Wine

Forty Hall Vineyard's Sparkling Brut

Forty Hall Final Blog.jpg

We at The Amazing Blog appreciate how much passion and dedication goes into nurturing healthy vines, growing luscious grapes, and making good wine. Additionally, the admiration has to expand further still, when such production is to be organically certified and sustainably executed. When you add the often unreliable climate of North London, which is so vital to the whole process, then a truly intriguing story emerges. And that story begins with Forty Hall Vineyard…in Enfield, North London where it rains, a lot!

Enter Sarah Vaughan Roberts, who founded Forty Hall Vineyard in 2009. She asked the question ‘If Paris and New York can accommodate a vineyard, then why not London?’ This was a question that sparked her to dig deeper, and coupled with her interest in wine, Sarah’s entrepreneurial nouse perhaps determined the end result to be inevitably positive. But what of that slight fly in the ointment of our Great British Weather? Well, Sarah explains, the very fact that we are now seeing the effects of climate change, is precisely why our environment is becoming so effective in the wine making process. With temperature zones rising and moving north, some Champagne Houses are already looking north across the channel for potential vineyards in Kent, The South Downs and South Hams, where the cooler climate can be more hospitable to the vines. Something particularly vital in the production of sparkling wine.

However, the intrigue does not stop there, as Forty Hall Vineyard, is also a not-for-profit organisation. They aim to promote community health and wellbeing, which is just as well, as they need all the manpower they can muster, since they also don’t use pesticides. Their volunteer programme enables members of the local community to remain socially and physically active, developing new skills and confidence within themselves.

The fact that the end result of this incredibly inspiring process is a delicious bottle of bubbles has to be the most perfect conclusion to their story. And their 2016 London Sparkling Brut is the perfect bottle to try, to get a flavour of the toil and patience that has gone into it’s creation. Made in the traditional Champagne method, we have a mix of Forty Hall Vineyard’s Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes; the Pinot variety giving a rose-blush hue to the enticing bubbles.

The result is a very refreshing blend of citrus flavours - very clean on the palate and fruity - perfect for the Christmas season which rapidly approaches. And when we talk of gifts, surely there can be few more ‘ideal’ than this, with it’s pedigree, this is not simply a bottle of wine you will be handing over, but something much more. Priced at £28.99, and available on The Forty Hall Vineyard website, you can also read up on Sarah Vaughan Robert’s amazing story here. We recommend checking out their other goodies too - especially the 2017 Bacchus. Cheers!

Blackbook Winery

Blackbook Winery.jpg

Battersea was not the first place that sprung to mind when we heard about an exciting new winery at The Amazing Blog. However, that is precisely what Sergio Verillo and his wife Lynsey have done, underneath one of the many railway arches in the area, lining the commuter routes into London. Working with a select group of English vineyards, based in East Anglia, Essex and Oxfordshire, this entrepreneurial couple have introduced a range of wines of superior quality … but don’t just take our word for it - ‘Chez Bruce’ in Wandsworth is just one of the Michelin starred restaurants to carry their bottles of magic. 

Blackbook is part of a dynamic and growing wine scene in London. Urban wineries are fast becoming commonplace in major cities around the world. An urban winery sources its grapes from a variety of growers, and produces all wine on its site. Blackbook source their grapes from carefully selected English growers, in order to produce still and sparkling single vineyard English wines. Although their concentration is on pinot noir and chardonnay, they include some additional varietals each year. Blackbook follows a traditional winemaking approach with low sulphur wines, and indigenous ferments as a means to preserve the varietal character.

2017 Rose double.JPG

Blackbook’s inaugural wine was a 2017 English Rosé, made from pinot noir grapes from Clayhill Vineyard in Essex. This was awarded a silver medal at the Drinks Business Global Rosé Masters, and is now listed within a number of high end wine bars and restaurants across London. Following hot on the heels of the Rosé, comes a 2017 Pinot Noir, and a 2017 Chardonnay - all of which stem from the soil in our very own country. Nurtured by the micro climate which East Anglia enjoys, this is particularly good for the high sugar content in the Pinot Noir and Bacchus grapes, and similarly, the sandy loam soils of Oxfordshire are ideal for sourcing theur Seyval Blanc.

Yew+Tree+Vineyard+Oxfordshire.jpg

Sergio and Lynsey are justifiably proud of Blackbook, and are allowing us all the chance to go along and find out more from the founders themselves. They are currently running winery tours twice weekly: Wednesdays at 6pm and Saturdays at 4pm. The tour lasts for an hour and costs just £15 per person; all aspects of the wine making process are covered by Sergio himself, and each guest receives an exclusive ‘Cellar Door Discount’ on the wines available. Gift vouchers can also be purchased, and redeemed against any available date through their shop here.

The Blackbook wines are also available online with the 2017 Rosé priced at £17.50, and both the 2017 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at £18.50 each. For further details, contact Blackbook directly - understandably all visits are by appointment. You’ll find them located at the following address: Blackbook Winery - Arch 41, London Stone Business Estate, London, SW8 3QR, and the nearest station is Queenstown Road. Enjoy!

Friday Favourites - The Rosé Festival

Now, The Amazing Blog has a real treat for all you rosé fans out there. A brand new festival celebrating the beautiful pink drink is coming to London’s stunning Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch this summer. We guarantee that the inaugural launch of The Rosé Festival is not something you’ll want to miss. In fact, this is the UK's first and only festival dedicated to this beloved drink.

The event is expecting to welcome over 3,000 visitors and is taking place from Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd of July. This unique and wonderful festival will offer visitors the chance to not only sample different varieties of rosé from expert producers in all of its forms, both fizzy and still, but also learn from the producers who will share their knowledge and experience with guests. If you have always wanted to know what makes an excellent rosé, and how to distinguish between the variations of the drink then you must attend this event. We cannot stress the abundance of rosé that you’ll be surrounded by, which for many of us will be a dream come true.


However, if rosé is not your drink of choice then never fear as producers will also display a range of their other products including Ciders, Vermouths, Prosecco and other Sparkling Wines. Alongside all of this will be a vast array of carefully selected British food vendors for you to enjoy and discover. What’s more is that between every sip and bite you’ll be entertained. The festival will be hosting a mix of Shakespeare recitals, jazz bands and Opera and DJ sets, as the festival plans to welcome young, up and coming British talent. 

So if enjoying some wine, food and culture sound like your kind of day then you can purchase tickets here for £15.00. £1 of every purchase will be donated to the Geffrye Museum.

Zinfandel Candle - Rewined Candles

Here at The Amazing Blog, it is no secret that we are huge fans of scented candles. We love how atmospheric they can be, how a few candles dotted around a room can lift your spirit after a hard day or add intimacy to a dinner with friends; really there is little a candle can't improve. So when we were given a delicate and sultry wine scented candle set in the bottom of a recycled wine bottle, we are in complete awe. Beginning with nothing more than a dream and a discarded wine bottle, Rewined have created some of the most beautifully scented, high-quality soy candles we have ever seen and smelt.

Their candles are 100% Soy wax and burn for up to 80 hours. Available in a variety of delicious and warming wine-inspired scents you won't be able to get enough of these handmade candles.  All of Rewined's candles mimic the flavours and aromas of your favourite wines, from Cabernet and Merlot to Rose and Viognier. We were lucky enough to try the Zinfandel candle which has a robust aroma with the familiar fragrance of tart pomegranate and raspberry, with soothing hints of warm vanilla, amber and cedar wood. This was the perfect candle to light when we needed a little pampering and relaxation time. 

The collection is available here with each candle costing £28.00. Use our specially created discount code to get 10% off of your order by typing Amazing10 at the checkout! 

 

London Wine Week 2016

Following a hugely successful London Beer Week which saw 10,000 beer drinkers descend on The Old Truman Brewery in February, DrinkUp.London’s latest festival - London Wine Week - taking place this week (23-29 May 2016), was destined to be another great event! Here at The Amazing Blog we love attending events and we adore wine. So when we found out that LWW was wine-ding down this Sunday we promptly added it to our weekend plans.

The festival has returned to Devonshire Square for a third year, where all of the city's wine lovers can gather for a chance to enjoy a tipple or two. Filled with masterclasses, tutored tastings, supper clubs, meet the maker evenings, parties and pop-ups; you will have an opportunity not only to taste the wine and discover new flavours, but also to expand your knowledge about how wine is made or what food goes best with it. If all this wasn’t enough, over 100 venues across the city will be opening their doors offering £5 tasting wine flights and specially created food and drink pairings for those wearing the festival wristband.

For only £10 you will experience a brilliant event and have the opportunity to witness the very best that wine has to offer. So go ahead and purchase your wristband online here and enjoy your weekend!