Giffords Hall is a friendly family run vineyard by the beautiful Suffolk village of Hartest. It has undergone considerable development over the past few years, providing a range of facilities for visitors without losing their welcoming atmosphere. For such a small vineyard Giffords Hall offers an impressive range of facilities for the visitor.
Discover more in my review of Giffords Hall Vineyard & Winery, here..
Giffords Hall’s owner, Linda Howard has an approach to winemaking which I think is producing an evolving range of great wines.
Brought about by necessity (when Linda’s husband died), rather than seeking a permanent winemaker Linda decided to bring in a new winemaker each year. The world of winemaking is a vibrant one. Highly qualified, often young winemakers travel the world gaining experience of different climates, grape varieties, and wine styles. They bring the latest knowledge and wide experience to wineries, and innovation to the wines.
England, being a relatively young and up-and-coming wine country is seen as a great place to gain experience. Therefore, Linda has had a fascinating range of winemakers making her wines over the last few years. Many have become like family and Linda will proudly tell you about their progress in the wine world.
Interestingly quite a few have been women. I have noticed how female winemakers are increasingly making their mark in the wine world. Linda’s winemakers have come to her beautiful part of Suffolk from Patagonia, Chile and the exceptional wine region, Margaret River in Australia, via Bordeaux and New Zealand.
Giffords Hall's wines
Giffords Hall makes a range of stills wines, whites, rosé and reds, as well as a range of the sparkling wines for which England is becoming world famous.
This reflects the unique position of vineyards in East Anglia (Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire), an area of England that is benefitting from climate change and has been identified as the home of world beating still wines in the years to come.
This article focuses on Giffords Hall’s still wines.
Giffords Hall - still white and rosé wines
Giffords Hall makes three white still wines and one rosé.
Two are single varietal wines, 100% Bacchus, an aromatic white wine that is fast becoming England’s signature still white, and 100% Madeline Angevine.
Their third white is a lightly oaked blend of Reichensteiner and Madeline Angevine, unfortunately they were out of stock when I undertook my tasting.
Giffords Hall Bacchus - tasting note
|Bacchus is an aromatic grape variety, like Sauvignon Blanc on steroids, this is a great example of England’s signature still white wine.
The Bacchus grape variety, is a cross between a Silvaner x Riesling cross with Müller-Thurgau, brought over to England from Germany in the 1970s because it could cope with our cool climate.
Climate warming since then has improved the quality of the grapes English vineyards can grow, resulting in wonderful aromatic, fruity white wines.
Giffords Hall’s Bacchus has pronounced elderflower and green apple aromas with lovely ripe citrus fruits & mandarin on the palate and a flinty finish. Refreshing acidity and a bit of texture from whole bunch pressing with stems.
Giffords Hall Madeleine Angevine - tasting note
|I loved the pronounced dried lemon skins and rich fruit aromas of this fruity white wine. It has great acidity making it a refreshing wine, this together with its rich mouthfeel makes it a food-friendly white wine.
Enjoy it with spicy Asian food. With its lower alcohol (11%) this is a wonderful summer wine, enjoy chilled with your BBQ and al fresco dining.
With its crisp acidity it will pair well with creamy fatty foods like lighter creamy curries and fattier meats like pork.
Giffords Hall Rosé - tasting note
|With its attractive pale pink colour this is an attractive still rosé.
The flavours are equally attractive, with white peaches and strawberry on the nose, and refreshing (but not too high) acidity and lots of citrusy grapefruit on the palate.
I liked this wine so much I bought a bottle and enjoyed it with my pork stir fry supper.
Giffords Hall - still red wines
|Giffords Hall makes two still red wines, their flagship 100% Pinor Noir, and their everyday light fruity Pinot Noir and Rondo blend.
One of the great things about English red wines are their lower alcohol, which makes these fantastic reds for summer and for anyone who prefers to avoid higher alcohol reds.
Giffords Hall St Edmundsbury - tasting note
|Delicious light bright refreshing red wine. A great red wine for white wine drinkers.
Red fruits (raspberries) & blueberries, and a pleasant leafiness on the finish. With its lower alcohol (11.5%), serve this refreshingly fruity red wine lightly chilled with a BBQ and al fresco dining. Also great with tomato-based dishes and sauces.
Giffords Hall LVII-XIX Pinot Noir - tasting note
|Giffords Hall’s signature red wine, they call it “Love and Kisses”.
Raspberry, plum, and black cherry on the nose, with bright raspberry flavours and a subtle oak finish. Fermented in barrel and left on the lees gives this Pinot a lovely texture.
Where to buy Giffords Hall wines
As well as buying Giffords Hall’s wines directly from their attractive onsite shop, they have an online store and Waitrose stock their Bacchus white wine and Rosé.
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