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England is fast becoming a rich source of high quality sparkling wines, many of which are making waves on the international scene. The chalky Kimmeridgian soil that crops up in Chablis, Sancerre, and Champagne plunges under the Channel only to resurface on the south coast of England. Grape growers in southern counties like Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall have been making increasingly impressive cuvées using the traditional Champagne varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) and the traditional production method (second fermentation in bottle and extended ageing on lees). Ripeness is becoming an increasingly regular occurrence in this marginal climate thanks to gradually warming annual temperatures. Producers are also beginning to focus on producing still wines, but for the moment it is the high calibre of sparkling wines that are the standard bearers for the English wine industry. Their zippy acidity, fine mousse, and delicate fruit profiles are a genuinely tempting alternative to Champagne.