The Drinking Hour podcast: Finding ‘the English Côte des Blancs’

Stephen Duckett of Hundred Hills joins David Kermode for episode 145 of The Drinking Hour podcast. The pair discuss the estate's approach to winemaking and the chalk soils it has in common with Champagne, plus Duckett gives his view on the 2023 vintage in England and explains why you'll never find Hundred Hills wines in the supermarket

Words by Club Oenologique Editors

Fiona and Stephen Duckett
Fiona and Stephen Duckett

Hundred Hills is a winery in the Chiltern Hills, to the southwest of Oxford in England, producing a range of sparkling wines. Owners Fiona and Stephen Duckett began their business by conducting a rigorous search to find the site for the vineyards, hunting for chalk slopes with particular airflows, orientation and surroundings that would allow them to grow grapes capable of yielding world-class wines.

For episode 145 of The Drinking Hour, host David Kermode talks to Stephen Duckett about the process of establishing the winery and the Ducketts’ approach to winemaking. Duckett discusses the use of scientific data to find their vineyards, which included the evaluation of more than 100 different sites, the importance of chalk soils to the quality of the grapes, the influence of the late Dr Michel Salgues, his thoughts on the 2023 English vintage and the reasons why the Hundred Hills team isn’t interested in expansion or supermarket listings.

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