English Sparkling Wine producers in Hampshire, Kent, and Sussex are conclusive in their decision in tasting workshops conducted by Riedel

Maximilian Riedel and the Riedel UK team recently visited wineries in Hampshire, Kent and Sussex and conducted wine glass development workshops with twenty-five of the foremost wine producers from across these three regions.

The quest, led by Maximilian Riedel himself, was to discover the perfect Riedel glass to show English Sparkling Wine at its best in each region and, if possible, to realise a Riedel glass which would successfully showcase all English Sparkling Wines across these regions.

The tasting workshops were hosted by Exton Park in Hampshire (in partnership with Vineyards of Hampshire), Squerryes Estate in Kent (in partnership with Wine Garden of England) and Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex (in partnership with Sussex Wineries). At each, a panel of winemakers and expert tasters tasted from a shortlist of twelve different Riedel glasses, with a large number of different English Sparkling Wines from each region. All wines were tasted blind, and the process eliminated, in stages, those glasses which failed to show the best expression of the wines – and then focused, in fine detail, on those glasses which revealed the best elements of the wines both on the palate and on the nose.

Each workshop was conducted independently, and so it was especially pleasing that a unanimous decision was reached across all three panels, with the exact same Riedel glass being selected as the best, at each session. The winning glass was based on the Riesling shape in their Veloce range.

This glass will now see some adaptations – namely, a nucleation point will be added to the glass to improve the way in which the glass manages the mousse, and the text ‘English Sparkling’ will be added to the base before the glass is launched to the market in a few months’ time.

Speaking after the event, Maximilian Riedel said “I have long admired English Sparkling Wines, since I made my first vineyard visits here almost ten years ago. In that time, I have seen the industry grow and the wine develop to a truly internationally high standard, so that it is amongst the very best sparkling wines in the world. I am proud to support English Sparkling Wines with a specific Riedel glass, which shows the fruit, the freshness, and the complexity of these great wines at its very best”

He went on to say: “It is especially pleasing and forward thinking that, in selecting a Riedel Veloce glass, the panel recognised a glass which is brand new, state of the art glassmaking technology, where we are able to produce, by machine, a wine glass which is as fine and as light and as balanced as a hand-made glass and, as such, is world leading in its field”. Maximilian is 11th generation glassmaker and CEO of the 300-year old family run crystal glassware company, based in Austria.

Simon Thorpe MW, CEO of WineGB, added “We are absolutely delighted that Maximilian Riedel has chosen to create a bespoke English Sparkling Wine glass. The selection process was fascinating and very robust, and the chosen glass is a wonderful outcome. Certainly, the glass showcased the full quality and complexity of the wines, both on the nose and palate. To have an English Sparkling Wine glass of such quality created especially for our wines is a real marker of the development of the industry and its growing reputation both on the domestic and international marketplace”.