Looking for the best English White Wines to try this summer? Here’s the Marasby 5.
We’re exploring English white wines for summer. That’s because there’s an amazingly diverse English white wine scene. Delicious examples are made from all sorts of varieties.
No list can exclude Bacchus. That’s because no other English white wine variety delivers the aromas and flavours of the English countryside in quite the same way, with characteristic notes of elderflower and freshly mown meadow grass. It’s often characterised as England’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc and many believe it’s England’s signature white wine varietal.
However, there’s a growing body of producers making terrific English white Pinot. These wines are a little more versatile and we’ve picked a couple for our list today. For a full list read notes from our tasting in May. If you prefer something more classic, then we recommend trying English Chardonnay. A handful of winemakers are making award winning wines that are scoring big with the critics.
So, we’ve tracked down five interesting English white wines to try this summer, all of which are available to buy right now.
Lyme Bay Bacchus 2021 An Aromatic English White Wine For Summer.
Lyme Bay, which is based in Devon, is one of our powerhouse winemakers. They make a wide range of wine from entry level to single estate. As such, their wines are an excellent starting point to explore English wine. They source fruit from around the country to find the best vineyards to make the best wine. Grapes from this wine come from some of the best still wine vineyards in the country, including Martins Lane in Essex. Their scale and experience mean they produce consistently high-quality wine, even in tough vintages. Read more about Lyme Bay in our winery profiles.
Taste: This is classic Bacchus. Fresh and zesty with notes of elderflower. It has both crisp acidity and rounded body giving the wine structure. Pair with seasonal seafood or a plate of zucchini fritti. See our knowledge section to find out what’s in season this summer.
Oastbrook Pinot Meunier 2022 A Distinct English White Wine For Summer.
Oastbrook can be found in the Rother Valley just 20 minutes outside Hastings, East Sussex. All the wine is estate grown and made on site in their new state of the art winery. This means winemakers Nick and America have a hand in every part of the process from grape to bottle. They are still English white wine specialists and have a raft of accolades from the ‘23 awards season. Read our profile of Oastbrook. We love all their wine, but the 2022 Pinot Meunier, which is a white wine made from black grapes, is one of our favourites. There are just 650 bottles available.
Taste: A light gold colour, with aromas of raspberry and strawberry and a hint of black fruits. It is well balanced with the higher acidity compensated for by the intensity of fruit and creamy texture. Pair with griddled pork or chicken. Or gently melted English brie toasts.
Heppington Pinot Gris A Quaffable English White Wine For Summer.
Heppington is based on the edge of the North Kent Downs just outside Canterbury. They’ve been making wine for just a few years, but have quickly gained a reputation as still wine specialists. They are one of a handful of producers making excellent English Pinot Gris, which is a brilliant alternative to Bacchus. This is because it has the same crisp, aromatic properties but less of the strong elderflower notes, which can be divisive. Heppington makes a classic Pinot Gris. It’s the perfect wine to take to lunch or an early evening BBQ.
Taste: White melon and floral notes which yield to a refreshing palate of lemon sherbet and citrus rind. It’s perfect as an aperitif with smoked salmon blinis. Or try it with BBQ’d fish such as mackerel or bass.
Gusbourne Chardonnay 809 2020 A Rare English White Wine For Summer.
Gusbourne, is based in Kent and has vineyards in West Sussex too. It is one of the biggest wine producers in the UK, but only makes wine from its own fruit. This affords them wonderful quality control across the whole process. Accordingly, Gusbourne is the most awarded winery in the country. And all their wines, from still to sparkling, are excellent examples of English wine making prowess. This Chardonnay is made exclusively with grapes from Bottom Camp Vineyard in Kent and 809 chardonnay clones. It is unmistakably Chardonnay.
Taste: An intense nose shows plenty of bright fruit character dominated by lemon, peach and tropical fruits. The wine is delicate yet perfumed, leading to a fresh, lively finish. Pair with a summer crab salad.
Meophams Oakmead White 2019 An Everyday English White Wine For Summer.
Meophams, based near Bluewater in Kent is all about attracting a new market to English wine. Their wines are super quaffable and very accessible. They are made for good times. Meopham Valley Oakmead white is a blend of German varietal grapes Madeleine Angevine and Reichensteiner. Although these grapes don’t attract the same critical acclaim as noble varietals such as Pinot and Chardonnay they have a solid fan base in the UK. This is because they are often easier to grow in our climate. And as such they often require less chemical intervention.
Taste: An expressive wine packed with red apple and stone fruit flavours. Well balanced English acidity with a soft finish. Perfect on ice with nibbles while you watch the sun go down.
And finally …
At the time of writing all our recommended English and Welsh white wines are available to buy, but many of the best wines are made only in tiny quantities, so be quick to avoid disappointment.
England is the world’s most exciting cool-climate wine region, yet 99% of the wine we drink is still imported. Show people that you’re part of the 1% leaning into local, sustainable and delicious English wines with a Marasby limited edition Join The 1% tote bag and discover more amazing wines with the Marasby Club.