At Coates & Seely we don't believe that 'English Sparkling Wine', or 'Quality Sparkling Wine' does our product justice. It is too literal and obvious. After all, what is preferable: 'Quality French Sparkling Wine', or 'Champagne'?
With a number of sparkling wines made in this country now regularly beating French sparkling wines in blind tastings, and with an increasing following of wine professionals believing, as we do passionately, that English sparkling wine has the potential to rival any in the world, we think the time has come to coin a generic word for our own English Sparkling Wine. And the word we have coined is 'Britagne'.
As in 'Vive Britagne !' or 'Cool Britagne !' or even 'Chilled Britagne !'
It of course implies a region.
But it also suggests a sparkling wine that draws from the tradition of 300 years of great Champenois winemaking, whilst remaining proudly British.
Britagne can only be made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes, in this country, where second fermentation occurs in bottles and a number of other viticultural and wine-making techniques are rigorously adhered to. Such wines will accordingly be designated as being made under the 'Méthode Britannique’.
In due course a number of other English sparkling wine producers with whom we are currently working will join us, under licence, under the Britagne umbrella, whilst of course maintaining their individual brand names, so that Britagne - pronounced Brit~an~ye - might one day, in a smaller but more perfectly formed way, rival its illustrious Gallic counterpart.