What’s going on here?

Taittinger is bravely becoming the first French champagne house to squeeze fizz from grapes grown on British soil, after it invested in a former Kent apple orchard.

Where in the UK do they think this is even possible?

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Kent, I said. Taittinger has bought 69 hectares of farmland near Chilham with help from British wine agents Hatch Mansfield and other private investors.

The ground there is chalky and south facing, Taittinger said, making it an excellent microclimate to produce high quality grapes.

So we’re getting our own Champagne!

Not quite. Only fizz produced in the Champagne region of France can lay claim to that title. 

Prosecco, then?

Nope, that comes from Italy. The English sparkling wine will be made from Chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes planted over 40 hectares from 2017.

Why does Taittinger even want to try when it already has Champagne?

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, president of Champagne Taittinger, said it was to “create something special to show our appreciation of the UK’s support for champagne”.

Actually, it might be because they are running out of room in France. In Rheims, Taittinger’s hometown, land costs £1.5 million a hectare more than in Kent.

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