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A glass of rosé is a beautiful thing. Its pink hue tinkling in the light
heralds the start of summer, playful and fun, just as the
season-of-getting-outdoors should be.

It’s in summer that rosé seems to come alive – evoking visions of Provençal hills rolling in lavender, wide brimmed sunhats and poolside chatter. Provence may be the spiritual home of rosé, but we think our local pinks are just as exciting. Here we review two of our favourite English rosés to enjoy in the sunshine. One still and one sparkling.

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STILL ROSÉ
Folc English Rosé £15.99
Kent

Why we love it
Could this possibly be the most elegant of English still rosés available today? Pinot Noir dominant and blended with a multiple of other grape varieties, the making of this unique wine is an extraordinary feat resulting in an exemplary and award-winning still rosé.

We tasted the 2020 vintage, which was all pink orange on the eye and honeysuckle and jasmine on the nose. A sip rolls into vibrant strawberries, grapefruit and elderflower notes on the palate, with a touch of tangerine orange jelly lingering on the finish. A dry, crisp, fresh rosé – yes, it’s complex however it’s as light as a summer breeze at 11% ABV.

Naturally vegan, gluten-free and accredited with WineGB’s sustainability scheme, this is a modern wine for a modern palate. The fact that it has also collected more gongs than any other still English rosé is yet another reason to discover why this local rosé is here to stay.
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If the 2020 vintage is sold out, Folc’s 2021 rosé should be available (we can’t wait to try it).

Food match?
Rosés tend to go with similar, light, fresh flavours. Match this rosé with a garden salad, light pasta or grilled salmon.
And when empty, we love the fact that Folc’s elegantly designed bottle can be upcycled, taking pride of place as a water bottle at your next dinner party. Cheers to that!

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About the Winemakers

Brought together like a well-tuned orchestra by Elisha and Tom, the founders of Folc, the grapes for their wines come from a variety of family run vineyards in Kent and East Sussex. From here the grapes are pressed and nurtured at the Folc winery in Canterbury under the watchful eyes of some of the most talented wine makers in the country.

Folc (noun) is an old English word meaning tribe, family, people and this wine is a unique example of what a community of wine growers, makers and producers can achieve with quality grapes, hard graft, a clear vision and great taste. This is exciting wine making and one we will be watching and sipping with anticipation for many vintages to come.

Drinkfolc.com

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SPARKLING ROSÉ
The Grange PINK NV £38
Hampshire

Why we love it
With their first bottles rolling out in 2018, The Grange is still a relative newcomer to the English wine scene.

Showing taste over experience, The Grange PINK sparkling is an inspiration. A Pinot Meunier dominant blend with a touch of Pinot Noir and a wink of Chardonnay. Pouring the beautiful pale salmon colour, its nose bubbles with white peach, red currants and strawberries. The gentle mousse makes way for a crisp, dry swish of ripe red fruits finishing with notes of brioche reminiscent of its traditional method of production.

Receiving national and international awards by wine critics, drinks magazines and sommeliers, this sparkling sells out quickly. The next sparkling PINK will be available in time for summer, and this one we hear will be largely focussed on the famously warm 2018 vintage, so it should be a ripe, rich cracker for summer celebrations.

Food match?
Dry sparkling rosé makes an ideal, very pretty aperitif (is there a better way to start a party?) This sparkler should also go well with hors d’oeuvres or lightly grilled seafood.

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About the Vineyard

In 2011, 25 acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines were planted by four siblings on a hill in the Hampshire Downs, five miles from Winchester. At the heart of their wider family estate, who would have guessed that this boutique vineyard would reap such stylish wines less than a decade later.
The terroir here is special, its soil a layered cake of deep white Cretaceous chalk, covered with a thin slither of clay, topped with a peppering of slate. A stony hill rising from the River Itchen is tended by a tip top team throughout the year creating a perfect ecosystem for happy vines. It’s no surprise that The Grange is a founding member of Sustainable WineGB .

Meeting a wine producer is always a treat, they are usually gracious and humble about their 12-month labour of love, tending to their vines and wines like their own children. On our visit to the vineyard, we met with the youngest of the family operation, Zam Baring, who has taken to his new role as wine producer well, even if miles away from his former, and possibly more glamorous career in TV. The glint in his eye and chuckle of anticipation as he pours his wine hints to his (and many other experts’) excitement about the wine produced here.

Visitors can book a guided day or sunset tour and tasting at The Grange online.

The Grange Wines

*Wines, experiences and prices are subject to change, advanced reservations are recommended for tours, tastings and dining.