We are delighted to welcome back Hattingley Valley to this year’s Lymington Seafood Festival. This award winning Hampshire producer has grown to become one of the leading wineries in the UK. Hattingley Valley has quickly established itself as one of the UK’s most successful wineries, winning over 100 medals, 13 trophies, and three Best in Class for its English sparkling wines. It is recognised for its innovative and dynamic approach to winemaking, with award-winning English sparkling wines enjoyed throughout the UK and exported internationally to 16 countries. The Robinson family made their initial steps in 2008 by planting their very first vineyard on some of their farmland but had no idea that it would lead to where they are now. The 600 tonne, eco-friendly winery was purpose built under the guidance of Head Winemaker and Director, Emma Rice and is one of the most advanced wineries in the world.
Emma uses the traditional method for producing sparkling wine, but what sets their wines apart from the rest is the subtle use of oak barrels. The winery, which has a capacity of over 600 tonnes, ferments a small proportion of the wines each year, as well as ageing on lees in stainless steel tanks, helping soften the wines before they go into bottles for the second fermentation.
Following fermentation stages the wines are aged in barrels or tanks for up to eight or nine months, then blended, filtered and bottled before commencing further fermentation and ageing in bottles. This process can take a minimum of 18 months and a maximum of five years to mature and develop.
THE STORY BEHIND THE BUTTERFLY…
Prior to planting Hattingley’s vineyards, Simon Robinson had already commissioned a survey of flora and fauna on his farm in Hampshire, which lead to the discovery that the Silver-washed Fritillary Butterfly, common in Europe but rare in Britain, was a summer resident. The delicate eco-system in this part of Hampshire was enhanced by his planting of around seven miles of hedgerow under a countryside stewardship scheme.
The presence of such an iconic butterfly now found in our South facing chalk-based vineyard in rural Hampshire indicates that the vineyard is a healthy environment with a rich biodiversity due to the extensive farmlands around us. This is something we take great pride in and seemed a natural choice to weave into Hattingley’s brand identity.
The Fritillary isn’t seen everywhere but it’s a lovely thing to behold, a bit like our English sparkling wines actually…
The Silver-washed Fritillary is one of Europe’s largest and most magnificent butterflies. The common name refers to the suffused silvery markings on the underside hindwings. The male, shown above, is easily distinguished from the female by the 4 prominent horizontal dark streaks on its forewings. The butterfly is common and widely distributed across much of Europe, but rarely found in northern Britain. The butterfly is a powerful flyer and quite mobile, being often found on scrubby downland or along hedgerows or railway cuttings where these habitats are close to its woodland homelands. Thus, it is able to recolonise neglected woods which have been thinned or returned to coppice management and once again become suitable as breeding sites. The butterflies emerge in June and July and have a life expectancy of about 3-4 weeks.
Find out more from: learnaboutbutterflies.com