Raise a glass of English wine to St George

But did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England’s mountains green?

England’s patron saint is somewhat of an anomaly as he wasn’t actually English but of Greek origin, born in Cappodocia (now Turkey) and it’s highly unlikely that St George ever set foot on Anglo Saxon soil. Usually depicted on horseback as a knight in shining armour is a misleading image as he was more likely to have been a soldier in the Roman army. It’s believed that St George died for refusing to reject his Christian faith but his martyrdom has been honoured in England on 23 April for hundreds of years.

Whilst St George may not have visited our green and pleasant land, his fellow Romans not only invaded our English pastures but also planted vines on them. England has been producing wine ever since and there are now over 500 vineyards and 100 plus wineries around the country. The warmer climate in the south-east lends itself to successful vine growing with the most popular grape varieties being Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

The popularity of English wine has grown significantly in recent years and last year 3.86 million bottles were sold, a 64% increase from the previous year. About two-thirds of this wine is sparkling, many of which score highly in blind tastings against rival French varieties and over the last 16 years English fizz has won more awards than any other countries.

Sparkling wine from the Royal County fit for the Royal Wedding

Here in the Royal County of Berkshire, there are at least six vineyards producing a variety of homegrown wine and offering plenty of choice for the Royal Wedding in May. Aptly located in Windsor Great Park, Stanlake Park is one of the country’s most successful wine producers. Greenfisher were delighted to work with Stanlake Park a few years ago on the design and development of their website. Stanlake Park Estate’s award-winning wine may be ordered on their website or from local stockists.

So, it’s time to raise the iconic red and white flag to celebrate our patron saint. He may not have slayed a dragon or rescued a princess, but St George has given us a reason to enjoy fun-days and fêtes around the country with family and friends. Let’s raise a glass of English fizz to that!

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Images courtesy of Thames & Chilterns Vineyards Association