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Enthusiasm for English vineyards puts Bride Valley Brut on hold

A vineyard venture in Dorset by Decanter magazine’s consultant editor Steven Spurrier and his wife Bella looks unlikely to happen because too many people are trying to get in on the English sparkling wine act.

The Spurriers were hoping to team up with Champagne house Duval-Leroy to start a vineyard in the south of England. But, as Steven explained to ThirtyFifty, ‘After three visits and a total examination of the soil, climate and so on, the company I preferred to work with has decided that the risk (and the obviously falling prices of English sparkling wines as hundreds and hundreds of hectares are being planted with everyone jumping on the bandwagon) is too much for them.’

The vineyard project on the Spurriers farm was hoping to produce a fizz called Bride Valley Brut, named after the Bride river, which runs through the village. The plan was for a first harvest in 2009, with a first cuvee ready in 2012 in time for the Olympic sailing events, which are to be held in nearby Weymouth.

However, Steven said, ‘I am only going to do this £2 million-plus project with a really serious French company that already produces sparkling wines.
So no Bride Valley Brut, Cremant de Dorset for the moment.’