Champagne Taittinger aims to make something of real excellence in the UK’s increasingly temperate climate, and not to compare it with Champagne or any other sparkling wine.
Famous French champagne house Champagne Taittinger (established in 1734) announced the acquisition of land in Kent, UK to establish a UK Vineyard under the Domaine Evremond name. Working with British wine company Hatch Mansfield, Champagne Taittinger house have purchased 69 hectares of farmland at Stone Stile Farm in Kent. Forty hectares of this will be planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines to produce premium English Sparkling Wine. But no wine will be produced until the plots are transformed from orchards into vineyards, after which time premium English Sparkling Wine will be made using ‘domaine’ fruit from the farm. So, we will have to wait for 2020-2021 to taste the first winemaking fruit. When fully operational, Domaine Evremond will produce 300,000 bottles per season.
This unique collaboration between Champagne Taittinger and Hatch Mansfield marks the first time that a Champagne house has invested in the UK with the intention of producing premium English Sparkling Wines.
“We have dreamt for a number of years of working with our dear friends in the UK to create a special Franco/British project. Built on the values of friendship, this venture will create something special to show our appreciation of the UK support for Champagne – it is Champagne Taittinger’s number one export market. We are very excited that this dream is now becoming a reality,” said Pierre- Emmanuel Taittinger, President, Champagne Taittinger.
“Our family has already had considerable success planting sparkling wine vineyards in the USA in 1987 when we launched Domaine Carneros by Taittinger, our venture with the Kopf family of Kobrand Wine & Spirits. We hope to replicate this success in the UK, working alongside our UK agent, Hatch Mansfield.
“Our family has strong connections to Kent through my father, Jean Taittinger, who twinned Canterbury with Reims over 45 years ago when he was Mayor of Reims (1959 – 1977); so I am looking forward to being able to strengthen these links with Kent and with Great Britain as we embark on this venture,” added Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger.
Domaine Evremond is a venture between Champagne Taittinger, Hatch Mansfield Ltd, and friends, reflecting the independent, family focused philosophies of both companies. Domaine Evremond takes its name from Charles de Saint‐Evremond (1614‐1703), a Frenchman and the first true ambassador for Champagne, who fueled its popularity in England during the court of Charles II. A poet, epicurean and literary critic, he is buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. A passionate historian, Pierre‐Emmanuel named this new venture, Domaine Evremond, in his memory.
The land, a former apple farm, is near Chilham in Kent, close to Canterbury and Faversham. The plots to be planted are a maximum of 80 metres above sea level, with chalk soil and south facing slopes, creating an ideal terroir (soil, microclimate and topography) to plant and grow high-quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines.
“We are delighted to be working with Champagne Taittinger on this project and we have a joint ambition to produce very high-quality wines using our combined expertise. As a team, we have a real belief in the potential of English Sparkling Wine. Our aim is not just to be an English Sparkling Winemaker, but also to be a significant supporter of the whole English wine industry,” said Patrick McGrath MW, MD of Hatch Mansfield.