Alison Nightingale of Albourne Estate scoops English Wine of the Year award

Alison Nightingale of Albourne Estate has won the 'best English wine of the year' award, despite only being in the game for two years. Here she tells us why Bacchus is the best British grape. Plus: our tasting notes for her award-winning bottle.

Alison Nightingale (pictured below), who runs Albourne Estate near Brighton, beat 300 other entries to win the English Wine of the Year award this July (2015).


Albourne Estate has only been producing wine for two years, and it was their 2014 Bacchus that impressed the six Masters of Wine who judged the UK Vineyard Association’s English & Welsh Wine of the Year competition. They described it as having a ‘pronounced nose’ and being ‘very aromatic’, with notes of citrus, lemon and lime, nettle, fennel, gooseberry, honey and spices.

Alison said of her win: ‘One of my aims at the outset was to produce the best Bacchus in England, and to help put Bacchus on the map as the quintessential English wine. I’m excited to have achieved this in only our second ever vintage.It shows that English wine has far more to offer than the sparkling varieties that usually steal the limelight.’

olive first tried Albourne Estate wine earlier this year, when Alison’s white Pinot Noir hit the market. We loved it so much that it made our ‘Quick Bites’ section in January’s magazine –  ‘Beautifully rose gold in colour because it’s made from the red pinot noir grape, despite being a white wine. There’s a hint of fizz to it, strawberry overtones, and a clean finish.’

Alison’s 2014 Bacchus (£12.95) is a crisp, refreshing white wine. It has a 12% abv and a taste profile often likened to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

We recently tried a glass, and liked it very much – there’s a long-lasting (but delicate) fizz, gooseberry flavour, and honeyed finish. We’d pair it with fish, or happily drink it on its own!

Tastings for the Bacchus are held on wine tours at the vineyard on selected Saturdays throughout summer. Tours cost £15 per person. Visit albourneestate.co.uk for dates and also to buy the wine online, or to find stockists.

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