The Furleigh Estate - Top English Still & Sparkling Wines
Presented by Rebecca Handsford
The Oxford Wine Café, 38 South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JN
We were lucky to have the owner, Rebecca Hansford herself to guide us through six of her best multi award winning still and sparkling wines. This she did with great flair and humour, telling us that the Furleigh Estate is set in the stunning Dorset countryside, just five miles from the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Those dinosaurs who wandered this land millions of years ago have laid down their bones to make the perfect soil to grow world-class still and sparkling wines. She told us the story of how the estate was established in 2005 when she and her husband Ian purchased the farm and meticulously turned it into the world-class vineyard and winery it is today. The Furleigh Estate consists of 80 acres of rolling fields, lakes and woods set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The vineyard has 22,000 vines each tended individually by the Furleigh Estate team. Varieties are mostly the Champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, but there are also some Bacchus and Rondo for the Furleigh still wines. The estate excels at sparkling wines made traditionally from Champagne grapes, all estate-grown. Its Classic Cuvée 2009 (the maiden vintage) won the International Wine Challenge English Trophy and Furleigh have won 10 medals at big London competitions.
As Rebecca works alongside her husband who makes the wines, she was able to explain some technical details about how the wines were made without going into great detail and still keeping the information fresh and entertaining - all in all she's clearly a great speaker and one that we all enjoyed a great deal (the tasting was totally sold out so we had a full room of happy customers). People felt very free to ask questions (which we encourage at all our tastings) and judging by the large amount of orders everyone thought the wines were as good as the presenter. A great tasting!
Theo Sloot - Fine Wine, PR & Marketing