Canterbury.

The grapes were harvested in September, and Charles and Ruth have put the power into the hands of investors - asking them to vote on what blend of wine they should create.

The winning option was an expressive blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. Drinkers will enjoy the high notes of white peach, with a hint of toastiness on the nose. The Pinot Noir would keep it smooth and sophisticated and similar to a traditional Champagne.

From now until September, investors will be invited to suggest names for the wine. The final name will be put to a vote in September, before the wine is left to ferment and age, ready to be sent to investors for Christmas 2018.

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Charles and Ruth Simpson, British Winemakers, commented: "We wanted to create a wine that our investors can shape at every stage – this is an English wine made by the British people and I hope that they will feel very proud of the wine that we have produced together.”

Eamon FitzGerald, MD of Naked Wines UK said: “Our customers have invested their hard-earned pennies into Charles and Ruth’s English fizz project, so it’s only right that they tell us what style of wine they’d like to drink in return. The rise of English wines has been astounding, so this is a fantastic opportunity for our customers to be part of winemaking history by crowdfunding and creating the newest addition to English sparkling wine.”

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