Langham Estate

United Kingdom, English Sparkling Wine

Langham estate is proudly independent and grow all their own grapes giving them total control and the ability to produce exactly the wines they want. With a south-facing aspect, chalk soils and a unique micro-climate, Langham's 'Crawthorne' Vineyard provides the perfect terroir for ripening the classic Champagne varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

The viticulture here is the latest development in agriculture at this historic, farming estate with established hedgerows and mature woodland providing natural wind breaks and habitat for a large variety of beneficial organisms.

This great Vineyard potential was identified by John Langham and now under his son Justin the work is being intensified and the number of vines has increased to more than 30 acres.

They work with a low-intervention approach to both grape growing and wine production, constantly striving to minimise our environmental impact and produce honest wines that reflect their Dorset terroir.

All grapes are handpicked, and rigorous vineyard selection ensures only the highest quality grapes arrive at the winery.

The first vintage for the Estate was 2011 and in young winemaker Daniel Ham (from vintage 2015) they are producing exquisite fizz of the highest quality. Daniel's low intervention wine-making uses wild yeast ferments for the first fermentation and by doing this he has managed to lower the amount of sulphur that is required. The press capacity is 3 tonnes (the estate normally produces 45 tonnes, in 2018 this was closer to 75) and whole bunches are used, 13% of the Taille is used for the final wine (over 2 presses) and 52% of the Cuvee (over 3 presses), the juice is then allowed to settle for between 12 and 24 hours. 30% of the juice (normally a larger % of which is Chardonnay) is then transferred to oak barrels which are a mixture of 225 and 500 litre capacity and between 3-15 years old, the rest going to stainless steel. Following the first fermentation the wine is then allowed to settle and the oak barrels are then racked prior to the Malolactic fermentation which Daniel sees as vital to giving balance to the final wines. With the Malolactic normally finishing first week of December, the barrels are then topped up and left over winter, with battonage once every one to two weeks, as this helps to protect the wine.

The cellar is an old grain store and a natural cold stabilisation is achieved by opening all the doors so that no filtration is necessary. In May/June the wine is then bottled ready for the second fermentation, with Champagne yeasts used, along with about 20-22 grams of sugar and this normally takes 3-4 months under a crown cap. Ageing can then normally take up to 2 years, but this may change as Daniel doesn’t want too much of the autolytic character (bready/yeasty) so could end up being nearer to 18 to 24 months, with 12 months under cork as part of that process, final dosage is then 8 grams per litre for the white releases and 5 and a half grams for the Rose.

The results are impressive - this super wine is the newest English sparkler to join our list and represents unusually good value for the immense quality.

Awarded Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year 2020 by the IWSC competition and winning an array of medals: Gold for Blanc de Blancs 2015 & silver for Culver, Corallian, Pinot Meunier & Rosé.

After his father John realised a dream by planting a south-facing, chalky vineyard in at Crawthorne Farm in the rolling hills of Dorset in 2009, Justin Langham has turned the vineyard and characterful old barn into a 12-hectare commercial operation. Hand-picked and selected in the vineyard, the champagne grapes are processed by the traditional method. As a fitting accolade, the Langham Rosé 2014 won a gold medal at this year’s Independent English Wine Awards. Anthony Rose, The Evening Standard  (Jul 2018)