The majority of wine produced in England is sparkling and typically produced by the traditional method and mostly using the same varieties of grapes as used in Champagne – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. There are over 100 wineries in England producing sparkling wines with Chapel Down and Biddenden Wine Estate being the largest producers in Kent.
The terms "English" and "English Regional" as applied to sparkling wine are protected terms under PDO and PGI classifications. The PDO permits six varietals for English sparkling wine (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir Précoce, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris) whereas the PGI is much more flexible, with around 90 permitted varietals.
The profile of English sparkling wines were raised during this period by a combination of awards from competitions like the IWSC as well as being served at events such as the Queen's golden wedding anniversary and banquets for the visits of the Emperor of Japan and the President of China.
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