The sun was blazing down as we wandered through various vineyards in Kent. We then joined several tables of happy souls enjoying a balmy terrace lunch al fresco. Was this the height of summer in the garden of England? Far from it – this was early October, with harvest in full swing all around us.
It was a fitting end to what has been one of the driest, ripest and earliest UK vintages of the modern era. There is palpable excitement in the eyes of producers everywhere as they enthuse about the quality and flavour intensity of the fruit, and the high hopes for their wines this year.
Scroll down for Susie Barrie’s selection of eight English still wines to try
What’s also clear is that English wines are changing before our eyes.