Bordeaux Moves to the Garden of England

Post Brexit and climate change concerns bring star Bordeaux producer to the UK.
Jonathan Maltus OBE, one of Bordeaux’s most pioneering and successful 100-point wine producers will start planting Merlot in the UK this year.

England – a new haven for wine production


With the uncertainty around sterling and recent duty rises as well as increased temperatures across the globe, there has never been a better time to move wine production to the UK. According to English winemakers, 10 years ago our climate was 0.5 °C on the wrong side of the optimum temperature for wine cultivation but has now changed to 0.5 °C above that threshold.
Donald Trump’s recent repeal of Obama’s green legislation means that the US, one of the world’s biggest polluters, will have limited restrictions on their environmental impact. As a consequence, the climate will only get warmer, with the silver lining being that this will bring increased potential for wine production for cooler regions like southern England.
Jonathan’s decision follows well-publicised initiatives from renowned Champagne marques Taittinger, Pol Roger and Louis Roederer who are planting vineyards in the UK. Explaining further he says:
“I’ve been unhappy with Merlot in Saint Emilion for a while, and like others here are planting more and more Cabernet Franc. So Kent, where I went to school, seems a logical new choice. Why limit great terroir to people from the east of Paris?”

Honest Grapes at the forefront of the project


Following our partnership with Jonathan for the release of exciting new Saint Emilion Grand Cru Pontet-Labrie last year, we are thrilled to be a part of his new UK venture.  Wine Director Tom Harrow says:
‘As one of the original garagistes, Jonathan blazed a trail on the Right Bank in the 90s and we are looking forward to helping him pioneer England’s “allotment shed” movement in the 20s.’   
The site where the new vineyard will be planted is a closely-guarded secret and is currently undergoing thorough soil analysis. Initial results have shown significant deposits of blue clay, which has proven so successful in Bordeaux for quality Merlot production but also the presence of rare Blue Schist (BS). We cannot disclose more at the moment, suffice to say we are excited for the planned first vintage in 5 years of Château Margate.