The group was set up in 2015 with the support of Hampshire Fare, an organisation promoting the county’s produce. It originally comprised seven wineries which make sparkling and still wines: Danebury, Exton Park, Cottonworth, Hambledon, Hattingley Valley, Jenkyn Place and Meonhill. A ninth member is expected to join soon.
The group was officially formed following the success of the Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Fair, which the wineries take turns to host every July.
Katharine O’Callaghan, speaking for generic marketing body English Wine Producers, said: “They are very keen to raise the profile of Hampshire wines and they work really well together. This is just the beginning and they are already putting Hampshire on the wine map.
“They all have their own individual styles and are becoming more confident about highlighting them.”
Exton Park, run by French- born Corinne Seely, is described as one of the “new wave” English sparkling wine producers. She creates non-vintage wines blended from several harvests to ensure consistently high quality.
Hattingley Valley uses oak barrels to ferment a proportion of its wines each year, as well as ageing on lees in steel tanks. The producer is hoping for good sales for its White Admiral 2015 sparkling wine, a blend of Bacchus and Pinot Gris. The wine (rrp £18.99) is designed to appeal to a younger consumer because of its style and lower price point.
Rebecca Fisher, marketing manager, said: “We think it might attract those who like Prosecco and who are maybe willing to spend a bit more on sparkling wine but aren’t prepared to jump up to £30 a bottle. It’s opening the door to more consumers.”
Cottonworth is a relative newcomer to the English sparkling wine market and it said a Blanc de Blanc is in the pipeline, while Danebury said the quality of its wine reflects the organic principles it follows in the vineyard and minimal intervention by its winemaker.
Another member, Jenkyn Place, is sited on a hop farm and the producer believes the same nutrients and soils help contribute to the uniqueness and quality of its wines.