The birth of the royal baby can be celebrated over a glass of his or her step-grandmother’s vintage.
On Tuesday, July 9, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and president of the United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA), officially opened the £2.5 million (or a little more than $3.25 million) state-of-the-art winery at Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire, according to Decanter.com. The Duchess’ father was a vintner, and she said that with a family so heavily involved in the wine industry, she feels like she’s landed the perfect job. The Duchess unveiled a plaque, took a tour of the winery, and toasted a glass of Mill Down 2010, the vineyard’s vintage sparkling wine. With winemakers Herve Jastin and Antoine Arnault, she took part in a wine tasting that will contribute to the Hambledon non-vintage prestige cuvee that will launch in 2015.
Vineyard Owner Ian Kellett said to Decanter.com, “This new winery represents a significant investment for us and a crucial part of our drive to produce the best sparkling wines in the U.K.” Kellet studied oenology at Plumpton College in Sussex and has undertaken a major redevelopment over the past 10 years, including at £7 to10 million investment towards planting 50,000 acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier and installing the U.K.’s first gravity-fed winery.
A limited release of 2,500 bottles of Mill Down 2010 are available from Hambledon’s cellar door as well as selected local retailers for £21.99 (or about $28.50). Mill Down 2011 will be launched more widely in 2014, and the Hambledon cuvee will enter the market in late 2014 or early 2015.