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This blog site includes news on latest wines, food, events, offers and happenings at artisan & vine. It also includes stories of my wine adventures in and outside the bar, wine facts and wine profiles.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

A visit to Davenport Vineyards, Kent

All of the wines at artisan & vine are either Local (English) or Natural. A natural wine is one that not only uses organic or biodynamic practices in the vineyard, but also uses minimal intervention in the winery. Most English vineyards are very low intervention but they are rarely organic and rarely ferment using wild yeasts indigenous to the grapes harvested. It’s a relatively minor point of distinction but it has factions of the wine world hot in debate. For me, the most important element is transparency: as consumers we should know what exactly is in our bottle of wine. Sadly, obtuse bottle labeling means that often we don’t.

Of the 100 wines on the artisan & vine wine list only one is both Local and Natural. This is the Limney Sparkling wine from Will Davenport. Ideally I would have two wines on the list but as usual, Mr Davenport is completely sold out of his outstanding still white wine… back in stock and on our lists in a few weeks (I hope!) His wines are in such hot demand that when the artisan & vine team and I went to visit his gorgeous vineyards in Kent last week, we had to help label bottles ourselves just to get them on the shelves!

Will makes two sparkling wines, a white and a red. He has two vineyard sites over Kent and Sussex. The wine is delicious – absolutely worth coming by for a try! The still white wine in particular is extremely exciting for the overtly local AND natural qualities it displays.

Image: courageous English wine maker Will Davenport risked organic farming in wet England and has succeeded. Here he shows our Karlee how to pack wines for us to take home and put on the shelf!

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