I had the chance to visit many vineyards in Kent, Sussex and Hampshire during a whirlwind trip to the UK in September. There's a real excitement about this year's harvest - with many winemakers talking about making vintages - and the prospects for English sparkling wine overall.
After tasting several bottles you can see why English sparkling has racked up so many awards recently and generated international interest. The wine has its own personality, which Hugh Johnson has called "orchard freshness". It's true to the terroir while maintaining the qualities that you would expect from any great Champagne.
There's still room for growth and refinement but English sparkling is definitely on an upward trajectory.
Photos: Ian Primrose