WWC: When was your first ‘ah-ha’ wine moment?
I distinctly remember sneaking sips of champagne from an unguarded parental glass at a wedding when I was about nine, but my first sense of wonder was tasting a glass of vintage Gevrey Chambertin overlooking a vineyard in Burgundy when I was 22. It was revelatory. I can still remember the taste.
WWC: What made you decide to become a winemaker?
Gerard came back from a reception in 2003, inspired by a glass of English sparkling wine and filled with contagious enthusiasm. Within weeks I was enrolled at Plumpton College, and we planted our first vines in 2004. It’s been non-stop since. We’ve continually experimented, studied, and developed our craft and loved every minute of it.
WWC: Fox & Fox is known for its single grape variety sparkling wines, one being Pinot Gris which is quite unique – what makes your Blanc de Gris so special?
We called our Pinot Gris-based fizz Inspiration because we were inspired by the flavour and quality of the grapes. We wanted to make a sparkling wine that would be a great partner to contemporary flavours, like fragrant and spicy dishes of Asia, and thought that the honey, lemongrass, and ginger notes of ripe Pinot Gris would be a good fit. I think the variety will increasingly be used in sparkling wines, it’s a great grape to work with. We won a Pinot Gris Global Masters Gold Medal for Inspiration last year. It’s just delicious, with a pretty aroma and so refreshing to enjoy on its own or with food.