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Exploring the Oxford Wine Festival

PUBLISHED: 13:39 16 June 2016 | UPDATED: 13:42 21 June 2016

The Oxford Wine Festival is a unique event, when the world of wine descends on a magical city

The Oxford Wine Festival is a unique event, when the world of wine descends on a magical city


Looking for the perfect wine? It may be closer than you think.

Come and discover – and taste – England's latest and rarest winesCome and discover – and taste – England's latest and rarest wines

Ask any wine connoisseur about the origins of the best wines in Europe. Maybe you’re even a wine connoisseur yourself. Bordeaux? Champagne? Northern Italy?

England probably wouldn’t feature on many lists, but the organizers of the Oxford Wine Festival want to change all that. English wines, once the butt of many a dinner table joke, are now winning major awards around the world.

Increased investment, university courses in winemaking, and even climate change have all played a part in transforming the English wine industry from a novelty selection into a serious competitor in the global wine market.

With rapid growth in English wine-making comes the need to showcase the best of this home grown selection. Somewhere for a community of food and wine lovers to meet and explore samples of the best wines that England has to offer.

With its stone towers, its rich, vibrant culture and its elegant history, where better than the city of Oxford?

The Oxford Wine Festival is an annual two-day event running from Friday evening to Saturday evening. It’s hosted in the historic Oxford Union, the world-famous University debating society that has hosted everyone from Einstein to Michael Jackson, and which is rarely open to the public. The Festival is the coming together of wine merchants, winemakers, and enthusiasts from all over the world to discover – and taste – hundreds of rare, unusual and award-winning wines, including the best from England.

Customers can try wines that are rarely seen on the high street, while wine merchants or even the winemakers themselves get a chance to explain the wines and the wine making process directly to the consumer.

In fact, one of the more popular elements of the festival is the extensive tutored tasting programme. Participants can sample a wide range of themed wines, while being guided by the world’s leading wine authorities. Tastings this year include such varied offerings as food and wine pairing, Grand Cru champagnes, even wines from Canada and China.

The Oxford Wine Festival is a vibrant experience with a dash of fun and just a hint of rose petalThe Oxford Wine Festival is a vibrant experience with a dash of fun and just a hint of rose petal

But from the start the organizers of the festival have been determined to give English wines the same recognition and status as their European counterparts – a status they feel is now very much deserved. The festival has a room dedicated to English wines that rotates wineries each year, giving each a chance to present their wines to the public. Other rooms include Old World wines, New World wines, and an emerging regions zone. Here visitors can sample wines from all sorts of areas that have yet to make a name for themselves – in past years this has included Brazil, India, Macedonia, Georgia and Turkey. These wines may be little known, but that makes them all the more exciting, and the best of them can be a complete revelation. If it’s artisanal wines made in small batches you’re after, or unknown grape varieties, or wines from a vineyard near you, look no further than the Oxford Wine Festival.

Open, inclusive and elegant, the Oxford Wine Festival is a vibrant experience with a touch of discovery and just a hint of rose petal.

Find out more about the festival here:

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