Think of English still white wines and it tends to be obscure Germanic or native varieties that come to mind; anything that can tolerate England's cool, damp climate.
Pinot Gris, the grape of warm, dry Alsace is certainly not high up on the list and yet that is what the founders of Kinsbrook have planted in their vineyard near the South Downs between Brighton and London.
The full history of the winery is below, but suffice it to say that in 2014, the Beckett family established the 40-acre vineyard with largely self-taught Joseph Beckett the youngest vineyard owner in the country.
With no small amount of vision and ambition, they have made a really lovely wine that manages to be several things at once:
- technically impressive (really well made from good quality fruit)
- unusual, if not unique (great for bragging rights)
- lovely to drink (delicious!)
Kinsbrook Pinot Gris, 2020 (£20)
Aromatic with delicate herbs and white flowers; ripe pear and white stone fruit with gooseberry, cantaloupe melon and freshly-cut grass; honeysuckle, some sweet spices and a touch of minerality. Very adept and elegant, very well-made.
Drinks well on first opening, but rounds out with some aeration; will gain complexity with age.
Light enough for a summer sipper, match with young cheeses or seafood.
Stockist details here: Stockists — Kinsbrook Vineyard
- The Orchard Site was the first vineyard to be planted in May 2017. In the 20th Century, the field was used to grow apples and pears to make English cider. The site is made up of 19,500 vines.
- The Pension Field was planted second, in 2018. This field is our smallest block with only 3,500 vines. It is solely Pinot Meunier.
- ‘Picketty 1’ was planted the same year, with 12,500 vines.; a further planting of 9,000 vines took place at ‘Picketty 2’ in 2019.