A SPARKLING wine fit for the grandest occasions has been produced as a result of a partnership between the Furleigh and Mapperton estates in west Dorset

The wine, named the Montagu Cuvée in honour of the Earl of Sandwich and family of Mapperton House, which is near Beaminster, will be used for celebrations and events at the historic house and wedding venue.

Developed earlier this year at Furleigh's vineyard at Salway Ash near Bridport, the Montagu Cuvée consists of classic Champagne grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Its release follows a process of careful testing and dosage adjustment to ensure an appropriate level of sweetness.

Still home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, Mapperton House and Gardens is located near Beaminster, boasting a luxury manor house complete with 15 acres of land.

Luke Montagu, Viscount Hinchingbrooke, who runs the Mapperton Estate, said: “Our team came up with this brilliant idea and we were very pleased when the world-renowned Furleigh Estate agreed to produce the Montagu Cuvée. My father, the Earl of Sandwich, is a better judge of wine than I am, so I let him steer the development. The result we believe is exceptional, and I’m sure our wedding couples and their guests will agree!"

Ian Edwards, owner and wine-maker at Furleigh Estate, added: “It was a pleasure to work with Mapperton to produce this unique sparkling wine. It combines all that is good about Dorset fruit-growing with the finest traditions of sparkling wine-making. We are delighted that the Montagu Cuvée will be drunk in the glorious surroundings of Mapperton House and Gardens.”

A former dairy farm in West Dorset, just five miles from the Jurassic Coast, Furleigh Estate is now a vineyard and winery which has been producing world-class sparkling and still wines since 2009. More than 22,000 vines grow on the south-facing slopes of the estate, and a temperature controlled cellar provides the ideal conditions to store still wines and mature sparkling wines on their lees, so as to develop the best flavours and mousse possible. Regular tours of the winery run on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year, while the estate is open for tastings and sales Monday to Saturday.

The producers of this sparkling creation suggest that Montagu Cuvée is best served well chilled as an aperitif, alongside canapes such as salmon blinis, angels-on-horseback or with seafood platters including oysters.