Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, president of Champagne Taittinger, is making English sparkling wine history by becoming the first Grand Marque Champagne House to plant vines in the UK at their Domaine Evremond in Chilham, Kent.
To secure the best sites for the 40-hectare vineyard development, the Domaine Evremond team has been working alongside leading UK viticulture consultant, Stephen Skelton MW.
Planting has already begun by their French planting team, alongside Pierre-Emmanuel’s wife, Claire, daughter, Vitalie, and representatives from Taittinger’s UK agency and partner; Hatch Mansfield. A total of 40 hectares of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier are set to be planted over the next two to three years. The first English sparkling wine from the vineyard, Domaine Evremond, is anticipated for release in 2023 following three years of bottle-ageing.
The Domaine Evremond initiative is a combined endeavor between Champagne Taittinger and Hatch Mansfield, symbolizing their shared family-focused philosophies.
Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger commented on the project: “Our family has always had a great affection for the UK and for Kent - my father Jean Taittinger twinned Canterbury with Reims when he was mayor of the latter in the 1950s. We have been very impressed by the quality of English Sparkling wine being produced, and we believe the combination of chalk soils, climate and topography of our site in Kent are ideal for producing quality sparkling wine. These attributes are perfect for grape growing, and are very similar to the terroir in Champagne, for us it was a natural step to do this.”
At Domaine Evremond, from left to right: Stephen Skelton MW, Patrick McGrath MW of Hatch Masfield and Pierre Emmanuel Taittinger
Hatch Mansfield representative, Patrick McGrath MW MD, says that once they’re up and running in approximately six years, they are aiming to produce 300,000 bottles of premium English sparkling wine annually.
Taittinger has previously undergone similar ventures in its 80 years of winemaking, planting vineyards in 1987 in the US to launch ‘Domaine Carneros by Taittinger’, a sparkling wine, in partnership with the Kopf family of Kobrand Wine & Spirits, reflecting its alliance with, and respect for, family-run enterprises.