Naked Wines Archangels
We’ve been members of Naked Wines virtually since they began in 2008. One of the things I love about Naked Wines is being able to purchase pre-orders of wine. I was recently checking our pre-orders and was very happy to see that our English Fizz from Ruth and Charles Simpson is due around November this year (2018).
We pre-ordered our case back in 2016 shortly after we visited the Vineyard with Naked Wines. We were invited along to see the Vineyard and see them planting their second wave of vines.
Mr J and I are both lucky to be Naked Wine Archangels which means that we get to taste lots of lovely wines before they get released onto the site. And, occasionally get invited to visit winemakers and their vineyards.
Ruth and Charles Simpson
Ruth and Charles Simpson have been making great wines in the Languedoc region of France since 2002 and I love their French wines. Their Low Yield Roussanne is one of my favourite White wines.
In 2014 Ruth and Charles decided they would also like to try their hand at producing wine in the UK. They purchased some land in Kent and started planting in 2015 with the intention of producing an English Sparkling Wine. They also started building the winery on the site from scratch.
Ruth and Charles planted the vineyard in three stages over three years – starting in 2015 and ending in 2017. They planted in three lots of 10 hectares, taking the total estate to 30ha.
Simpsons Kent Vineyard Visit in 2016
We visited the Simpsons Kent Vineyard back in 2016 when they were planting their second lot of vines.
At the beginning of our visit Ruth and Charles gave us a talk about their English project overlooking their Roman Road Vineyard, situated alongside the route the Romans first marched when invading England in AD 43.
The Roman Road Vineyard was their first vineyard, planted in 2015. The vineyard is planted with 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. The vines seem to be loving this spot with it’s sheltered position and chalky soil.
We then moved on to their second plot, Railway Hill. This is where they were planting the next batch of vines and when we arrived it was the second day of planting.
Ruth and Charles had brought their planting team over from France to plant the vines. The rows of vines are perfectly straight which is all thanks to modern technology and the GPS-calibrated tractors they use for planting.
Ruth and Charles are so passionate about their winemaking and they love sharing their vision.
As well as planting the vines from scratch they have also built a winery. When we visited the site, the winery in 2016 it was virtually an empty shell. Today it is a sparkling hi tech winery complete with glass tasting room and its very own helter-skelter slide.
There must be something about wine and slides as Naked Wines HQ also has a slide!
Ruth and Charles initially started out concentrating on making traditional method sparkling wine at their site in the UK. However, they said they would consider making a still wine if the grapes proved to be good enough. This proved to be the case and they were able to produce a small quantity of 2016 Roman Road Chardonnay which had excellent reviews.
We enjoyed a wonderful visit to the Vineyard back in 2016 and I look forward in anticipation to our delivery of their sparkling wine later this year. And, maybe a return visit to the Vineyard very soon.
The Simpsons Wine Estate is open for tastings and tours just check the website for details.