25/05/2023 | Corporate/News/Wedding

“Surrey’s Ultimate Castle Wedding Venue” Teams up with Greyfriars, Producer of “Surrey’s Finest Fizz”

Farnham Castle Sparkling Wine Partner

The most delightful, local, English Sparkling Wine offered in the most beautiful setting

There’s no better way to celebrate absolutely anything that’s worthy of celebration, than with a glass (or a bottle) of Fizz, and Farnham Castle’s Wine Cellar is always fully stocked with the world’s finest bubbly.

Historically, Champagne and Prosecco have been the go-to, choice when it comes to Wedding Receptions, Welcome drinks and Toasts, however in recent years, with enhanced recognition of the quality of Sparkling Wines (particularly English Sparkling Wines), these have become hugely popular and on-trend – the must-have tipple at any special occasion.

Over the past few months, we have developed a relationship with Greyfriars Vineyard, our very local English Sparkling Wine Producer on the sunny south facing chalk slopes of the Hog’s Back at Puttenham, just outside Guildford and just a few minutes from Farnham Castle.

We launched our ‘marriage’ with Greyfriars Vineyard at our February Wedding Menu and Wine Tasting Event, when we hosted our upcoming wedding couples, and received some fabulous feedback…

“We’re choosing fish for our main course and after tasting Greyfriars, we’re now considering serving a Sparkling Wine during dinner”

“The Blanc de Blancs is excellent, and for me, feels like it complements the elegance of the venue ”

“We’re passionate about sustainability so therefore love the idea of serving a Sparkling Wine that is produced locally”

Francesca Cribb, Head of Marketing at Farnham Castle, feels that knowing that Greyfriars Vineyard are British, local and are as passionate about wine-making as Farnham Castle is about creating memorable events, means that the brands are on the same page, and that collaboration couldn’t be more exciting.

“Our wedding planning couples or clients should feel confident that serving any of the Greyfriars Sparkling Wines at their reception, dining experience or event would be an instant crowd pleaser” says Fran.

Naturally, we had a number of questions to ask the Greyfriars Vinyard team about English Sparkling Wine…

What Makes a Good Vineyard?

Aaron Gillings, Head of Sales at Greyfriars Vineyard says “In England it’s notoriously very hard to grow good grapes for wine but there are four elements that support healthy growing”.

The four elements are:

Chalk Soil
Greyfriars Vineyard sits on the Hogs Back – a ridge of chalk that is hundreds of feet thick, and was originally deposited between 80 and 100 million years ago. As chalk is soft and high fractured, this means that it is free draining and allows water to run away faster, which is not only great for the vine (as vines don’t like being soggy), but as England’s climate is typically wet, the water doesn’t stay around for as long as it could with an alternative base.

Greyfriars Vineyard is South facing, providing the vines with the very best location when it comes to maximum sunshine and growing potential for the grapes.

Being on a Slope
Vines being grown on a slope aids airflow to reduce disease pressure during growth. Both of Greyfriars Vineyards are located on slopes, which provide them with 10-15% more solar energy per square meter than a flat level vineyard would.

Being frost free during spring, in a cool climate, is a big bonus because if the buds burst early they may essentially die. 10 days of a 10 degree climate, initiates budburst – perfect for grape growing!

What is the Difference between Champagne, Prosecco and English Sparkling Wine?

‘Champagne is the most famous and widely recognised of the three. This French bubbly is made using a traditional method called Méthode Champenoise, which involves a second fermentation in the bottle giving it its signature fine bubbles and complex flavour profile.

Prosecco, on the other hand, is an Italian sparkling wine that is known for its light, fruity taste and more affordable price point. Prosecco is made using a method called the Charmat method, which involves a second fermentation in large tanks. This method results in larger, less persistent bubbles and a simpler flavour profile.

Finally, there’s English sparkling wine, which has been gaining popularity in recent years. Made using the same traditional method as champagne, some critics have even said that English sparkling wine can rival champagne in terms of quality and complexity.’

Greyfriars at Farnham Castle

Our Bar Team are delighted to be able to offer NV Cuvée, Blanc de Blancs, Cuvée Royale and NV Rosé by Greyfriars Vineyard. Please do speak to our Wedding or Event Specialist at Farnham Castle, should you wish to host an event.