The Queen can now add successful winemaker to her long list of titles
Few sparkling wines have the caché of Champagne — but wine produced on the grounds owned by Queen Elizabeth comes pretty close.
In 2011, over 16,000 Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines were planted on seven acres of the Queen’s Great Windsor Park, just a 10-minute drive from Windsor Castle. Prince Philip was reportedly involved in the project, as he serves as the head ranger for the Great Windsor Park, according to The Telegraph.
From the grapes harvested in October 2013, fewer than 2,000 bottles of The English Quality Sparkling Wine were made, and they hit stores this past holiday season.
The bottles sold as part of a three-bottle set at online wine shop Laithwaite’s for £75, or $94 — and flew off the shelves, selling out entirely. It’s easy to see why: The aroma is touted by Laithwaite’s as “delicate toasted brioche, apricot and citrus notes” and the taste, described as “fine bubbles with bright lemon, stone fruit and toasty length” sounds equally enticing.
If you didn’t get your hands on the 2013 grapes, don’t worry: More bottles are on their way, courtesy of the 2014 grapes, and will be on sale later this year in single bottle sets, for £35, or $44. Going forward, they’re hoping to ramp up the number of bottles produced per year, too, from fewer than 2,000 to eventually as many as 20,000.
And if you really can’t wait, the 2014 bottles are already available for pre-order.