A TOAST TO KENT WINE
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