English wine is changing at a bewildering pace. Spurred on by the sparkling wine successes of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the fields of Southern England have seen plantings on an unprecedented scale over the last decade; there are ambitious new producers of sparkling wine, boutique operations, negociants, and even still wine specialists, all vying for a piece of the positivity surrounding the industry. After the challenges of 2021, 2022 is proving that 2018 and 2020 were no flukes, either. England may rest at the Northern limits of viticultural viability, but the ball is increasingly falling on the right side of the line.
Tom Hewson tasted 300 wines for this report, sparkling and still, from producers large and small, established and new. With 64 pages of tasting notes, scores, awards and analysis, this is the most comprehensive, up-to-date survey of English wine currently available. In addition, this year sees an extended feature on England’s most forward-thinking work in the vineyards themselves, examining how the country’s foremost estates are challenging our understanding of what is possible.