About Hattingley Valley
There was a time we might’ve thought Épernay was as close as we’d get to the English wine frontier. That changed when this ambitious, charismatic and far-sighted producer from Hampshire got in touch. Hattingley Valley was established in 2008, when Simon Robinson planted the first south-facing site. He and “extraordinarily talented” (says Matthew Jukes) winemaker Emma Rice then planned the modern, eco-friendly winery in Wield, which was completed in 2010. It released its first wine in August 2013, and a year later was declared to have made the world’s finest vintage rosé in the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships. These wines have bright, clear, crisp fruit, a subtly fragrant hedgerow tone and searing acidity in seamless balance. Barrel ferments and lees ageing are judged perfectly for texture, complexity and overall integration. Jancis Robinson justly cites Hattingley Valley as one of the producers that “have really put English vineyards on the world wine map”. It’s our pleasure to give Australia a taste of this English idyll.
About Emma Rice
As a director and head winemaker of Hattingley Valley Emma is responsible for overseeing their 24 hectares of vineyards, as well as working closely alongside winemaker Jacob Leadley to produce their award-winning sparkling wines. Emma was instrumental in the creation of Hattingley Valley, helping to design the winery and sourcing all the equipment. In addition to her winemaking responsibilities Emma runs an on-site wine analysis laboratory, Custom Crush UK Ltd, which offers oenological services to the growing English wine industry.
Emma’s interest in wine stemmed from working part-time at a pub during her studies. It was a double magnum of Krug 1979, however, that really piqued her interest. Her wine career commenced in retail before joining the sales and marketing team at a London-based importer. The pivotal point of her career was when she was editor of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2002-2004. This prompted her to go back to university to study viticulture and oenology at Plumpton College, aged 29. Emma’s writing has continued as contributor and editor of The World Atlas of Wine, Opus Vino and the UK Winegrowers’ Handbook. After graduating from Plumpton College Emma travelled round the world to gain vintage experience in the Napa Valley and Tasmania.
Emma, described by English wine writer Matthew Jukes as “extraordinarily talented”, was crowned Winemaker of the Year in the 2016 English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition. This is the second time she has won it (she was first awarded it in 2014) and she’s particularly delighted to be the first woman to achieve the honour.