The billionaire Barclay brothers have delayed launching a sparkling wine produced on the island of Sark in the English Channel, but said the move was is due to 'quality potential' rather than any problems.

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Twins Sir David and Frederick Barclay own around 100 hectares of land on Sark, a car free island off the coast of Normandy that describes itself as the ‘jewel’ of the Channel Islands.

The pair, who also own the Daily Telegraph newspaper and the Ritz London, were expected to launch a Sark sparkling wine next year. But, the first bottles are now not expected to hit the market until 2018.

‘The quality signs are extremely good,’ consultant Alain Raynaud, who has worked on the project since its inception in 2011, told Decanter.com.

‘The unusual blend of mainly Chardonnay and Savagnin grapes, together with the excellent acidity levels and interest of the base wine, mean I am fully convinced that we have excellent quality potential. We are now intending to give the wine a full five years of ageing sur latte to ensure it can delivery the complexity that it promises.’

The vineyards on Sark cover 60 acres of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon, Gamay, Muller-Thurgau and Albarino, up from 25 acres initially planted.

Sark

Sark island off the coast of Normandy, but a protectorate of the English Crown.

Alongside Raynaud are two viticulturalists from Champagne, Louis Wicke and Elsa Tichaudr who live full-time on the island.

The sparkling wine is likely to be bottled under the name Vin de L’Ile de Sark, and should produce 8,000 bottles in the first year of release, with a potential for 150,000 bottles in the future.

The Barclay brothers live on neighbouring Brecqhou island.

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