Vineyard Opened By Hand of the Duchess of Cornwall

Staff Writer
The Royal family’s newest development may help change the name of U.K. wines
Duchess of Cornwall
Wikimedia Commons

The Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire (like this one shown above) got the royal seal of approval.

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.

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