English Bubbly for SA Racing Legend

First golfers, then actors and now Formula One drivers get in on the winemaking act.

by: Cathy Marston | 04 Jan 2010
Scheckter on his organic farm in Hampshire

South African Formula One star, Jody Scheckter is to start producing organic sparkling wine on his country estate in Hampshire, UK. The racing legend has applied for planning permission to build a 2300 sq metre winery on his farm including  a main barrel-vaulted structure with a roof covered in plants according to a local website. There will also be a wine-storage area, tasting area with external terrace, yard and car park.

According to the events and marketing manager of Scheckter's Laverstoke Park Farm, Sara Whittall, there are already 30 hectares of land under vine, all of them organically managed. The varieties include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier – all the ingredients for a classic, champagne-method sparkling wine.

Whittall says “Within each of these varieties, clones were selected for their suitability to produce quality organic sparkling wine in the often-difficult UK growing conditions. “Each was chosen to provide a different dimension for the winemaker to craft together a quality organic English sparkling wine. The site of the vineyard was chosen because of the slope, exposure to the sun and also to help manage the vigour of the vine and the impact of disease.” 

If all goes to plan, then we can expect to see Domaine Scheckter hitting the shelves within the next five years.


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