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The July Hot List

Our top things to do this month. Wine lovers, this is all the inspiration you need…

Try the Charmat method

Most English sparkling wines are made using the traditional method – the same way they make Champagne. However, a handful of producers are now making sparkling wine using the Charmat method (the same way that Prosecco is made), where the second fermentation takes place in tank rather than bottle. The latest is West Sussex producer House Coren, which has just released its debut wine Boco (main picture), named after the old Sussex regional word for ‘lots of’.

“We think the style lends itself well to UK viticulture, preserving the primary fruit flavours and unique, crisp freshness,” says managing director William Coren. “We used free run and first pressings in our wine to help give complexity and balance alongside later pressing that give Boco its characteristic fruit driven flavours.” 

The wine (£26/75cl) displays ripe pear, stone fruit and citrus on the nose with an additional hint of raspberry to taste – it’s a refreshing number that’s just right for this time of year. Plus, it’s one of the prettiest bottle labels we’ve seen in some time.

Help make the world’s first orange wine in a can

Nania’s trio of crowdfunding cans

Bristol allotment vineyard Nania’s has launched a crowdfunding campaign to create England’s first orange wine in a can. If successful, they will also produce England’s first Pinot Noir in a can. After inheriting a 50-year-old grape vine in their garden, documentary cameraman James Bayliss-Smith and wife Shelley Nania caught what they call “the wine bug” and in 2017, planted 30 vines in their allotment.

While their first urban vintage was fermenting during lockdown, they collaborated with other growers, to produce a rosé spritzer made with ‘guest grapes’ from Essex, crystal clear Glastonbury spring water and a touch of raspberry.

Now they’re embarking on three more wines in a can – a skin-contact orange wine, a Pinot Noir and Elderflower Spritzer and you can be the first to try by joining the crowdfunding campaign. Perks include bumper packs of the wines, a rooted Pinot Noir vine from the allotment vineyard and a bespoke mural by Alex Lucas, who designed the cans.

Visit High Clandon Estate

Sample English sparkling among the art and wildflower meadows at High Clandon

Bruce and Sibylla Tindale are back with another vintage of their exquisite English sparkling wines, made from grapes grown and hand-picked on their pretty estate in East Clandon, Surrey. And once again, this July, they will open their doors to the public to celebrate with a two-week Art in the Vineyard exhibition.

From July 18 to August 1, visitors can enjoy a glass of The Euphoria Cuvée 2016 Brut – already the winner of a Gold Medal at the International Wine Challenge 2021 – while wandering through the wild flower meadow and admiring the stunning natural landscape which will be dotted with over 150 sculptures by local and national artists.

A voluntary donation of £5 per person is requested on entry, which will b donated to the Cherry Trees charity, along with a percentage of every purchase of Art and sparkling wine.

Bag a box

We’re a huge fan of The English Vine and so we’re delighted to see that The BIB Wine company has launched a bag in a box of its fresh and fruit Bacchus, No.1.

Bursting with ripe, zippy and generous green fruits from grapes grown in Essex (where The English Vine founder Neil Walker is from), the wine is light and easy drinking – so the perfect choice to keep on tap in your fridge!

It’s fab on its own and with fish and seasonal asparagus, grilled on the BBQ and enjoyed al fresco. £37.50/2.25 litre box. Plus The BIB Co plants a tree for every box bought.

Get enchanted

The Leonardslee Gardens estate

One to enjoy with the kids, the Enchanted Woodland trail opens at Leonardslee Gardens, near Horsham in West Sussex on July 30. Join your little ones as they explore a magical trail through the beautiful woods, flora, fauna and lakes, with music and theatrical performance and spectacular visual and sound installations.

Featuring mermaids, faeries and other mythical creatures, the 60-90 minute trail includes a spectacular 15 minute interactive show from giant puppet Gnomus, Guardian of Leonardslee Woods.

Afterwards adults can treat themselves to a wine tasting next to Leonardslee’s Pinotage vineyard. Choose from variety ox tasting experiences starting from £5. Timeslots for the trail must be booked in advance but price is included in ticket entry (adults £16, Children £8 and under 2s go free).