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Raymond Blanc blown away by English wines

Published:  19 July, 2013

Michelin-starred French chef, Raymond Blanc, writes exclusively in this week's Harpers and about his love for English wine and how, at their best, they are now matching wine from his home country.

He admitted it was only in the past year since taking on responsibility for the cuisine on Eurostar's Premier Business Class that he has really discovered wines from the UK.

He said he asked the chef at Eurostar's kitchens in Kent if they had a local wine he could try and was blown away by the Pinot Noir he was given from Biddenden Vineyards in Kent.

Blanc said: "The taste, quite simply, was gorgeous. I must say this little Pinot was as good as a Pinot from France. Drinking it was a wonderful experience and within two days it was on my list at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons."

He followed this up by making British wines a key feature of the farmers' markets he has held at the hotel to celebrate local produce with artisan producers from across the UK.

Here he was able to show wines from, among others, Nyetimber, Coates & Seely, Camel Valley, Biddenden and Stopham Vineyard. "British vignerons are now masters of their craft," said Blanc. "It is marvellous to witness what is on offer."

He said the only thing holding back British wines was the inconsistency of the vintages due to the unpredictability of British weather. "Otherwise all is perfect. And we have grapes that can really put up a fight against the cold and wet weather."

Click here to read the full article.