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Three Chapel Down wines go exclusively into M&S

English producer Chapel Down has created three wines exclusively for Marks & Spencer.

A white wine, a still rosé and a sparkling rose will be launched in 100 M&S stores from the beginning of June. The trio have been made by four-times-winning UK Winemaker of the Year Owen Elias.

M&S wine technologist Sue Daniels said, ’We know that our customers want to buy more local produce and these new English wines have a delicious fresh, youthful taste that we are sure our customers will enjoy.’

The white and still rosé are from the 2007 harvest, which Sue admits is, ‘not an easy one to start on, but one which has delivered lovely freshness, if in limited quantities’. However, both fit the bill for consumers looking for wines that are slightly lighter on alcohol as the English white comes in at 10.5% and the still rosé at 11.5%.

The white wine is made from mostly Pinot Blanc with some Bacchus, while the rosé is a blend of Schonburger, Rondo, Pinot Noir, Dornfelder, Regent and Bacchus. Both are priced at £9.99. The non-vintage sparkling rosé, which has been aged for a minimum of 18 months, is £16.99 and made from Pinot Noir with Reichensteiner and Muller Thurgau.

Marks & Spencer points out that English wines have steadily gained credibility with Gary Rhodes, Gordon Ramsay and Tom Aikens championing them and featuring them on their restaurant wine lists. Sue said, ‘We hope to extend the range over the next 12 months to truly put English wines on the M&S map.’