Kent Life - - The Insider’s Guide -

Wine­mak­ers, key in­dus­try fig­ures, press and sup­port­ers gath­ered at Rochester Cathe­dral for a brand-new cel­e­bra­tion of Kent wine­mak­ing. The in­au­gu­ral Wine Gar­den of Eng­land Fes­ti­val, sponsored by South­east­ern and hosted by the Dean and Chap­ter of Rochester and the Wine Gar­den of Eng­land part­ner­ship, opened with a cel­e­bra­tory VIP din­ner.

The six-course menu was cre­ated by Fabio Vin­ciguerra, ex­ec­u­tive head chef at Hush Heath, who paired each dish with a wine from each pro­ducer in the Wine Gar­den of Eng­land part­ner­ship. A pub­lic wine fes­ti­val took place the fol­low­ing day.

The back­drop for the event was Rochester Cathe­dral where, more than 1,000 years ago, cham­pion of viti­cul­ture Gun­dalf, Bishop of Rochester, es­tab­lished an or­der of Bene­dic­tine monks and started grow­ing grapes, be­com­ing Kent’s first wine pro­ducer.

With its rich his­tory and mag­nif­i­cent ar­chi­tec­ture, in­clud­ing the metic­u­lously ren­o­vated Crypt, Rochester Cathe­dral was a spec­tac­u­lar set­ting for vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence the prove­nance of Eng­land’s vini­cul­tural her­itage.

Fes­ti­val guests on the Satur­day en­joyed the chance to meet Kent’s con­tem­po­rary wine-pro­duc­ing pi­o­neers, hear their sto­ries, learn about their wine-mak­ing pro­cesses and sam­ple premium and award­win­ning English wines.

They also had the chance to browse and buy prod­ucts from all of the part­ners.

The Dean of Rochester, Philip Hes­keth, blesses the wine har­vest dur­ing an Even­song ser­vice be­fore the VIP din­ner

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