Sustainability has become increasingly important for event organisers and delegates alike. What better way to bring provenance and seasonality to the table, than with a glass of English sparkling.

The invention of sparkling wine is often accredited to monk Dom Perignon; however, it could be argued that it was first introduced 30 years before by an Englishman. In 1662 Christopher Merret, an English wine maker, presented a paper detailing his discovery that adding sugar to a finished wine could result in a sparkle. This took place more than 30 years before Champagne was first produced.

English sparkling wine has been growing in both popularity and quality over the last few years. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association project that English Sparkling Wine production will double by 2022 to approximately 10 million bottles annually.

Join Searcys and Greyfriars vineyard’s founder Mike Wagstaff on 26 February for an introduction to English sparkling wine.

Mike will lead a presentation on English wines with a particular focus on what makes them the perfect serve for any event.

Founded in 1847, Searcys is one of Britain’s longest-running hospitality companies. Its approach to hospitality is still guided by our founding principles of quality and innovation with the focus on providing modern, British and sustainable hospitality.

Mike Wagstaff, not originally from a winemaking background, studied Mechanical and Petroleum Engineering at university and subsequently spent 25 years in the oil and gas industry and in energy finance.  He was a key part of the team which built Venture Production plc into a leading North Sea independent oil and gas producer before it was taken over in 2009. He and his wife Hilary, took over the tiny vineyard at Greyfriars located on the sunny South-facing slopes of the Hog’s Back (the North Downs) just outside Guildford in Surrey in 2010 and have expanded it to become a commercial scale grower-producer of award-winning English sparkling wine. 

Mike and Hilary’s vision is for Greyfriars to become a highly regarded boutique producer of world-class sparkling wine, and to encourage the British public – and event attendees - to drink a lot more English sparkling wine!