As a wine enthusiast, you are probably familiar with Champagne, Cava, and Prosecco from the well-known wine regions of France, Spain and Italy. That said, have you ever considered exploring the United Kingdom’s emerging sparkling wine market? With an increasing demand for high-quality sparkling wine, the UK has now become a hot spot for bubbly production! 

UK winemakers have been able to produce sparkling wines that are comparable to those from Champagne, France, thanks to the country’s distinctive terroir, which combines chalky soil, a cool climate, and proximity to the ocean. In fact, the traditional Champagne method is used to create many of the finest sparkling wines in the UK. 

The British are producing some truly world-class sparkling wines that are making waves in the industry. In this guide, we’ll look at some of the best sparkling wine producers to keep an eye on and the wines for which they’re known in the United Kingdom and around the globe.

Nyetimber: The UK Bubble Pioneers 

Unquestionably, one of the biggest names in the industry is Nyetimber. This winery was one of the first vineyards in the UK to focus on producing sparkling wines and has gained a reputation for excellence both in the UK and abroad. Their very first vines were planted back in 1988 for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes. Located in the South of England, the vineyard is known for their beautiful scenery in the English countryside. 

Their wines are made using the classic Champagne method and are characterized by their complexity, elegance, and freshness. The Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs, made entirely from Chardonnay grapes, is a particular standout, with its notes of citrus, green apple, and brioche. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier are blended to make the winery’s Classic Cuvée, which has earned praise as one of the best sparkling wines in the world. 

Gusbourne: A Family-Run Winery 

Gusbourne may not be as well-known as some of the other UK producers, but it is definitely a rising star to watch. This family-owned winery has been crafting elegant sparkling wines since 2006. This vineyard, which is situated in the heart of Kent’s Appledore region, is renowned for its dedication to sustainability and is planted with the classic Champagne grape varieties, as well as some Pinot Gris. The winery uses traditional methods and locally-sourced grapes to craft their premium wines which are characterized by their finesse and complexity. 

Gusbourne’s Blanc de Blancs, which is made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes and is aged for at least three years on the lees, is particularly noteworthy. The wine is crisp and refreshing with a creamy texture on the palate. Each sip bursts with flavors of bright green apple, lemon, and a hint of minerality.

Chapel Down: The Legendary Kent Vineyard 

In Kent, Chapel Down is yet another must-see winery, as it is the largest producer of sparkling wines in the UK. Since its founding in 2001, the winery has been using traditional methods to produce high-quality sparkling wines, winning numerous awards, and paving the way for innovation in the English wine industry. 

The producer’s focus on sustainable practices and terroir-driven winemaking has resulted in some truly exceptional wines. Each of their wines displays its own distinctive qualities. The Rosé Brut is especially notable for its vibrant flavors of red fruits and delicate citrus notes, which make it the perfect wine to sip on a warm day! The Chapel Down Brut is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Blanc which bursts with notes of strawberry, peach, and fresh bread. 

Hattingley Valley: The Hampshire Gem 

Located in the beautiful Hampshire countryside, Hattingley Valley is another top UK sparkling wine producer that is worth noting. The winery’s flagship wine, the Classic Reserve, is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Précoce. It’s a versatile wine that can be enjoyed with a variety of dishes, from fish to cheese.

This wine is aged for a minimum of three years on the lees, which gives it a rich and complex flavor profile with notes of toast, honey, and citrus. It’s their most well-known and well-loved sparkling wine that’s worth savoring till the last drop. 

Hattingley Valley is committed to sustainability and has implemented environmentally-friendly practices throughout its vineyards. The winery uses traditional methods and only the finest grapes to create its range of wines. 

Ready to visit? 

If you’re a fan of sparkling wines, then the UK is definitely a destination worth exploring. With vineyards located all over the country, there are plenty of options for wine lovers to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a crisp and refreshing Blanc de Blancs, a complex and elegant Rosé, or something in between, there’s sure to be a UK sparkling wine that will suit your taste. 

When you visit the UK for a wine tour, you’ll taste some of the world’s best bubbles, surrounded by the beautiful English countryside, an experience not to be missed. A wine tour is among the best ways to experience the country’s sparkling wine market.

Wine Lovers Travel will be adding a trip to the UK in 2024 to introduce its sparkling wines to our American wine community. 

If you are interested in being the first to know when we introduce this itinerary, please click here. Although the UK’s bubble market is still in its early stages, it has already had a significant impact on the wine industry. So if you enjoy popping bubbles, now is the time to put the UK on your bucket list of places to visit. You’re sure to have an unforgettable and delectable experience whether you’re drinking Nyetimber’s Classic Cuvée or touring the vineyards at Chapel Down! 

If you can’t wait until 2024 for your bubbles, consider joining Denise Lowe, The Goddess of Wine, as she escorts a group to the Champagne and Burgundy regions of France this October. Click here for details and to book.