Only about 1% of wine consumed in the UK is home-produced. However, climate change (milder winters and extended summers) is favouring wine production. Meanwhile, in Wales at least, local and regional produce is increasingly sought-after in restaurants and shops. Therefore, the market for Welsh wines could significantly expand in the future.
This week, we have been drinking White and Rosé wine (both 2010) from the Ancre Hill Estates vineyard, supplied by Fine Wines Direct (Penarth Road, Cardiff).
Ancre Hill Estates was the first wine to be recognized in the Wales the True Taste Awards. In 2010-2011 (Wine, Spirit and Other Alcohol category), Ancre Hill won a Gold Award for their 2009 Medium Dry White and a Bronze Award for their Rosé.
The White (11% ABV) is made using Seyval Blanc and Madeleine Angevine grapes. We found it to be dry, sharp and crisp. The taste was particularly clean, with pleasing citrus (limey) and elderflower notes. A good wine to pair with fish.
The Rosé (11% ABV, £12.79) is made from Seyval blanc and Triomphe grapes. We found it sharp and very fruity. I detected lots of strawberry. There were also floral and citrus notes. This was particularly refreshing when well-chilled. I usually consider rosé to be almost an aperitif, but this one stood up very well to mildly spicy food.
Both the White and Rosé sell for £12.79 a bottle.
Ancre Hill Estates also produce Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sparkling White and Sparkling Rosé wines, on a south-facing slopes in the Wye Valley just outside Monmouth. You can visit the vineyard during the summer months for lunch and tours.
The high quality of Welsh wines, such as Ancre Hill Estates, may surprise you if you've not tasted them before. Now is a good time to start checking out what the emerging wine nation of Wales has to offer.
Ancre Hill EstatesRichard and Joy Morris, Ancre Hill Vineyard, Monmouth NP25 5HS
Fine Wines Direct242 Penarth Road, Cardiff CF11 8TU
029 2078 7500
Previously, on the Food BlogCock Hill from Bryn Ceiliog Vineyard, Vale of Glamorgan:
The Ancre Hill Estates wines reviewed here were supplied free of charge by Fine Wines Direct.