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Simpsons’ toasts 10th anniversary with launch of non-vintage Chalklands

Published:  03 May, 2022

Simpsons Wine Estate in Kent has reached a major milestone with the release of its first non-vintage Chalklands Classic Cuvée English sparkling wine.

Three vintages were selected to create the blend using the Great British Classic Method.

Building up a library of base wines over several years has allowed founders Ruth and Charles Simpson to switch Chalklands from a vintage to a non-vintage wine as they begin the next chapter in their exciting story.

Charles Simpson said: “Creating the non-vintage version of Chalklands has been a labour of love. Bringing together the base wines is a complicated mix of science and art, but the final result blew us away with its elegance. Chalklands is pale gold, with a delicate mousse, a delightfully fresh nose, and notes of crisp green apple and flint. These flavours are amplified on the palate, which has linear precision and impressive structure and length.”

Ruth Simpson added: “Producing Chalklands as a consistent, high-quality, non-vintage style has always been our aspiration, but only possible now that we have several vintages under our belts. This approachable and elegant wine is exactly what our bar and restaurant customers need this summer to help mark the full emergence from lockdown and the special celebrations for the Queen’s platinum jubilee. As we mark 20 years in winemaking and ten years in Kent, it’s a thrill to be able to toast our progress with the new incarnation of Chalklands.”

Chalklands Classic Cuvée is made from 40% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Meunier. Each grape variety is harvested and vinified separately, using a selection of yeasts. All the components undergo malolactic fermentation and then age in tanks for three months on light lees. After a series of tastings, the wine is carefully blended, filtered and bottled. Chalklands spend between 12 and 18 months ageing on its lees before disgorgement following bottle fermentation.

Simpsons was one of the first cohorts of producers to adopt trade body Wine GB’s “Great British Classic Method” marque.

Ruth and Charles began making wine at Domaine de Sainte Rose, their 40-hectare estate in the South of France, in 2002 before launching Simpsons Wine Estate in Kent in 2012. They spotted the potential to make high-quality English still and sparkling wines and have won praise and awards for their bottles, produced from grapes grown on their estate’s 30 hectares of vineyards.

The estate continues to promote Kent through its work as a founding member of the Wine Garden of England group and helps to position wine among other luxury products as a member of Walpole, a collection of Britain’s most esteemed luxury businesses and cultural institutions.