is growing each day into the sparkling industry of wine. She is leasing out a small chunk of land on her estate outside Windsor Castle for a vineyard.
A modest yet little vineyard happens to be in the backyard of one of Britain’s biggest landowners, Queen Elizabeth.
Actually, she could spare seven acres on grounds that span more than 15,000 acres on her estate outside Windsor Castle. It was the winemaker, Tony Laithwaite who helped Her Majesty. He grew up in the town of Windsor and thought this patch of prime real estate just might work.
The man behind the idea – Tony: “I was enthusiastic about it. That is because I thought Windsor Great Park, that’s wow. Yes, there are several places in there I could immediately think of. I mean, I know the place pretty well”.
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The Queen was very much enthusiastic too. As was her husband, Prince Philip, who has held the title of Ranger of Windsor Great Park for 65 years. It is a role he takes very seriously. It was his idea to reintroduce deer to the park back in the 1970s.
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Tony further added: “It’s indeed a great honour that we’ve been able to do this. But we know we’re being watched, we have to do it really well as no one did it before”. The land and the climate are best suited for sparkling wine. It’s champagne in all.
But the vines came from Champagne, and the chalky soil is similar. It’s processed exactly the same way, and at $45 a bottle, it costs about the same as champagne, too. Once all those grapes are gathered, Tamara Roberts is in charge of the fermenting, bottling and distribution of the wine.
From Roberts: ‘We obviously understand how high profile this particular vineyard is. In the last decade, vineyard acreage has grown by an astonishing 135 per cent. It is something that wine producers put down to warmer temperatures climbing north. If you compare where we are today to where Champagne was 30 years ago, that’s pretty much where we were”.
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According to the reports, this year’s first vintage, just 3,000 bottles, were snapped up. Even now there are pre-orders, including orders from the United States. But is it actually any good? It is indeed good. It’s not as good as it will be.
The raw material is very good and when the vines are a bit older, it’ll be very desirable. Well, for Laithwaite, the one person he wanted to impress the most was Queen Elizabeth herself.
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