We have been making award-winning wines at Domaine de Sainte Rose, our stunning, southern French property, since 2002. From our 40-hectare vineyard we have created an eclectic range of wines that have won international acclaim and are sold around the world. In 2012, attracted by the quality of the terroir and the opportunity to become part of what has become one of the most dynamic wine producing regions of the world, we brought our expertise and savoir-faire back to the UK, establishing Simpsons Wine Estate with an aspiration to produce the finest quality Method Traditional English sparkling wine.
The Simpsons Wine Team
We have a very international, quality-focused team, who have gained experience all over the world and have come from a very diverse range of work environments. Our combined expertise and belief in this exciting area is an inspirational formula.
Provenance - Kent - The Wine Garden of England
Even the subtlest differences in terroir can influence the characteristics of the grapes, therefore there was no more important consideration than the quality and suitability of our land. Simpsons Wine Estate is situated amid the pristine beauty of the Elham Valley – an unspoilt seam in the North Downs of Kent where the contours of the land, the climate and the soil could scarcely be improved upon for viticulture.
Our intensely lime-rich chalk soil, forming part of the same chalk ridge that stretches from southern England to the French Champagne region, is perfect for the cultivation of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, the time-honoured trio of grapes that create the world’s finest sparkling wines. The English climate may be marginal for viticulture but the resulting wines show elegance, finesse and impressive ageing potential, thanks to a long, cool ripening period.
The Simpsons’ Vineyards
We planted the first 10 hectares of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir on our estate in 2014. This is our Roman Road Vineyard, situated alongside the route the Romans first marched when invading England in AD 43, bringing with them the first vines. A further 20 hectares of the same three grape varieties were established on the southern slopes of the village during 2016 and 2017. This is our Railway Hill Vineyard, so called because the Canterbury to Folkestone light railway passed through this site in the late 19th and first half of the 20th Century.
PRODUCT - A New Tradition
At Simpsons Wine Estate, our winemaking methods are designed to promote the purest expression of the fruit and our Kentish terroir. In September 2016, Oz Clarke opened our custom-created winery, located within walking distance of our two vineyard sites. The proximity of the winery to the vines is critical in the creation of top-flight sparkling wine as minimal transportation and manipulation of the grapes prior to pressing protects the purity of the juice and minimises skin contact or colour bleed.
Each bottle of Simpsons’ sparkling wine is created according to the méthode traditionnelle. Our base wines are expertly vinified and then bottled and sealed under crown cap, with their liqueur de tirage, (a carefully judged combination of yeast and sugar), at which point the secondary fermentation begins, generating fine, perfectly formed bubbles. Once the fermentation is complete, each bottle then matures for a minimum of 24 months in the meticulously monitored conditions of our winery thus achieving peak complexity.
This time spent resting on its lees softens the distinctive, racy acidity of English wine and allows the development of highly desirable autolytic flavours. There is no place for impatience when producing sparkling wine, hence we wait until the optimal moment to disgorge each bottle of Simpsons.
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