Reasons to buy wine from a cool climate

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Many popular wine-growing regions are in the world's warmest and sunniest places, from Australia to California, South Africa to Argentina and Chile, so you could be forgiven for thinking it would be a mistake to buy wine from a cool climate.

In fact though, some of the world's best and most highly prized wine is grown in relatively cool climates - and even Champagne is classified as a cool climate.

The recent International Cool Climate Wine Symposium 2016, which took place on May 26th-28th in Brighton, was a chance for representatives of the world wine industry to come together - and an opportunity for some to take a tour of an English vineyard too.

Wineries in Kent, Sussex and the South Downs were among those to offer tours of their premises as part of the Symposium - just a handful of the more than 400 vineyards in operation throughout England and Wales.

If you buy wine from any of these locations, you are in for a truly British treat, with different production techniques and grape species than elsewhere in the world.

Many of the finished products are well respected internationally, and the UK is especially known for its sparkling wine output - again proof that a cooler climate can still produce some of the very best beverages.

This is despite the fact that it is only around 60 years since the first modern-era commercial vineyard was planted in the UK, covering 0.4 hectares of Hambledon in Hampshire in 1952.

More than 1,600 hectares of British land is now used for viticulture, with 70% of vineyards to be found either in the south or east of the country.

When you buy British wine - or buy wine from any cool climate - you not only help to support the local wine industry in that region, but you also gain access to some world-class wines that offer something different than the warm-weather wines you might be used to.