Steven Spurrier and his wife Arabella are behind Bride Valley, located in
West Dorset. Steven, while running Les Caves de la Madeleine and
L'Academie du Vin in Paris in the 1980s, had soil (chalky) samples from
Arabella's 80 hectare estate tested and the results came back: "very
similar to Champagne". This is not surprising because the village of
Kimmeridge is just 24 miles as the crow flies from Bride Valley. After two
decades and three visits from Boisset's sparkling wine expert, Georges
Legrand, vines were planted on the best sites in the bowl of the
amphitheatre-like estate. Three hectares were planted in 2009, rising to
a total of 10 hectares in 2013 when planting was completed.
Specific clones were selected on the advice of Pierre-Marie Guillaume,
the owner of France's top nursery in Charcenne (east of Dijon). After
intense analysis, seven Chardonnay clones (55% of the plantings), four
Pinot Noir clones (25%) and two Pinot Meunier clones (20%) were
selected. The vines are planted on south and south west facing slopes.
In addition, 1000 elder trees were planted to act as a natural windbreak
to the breezes coming from the Jurassic Coast, four miles to the south.
Bride Valley has been sustainably farmed for centuries and although the
grapes are not certified organic, the vineyard continues to follow