Charles and Ruth Simpson have been making award-winning wines in the South of France since 2002. In 2012, attracted by the quality of the terroir and the opportunity to become part of one of the most dynamic wine producing regions in the world, they brought their expertise back to the UK, establishing Simpsons Wine Estate. Aspiring to produce the finest quality English wine, they planted 30 hectares of vineyards on the iconic chalk terroir of the North Downs and built a state-of-the-art gravity fed winery. In 2016, the Simpsons saw their first harvest. With a strong focus on provenance, they produce a highly-acclaimed range of exclusively estate-grown still and sparkling wines, including the Chalklands Classic Cuvée 2016, which won a gold medal in the 2019 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships.
Simpsons Wine Estate is situated in the Elham Valley; an unspoilt seam in the North Downs of Kent where the contours of the land, the climate and the soil are excellent for viticulture. The intensely lime-rich chalk soil forms part of the same chalk ridge that stretches from southern England through the Champagne region and on to Burgundy. The Roman Road and Railway Hill vineyards are planted with Burgundian clones 96 and 548, at a density of 4,200 vines per hectare on either Fercal or 41B rootstocks. The Guyot trained vines flourish on sloping, south facing vineyards, which ensure heat accumulation during the day and cold air drainage at night. The vineyard is less than eight miles from the coast providing a crucial maritime influence insulating the fruit against intense temperature variations. Grass cover crops between the rows encourage biodiversity within the vineyard. Pruning and harvesting takes place by hand and they are signed up to the WineGB’s Sustainability Scheme.
The winemaking methods promote the purest expression of fruit and the Kentish terroir, with as little intervention as possible. The hand-picked grapes were whole bunch pressed in the oxygen-free inert press, which protected the purity of the juice and minimised skin contact. The juice was cold settled for 24 hours. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at 14 to 16°C with selected aromatic yeasts. The wine underwent malolactic conversion, softening the acidity and increasing the texture. The wine was aged on fine lees prior to being bottled in the spring.
A zesty, fruit-driven and unoaked Chardonnay displaying fresh, citrus aromas, refreshing tropical fruit flavours and a smooth, textured palate.