The English are coming
Words: Simon Kershaw
You’ll most probably heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’, and there’s a growing belief that the provenance of our food is of increasing importance – a belief that James holds, hence the time he invests in sourcing all the food for The Pipe and Glass.
I’m convinced the same is true of what we drink. This, of course, would come as no surprise to our European neighbors in France, Italy and Spain, who have held true to these philosophies since time began. Indeed the Italians are now advocates of the slow food movement: not surprising when you realise they have a mere 11 distinct food regions with wines grown in the same soils and sympathetic to the food they eat, the climate they live in and, above all, their passion for food and wine as being inseparable as well as a way of life.

The French call the principle of wine production ‘Terroir’. It doesn’t literally translate, but means all the living factors surrounding the vineyard: the sun, wind, soil and the people who tend the vines all contributing to the character and essence of the wine produced.

So what about the English? One hears stories of wine production here in Roman times, though I remain to be convinced of the quality of such wine. The overwhelming evidence is that wine was shipped into England in terracotta urns from the Middle East, though again, what the condition of such wine was once on our shores, we can only imagine. 

But all is set to change in the coming years with the advent of global warming. Dijon is now two degrees warmer than it was 25 years ago and with the meteorologists predicting a further three-degree average increase in the next 20 years, the effect is like pulling a duvet over Europe; the duvet is now lying across the southern areas of England. And while a couple of degrees would not seem to be that significant, for grape production it makes a massive difference.

Of course the other key factor is the geology. With a rock strata running under the Channel and resurfacing in the Côte-d'Or, our southern chalk uplands match the Champagne region. Witness the production of English sparkling wines such as Nyetimber, Chapel Down and Camel Valley – not just good wines, but world-beaters winning every accolade going, even from the French! 

It’s not surprising, really, as English winemakers are investing heavily in land throughout the south. As things hot up, their still wines are becoming more interesting – they’re no longer just planting floral German grape varieties which, with their cold climate tolerance and lots of added sugars, are not to everyone’s taste. 

With the increase in temperature comes the ability to grow more mainstream grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, the classic ingredients for champagne. Pinot Noir, arguably the most refined of all red grape varieties, is a native of northern climes and is being planted as far north in the UK as Helmsley and Malton, with surprising results.

I am confident that in 20 years’ time England will be producing some of the world’s finest wines, with prices rivalling those of the very best vineyards from around the world. It’s an exciting prospect for wine lovers and even more so for the lucky landowners who can expect to realise multiples of current land values for the very best wine-producing areas: land in the Champagne region can be worth as much as €6m per acre compared to £6,000 to £7,000 for average agricultural land in the UK.I would certainly drink to that.

Simon Kershaw
House of Townend


PUBLISHED :April 2014
TAGS : DRINKCULTURE
View the latest issue of The Pantry online

food served

monday *
closed all day
tuesday
12 – 14.00 / 18.00 – 21.30 pm
wednesday
12 – 14.00 / 18.00 – 21.30 pm
thursday
12 – 14.00 / 18.00 – 21.30 pm
friday
12 – 14.00 / 18.00 – 21.30 pm
saturday
12 – 14.00 / 18.00 – 21.30 pm
sunday
12 – 16.00 pm
(TUES-SAT 2-5pm: afternoon savouries
menu served in the bar area)

BAR OPEN

monday *
closed all day
tuesday
12 - 23.00 pm
wednesday
12 - 23.00 pm
thursday
12 - 23.00 pm
friday
12 - 23.00 pm
saturday
12 - 23.00 PM
sunday
12 - 22.30 PM

* open bank holiday mondays
Booking is advisable in the restaurant.
Bookings not taken for tables in the bar.


Interested in a career at the Pipe and glass ? CLICK HERE

DIRECTIONS

pipe and glass
west end
south dalton
beverley
east yorkshire
hu17 7pn



Christmas opening times - food served

MONDAY 16TH
12 – 14.00 / 18.00 – 21.30 pm
TUESDAY 17TH - SUNDAY 22ND
12 – 14.00 / 18.00 – 21.30 pm
MONDAY 23RD
12 – 14.00 / 18.00 - 21.30 pm
TUESDAY 24TH (CHRISTMAS EVE)
12 – 14.00 / 18.00 – 20.00 pm
WEDNESDAY 25TH (CHRISTMAS DAY)
NO FOOD SERVED
THURSDAY 26TH (BOXING DAY)
12 – 16.00 pm
FRIDAY 27TH - SATURDAY 28TH
12 – 14.00 / 18.00 – 21.30 pm
SUNDAY 29TH
12 – 16.00 pm
MONDAY 30TH
12 – 14.00 / 18.00 - 21.30 pm
TUESDAY 31ST (NEW YEARS EVE)
12 – 14.00 pm / TICKET ONLY DINNER IN THE EVENING
WEDNESDAY 1ST JAN (NEW YEARS DAY)
12 – 14.00 pm
THURSDAY 2ND JAN
CLOSED FOR OUR ANNUAL HOLIDAY,
REOPEN FRIDAY 17TH JANUARY 2020
(TUES-SAT 2-5PM: AFTERNOON SAVOURIES MENU SERVED IN THE BAR AREA, EXCEPT CHRISTMAS DAY, BOXING DAY AND NEW YEARS DAY)

Christmas opening times - BAR OPEN

MONDAY 16TH
12 - 23.00  pm
TUESDAY 17TH - SATURDAY 21ST
12 - 23.00 pm
SUNDAY 22ND
12 - 22.30 pm
MONDAY 23RD
12 - 23.00 pm
TUESDAY 24TH (CHRISTMAS EVE)
12 - 22.30 pm
WEDNESDAY 25TH (CHRISTMAS DAY)
12 - 14.00 pm
THURSDAY 26TH (BOXING DAY)
12 - 18.00 pm
FRIDAY 27TH - SATURDAY 28TH
12 - 23.00 pm
SUNDAY 29TH
12 - 22.30 PM,
MONDAY 30TH
12 - 23.00 PM,
TUESDAY 31ST (NEW YEARS EVE)
12 - 17.00 PM / TICKET ONLY DINNER IN THE EVENING
WEDNESDAY 1ST JAN (NEW YEARS DAY)
12 - 15.00 PM
THURSDAY 2ND JAN
CLOSED FOR OUR ANNUAL HOLIDAY,
REOPEN FRIDAY 17TH JANUARY 2020
Interested in a career at the Pipe and glass ? CLICK HERE