an english Champagne challenger

Wine of the Month

Nyetimber classic cuvee

In recent years England has started to compete with Champagne when it comes to sparkling wine, and the quality of the bubbles is now on the same level as the French counterpart.

 English vineyards in Sussex South of England

English vineyards in Sussex South of England


Nyetimber isn't just any sparkling wine from England, it was the very first. Nyetimber was established 1988 in West Sussex far South in England.

By defining themselves early on as a competitor against Champagne they took on a massive challenge.

Firstly the Southern climate in England is even colder than in Champagne, making it harder to fully ripen the grapes. Secondly, going up against a well established multi billion industry like the Champagne industry would seem like an impossible task.

From the very beginning they focused only on the classic French Grape varieties from Champagne like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Nyetimber also decided in the beginning that they would make their bubbles in exactly the same way as the French, using the Champagne method.




Nyetimber has changed hands several times over the years, but in 2006 Eric Heerema bought it and still runs it.

Thanks to hard work and commitment the impossibility became a victory when on 23rd of April in 2016 Nyetimber won against all the great Champagne brands in a blind tasting in Paris. All the tasters from the panel where convinced that it was Champagne they were tasting.


Champagne has received a lot of competition in recent years, and now England has also established themselves as a strong competitor in the market.

It is also Sussex in England that has the biggest possibilities when it comes to producing Champagne like sparkling wine. Even though the climate is very cool, with marginal ripening of the grapes it is very similar to what the same climate would have been in Champagne 300 years ago when the French started producing Champagne.

Another advantage is that in South of England they have exactly the same Chalky soil as in Champagne, England also have long traditions in the production of Cider, and they were pioneers and the first to produce thicker glass to hold the bubbles in their sparkling Cider.

It would seem like England deserves a lot of credit for the bubbles in Champagne today.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvee

Fresh aromas of green apples and citrus and well developed aromas of honey and brioche. Elegant, complex and well structured flavours with hints of grapefruit, dried apricots, brioche and almonds. An intens and long lasting finish.

Pairs with:  Lobster, Trout, Crayfish and Chicken.

Drink: 12-15 years

Producer: Nyetimber

Country: England

District: Sussex

Hint of grapefruit, dried apricots, brioche and almonds.

Marius has worked in several parts of the wine business for the last 16 years. He is currently working as a Category Coordinator for wine and spirits in the Travel Retail business. He is also a part of a tasting panel for the financial newspaper in Norway and writes articles and lectures in his spare time.Marius has a huge passion and dedication for the wine and spirits industry. He is a certified Sommelier and is currently undertaking the WSET Diploma in wines and spirits education.