Kent Life - - Gourmet News -

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


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.rochester­cathe­­events/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.


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]

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