In May I travelled to Tinwood Estate in West Sussex to meet Art Tukker and learn about his estate and English sparkling wine country. Art is extremely articulate and friendly and in this podcast Art gives us English Sparkling Wine 101. We cover it all, from the soils and the climate to the grape varieties and the farming. We also get insights into the making of great sparkling wine and why England is challenging Champagne’s supremacy for the best bubbles.
Art and his family had to make a major shift about 15 years ago when it became clear their livelihood as a lettuce grower was being squeezed by increasingly unsustainable margins. In a bold stroke, the reigns were handed to then 21 year-old Art to chart a new course. Art wasted no time and ripped out all of the lettuce and planted vines. In so doing he joined that bold group of early-adopters who have become the vanguard of England’s burgeoning sparkling wine industry.
This is a story of courage, conviction perseverance and love of the bubbly stuff. And it’s populated with personalities like Art himself, the people behind the fabulous success of Ridgeview Estate, President Obama, President Xi and Princess Camilla. If you have been living under a rock like me, you might not realize what tremendous inroads English sparkling wine has already made into the bubbly wine world. But given this is such a growing and successful segment of the wine market and given the awards that English sparkling wine is earning, it seems advisable to learn more. There is no better advocate for English sparkling wine and no better person to introduce us than Art Tukker. I hope you enjoy this special episode.
By the way, West Sussex is one of the most beautiful parts of England and the wine tourism here is exceptional. Visit the Tinwood Estate website to see what their visitor experience is like including not only vineyard tours, dinners and special events but also the gorgeous luxury lodges that look over the vineyards.