For this year’s English Wine Week, which runs from 18th-26th June 2022, we’re inviting guests to discover our estate in Kent as we release the 2020 vintage of our award-winning still wine Chardonnay Guinevere, alongside a tutored tasting lunch with premium smoked fish producer Alfred Enderby.
What does Gusbourne have in common with England’s premium smoked fish producer? A mutual pursuit of the highest possible quality when turning nature’s bounty, whether from land or sea, into multi-award-winning products.
Like Gusbourne, Alfred Enderby are true specialists. In their hundred-year-old smokehouse, using techniques unchanged from that time, they cold-smoke only two types of fish, haddock and salmon, from only a few trusted suppliers. “We could cut corners, we never do,” says owner Patrick Salmon. “We are utterly determined to only ever produce the very best.”
The smokehouse’s seven chimneys are hung with fish once a day. The overnight smoking process takes 16 hours. It’s a small family operation with just seven full-time staff, including a master smoker with 40 years of artisan experience. The result is fish with a distinctive and rare depth of flavour, preferred and favoured by name by many of the UK’s most celebrated chefs, including Raymond Blanc, whose menu at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons features both Alfred Enderby fish and Gusbourne wines.
In this pursuit of optimum quality, both Gusbourne and Alfred Enderby must manage the vicissitudes of weather. What defines the craft of the smokehouse is the ambient temperature outside. The maritime air of the North Sea provides ideal conditions, influencing technical details. “Best of all,” says Patrick Salmon, “is a cold frosty night.” In the same way, the art of viticulture resides in responding sensitively to local conditions, though at Gusbourne it’s warm temperatures and plenty of sun that make our vines thrive here in the Garden of England.
Gusbourne’s Chardonnay Guinevere 2020 is testament to that. A mild spring and warm early-season temperatures gave way to dry, fine weather in the build-up to harvest – ideal conditions for near-perfect levels of ripeness. Released specially to coincide with this year’s English Wine Week, this pale golden still wine is elegant and complex with notes of lemon, green apple and toasted nuts – a true generosity of flavour profile. Hints of citrus and tropical fruit sit harmoniously alongside a pleasing minerality and creamy, rounded texture. Barrel-ageing for 10 months adds additional complexity from the oak and makes it an exceptionally well-matched partner for richer seafood dishes, including smoked fish.
Smoked fish demands wines with a certain weight and texture…
“Richer fish dishes, and certainly smoked fish, work really well with our Chardonnay Guinevere 2020,” says Gusbourne’s Global Ambassador, Laura Rhys MS. “It’s down to the balance between generosity and elegance – the richness from the oak ageing and the wine’s inherent freshness. Smoked fish demands wines with a certain weight and texture, and this is where Guinevere’s riper fruit notes, creamy mouthfeel and toasted roundness come to the fore. And its fresh finish provides a well-matched counterpoint to the depth of flavour in the smoked fish.”
Laura’s expert pairing recommendations? Classic smoked salmon with capers, lemon dressing and just-out-of the-oven sourdough. Hot smoked salmon and a simply dressed, peppery watercress salad. Smoked haddock and potato gratin. A smoked haddock and chive tartlet. “I love the versatility of smoked haddock. Right now, I’m thinking about flaking it into a light and simple cannellini bean stew with freshly steamed mussels or a few Jersey Royals.”
English Wine Week 2022 at Gusbourne
English Wine Week 2022 is an ideal time to explore the Gusbourne Estate in our beautiful corner of Kent. Alongside our hosted Vineyard Tours, Discovery Tours, Estate Tours and Picnics, guests can also two special gourmet tasting experiences.
Tasting and Lunch with Alfred Enderby Fine Smoked Fish
Join us for a special vineyard tour on Sunday 19th June to sample Chardonnay Guinevere 2020 – released specially for English Wine Week – in our green and glorious Boot Hill Garden. Patrick Salmon of Alfred Enderby will lead a slicing demonstration and sampling of fine smoked fish before a seated lunch of smoked salmon and haddock with matched Gusbourne wines, plus a tutored tasting of both still and sparkling Gusbourne library wines – all in our stunning Garden Room overlooking the vineyards. Book your place here. (£105pp)
The Fordwich Arms Lunch at The Nest
A celebration of Kent’s renowned seasonal produce awaits visitors to the Gusbourne Estate on Friday 24th June, when Chef Patron Daniel Smith and the team at the acclaimed Fordwich Arms will present a specially created four-course menu for English Wine Week 2022. Each course will be matched with our finest Gusbourne sparkling and limited-edition wines. Book your place here. (£115pp)
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