Adgestone Vineyard are the first winery to create a vibrant blue sparkling wine and the closely guarded secret technique is one that is causing a ripples in the world of wine as other vineyards in Europe follow suit. The details of the process that Vigneron, Russ Broughton has used to pull the blue colour out of Rondo grapes is coveted by many other wine makers in UK and in Europe, but where better to keep the secret than the Isle of Wight, protected by the very sea that inspired the wine in the first place?
The sparkling wine named “Something Blue” is made using the Méthode Traditionnelle. This is the same method used to make Champagne and it produces the highest quality and most complex sparkling wines. It is also very labour intensive. Each bottle of sparkling wine has hours of personal loving care poured into it, which Russ says, “means that our wine is made with love not machinery”. The bottles are laid for two years on their lees in a specially designed rack and then Russ and the team rotate each of the 360 bottles by hand every morning for six weeks in a process called riddling; so you really are getting the personal touch with a bottle of Something Blue!
Russ Broughton and Philippa Jane own Adgestone Vineyard which is now a thriving venue with a licensed café and local produce shop. Russ left a career as an engineer to pursue winemaking and has experimented with science (alongside taking tips from a few friendly experts) rather than going on training courses: “I wasn’t a follower of methodology and I’ve made some mistakes along the way,” he jokes “but now we are making really good quality wines, with no less than eight English Wine awards. Our sparkling blue Cuvée is dry, very fruity and lively; masters of wine have being buying it in cases of six”
With its chalk soil and secluded south facing site in a beautiful Isle of Wight valley Adgestone is one of the oldest working vineyards in the UK and there is evidence that there could have been a vineyard located there in Roman times. It is an idyllic setting with glimpses of the sea in the distance and the unbroken views of countryside.
Adgestone also offers wine tasting events and tours of the vineyard and cellars. During the Covid-19 lockdown there were eleven thousand vines that needed training, and after an appeal for help on social media 300 people came and helped and were rewarded with their own bottle of handmade wine to take away.
Live music afternoons have been very popular and a full calendar is shaping up very nicely for 2021 featuring live music every Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun during summer. It is definitely on our list for next summer as a destination to sip sparkling wine in the open air and, of course, to try the new Something Blue.