ROCHESTER CATHEDRAL TO HOST ENGLISH WINE FESTIVAL
An exclusive English wine festival will take place in Rochester Cathedral (right) this autumn for the first time in a millennium. The cathedral is hosting The Wine Garden of England Festival in November in celebration of Kent’s wine producers and to honour one of the county’s first producers – Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester from 1077 to 1108, who championed viticulture at the cathedral more than 1,000 years ago.
The event is organised by the Dean and Chapter of Rochester and the newly formed Wine Garden of England partnership (read all about the seven Kent wineries involved in next month’s Kent Life), and will take place in the cathedral crypt on 17 November.
The ticketed event, sponsored by Southeastern, is the first public outing for the Kentish wine partnership, with the seven producing wineries offering tutored tastings and talks in three two-hour sessions throughout the day.
Attendees will receive their own branded wine glass and have the chance to meet the producers themselves and sample 30
STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER
wines. Tickets for one two-hour session cost £50. Spaces are limited, and tickets are expected to sell fast when they go on public sale during the first week of September: www.rochestercathedral.org/newevents/2018/11/17/the-wine-garden-ofengland-festival-at-rochester-cathedral-2018.
A blessing of the wine on 16 November is open to all and will be held in the main cathedral during Evensong Malling Centenary, a strawberry variety developed in Kent, is being seen as a game changer for the industry. It’s been predicted that the 2018 strawberry season will have seen 59m Malling Centenary plants cultivated – an increase of 15m on last year. The variety, developed at NIAB EMR in East Malling, was first released in 2013 and Malling Centenary is a product of the first tranche of the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club, funded by a consortium including: BerryGardens Growers Ltd, SoloBerry Ltd (formerly CPM Retail Ltd), Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (formerly HDC), East Malling Services Ltd, European Strawberry Nurseries Association, Mack Ltd, Meiosis Ltd and DEFRA.
HARVEST OF PLENTY
Fantastic summer weather has led to an equally fantastic harvest of Kentish rapeseed – and two great Thanet-based businesses are celebrating. Simon Cannell, MD of Baker’s Bicycle and Laura Bounds, MD of Kentish Oils (which won Product of the Year in Kent Life’s 2017 Food & Drink Awards) are pictured checking this year’s bumper harvest. Baker’s Bicycle, the artisan bakers based in Margate and a sponsor in the Kent Life 2018 Food & Drink Awards, only uses Kentish Oils extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil in all its breads.
Contact: Email your gourmet news from across the county to: [email protected]