Fairmile Vineyard is a Small, family-owned vineyard based in Henley-on-Thames owned by Jan and Anthea Mirkowski, who planted their first vines in 2011. They aim to make fresh and elegant sparkling wines.
The area is perfect for a vineyard, and the owners realised that the Chiltern Hills have flinty, chalky marl similar to that in Champagne. In addition, the sheltered, steep south-facing slopes of the Stonor Valley are warm, sunny, and generally frost-free and without excess humidity. Sustainability is very important with plenty of trees around the vineyard, natural fertilisers used to include compost from council green bin collections, and grasses and flowers left between the rows. The wines are made at Hambledon Vineyards and have been instantly successful in garnering awards, their first vintage beating many more established names in a Decanter Magazine tasting. Made from the “classic trio” of hand-selected Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This delicately paled rose is bursting with zing and freshness of summer fruits with a balanced finish. It’s a lovely medium salmon-pink colour with tiny bubbles, persistent. It has a velvet mousse texture and the taste of strawberries and raspberries with a dry finish, bringing the English Summer in a glass. I have also visited the vineyard for a taste and a tour and can attest to the beauty of the vineyard and the surrounding area. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a picnic, head to this vineyard, enjoy a delicious bottle of their English Sparkling Wine, and meet the owners!