Emma Rice, Head Winemaker, Hattingley Valley

Season 1, Episode 6,   Feb 24, 2021, 03:36 PM

Michael is joined by Emma Rice, head winemaker at Hattingley Valley, the luxury English sparkling wine brand. Described as best in class and the winner of more than 79 medals and 13 trophies, Hampshire-housed Hattingley Valley is recognised for its innovative, dynamic and eco-friendly approach to winemaking, exporting its product to 16 countries around the world. When discussing her favourite Great British Brands, Emma says she dreams of owning a Mini Cooper – but this is no Italian Job, this is the story of a true British brand putting a quintessentially English product to the market. Emma has been with the company from the beginning, joining founder and owner Simon Robinson in fulfilling his lifelong dream of winemaking back in 2008. As head winemaker, she oversees the development of Hattingley Valleys vineyards and growing team, as it looks to continue to put English sparkling wine on the international map.

Emma Rice’s passion for wine started, aged 19, with a taste of Krug 1979 from a double magnum, whilst working part-time at The White Horse Inn, Chilgrove. From there, her career has taken her from Oddbins to Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book, to Napa Valley – completing her degree in viticulture and oenology at Plumpton College along the way. After travelling to California and later Tasmania, Australia, Emma returned to the UK to set-up Custom Crush UK Ltd – a wine analysis laboratory and consultancy - through which she met owner and chairman of Hattingley Valley Wines, Simon Robinson, just as he had planted his vines. Today, Emma’s role as Head Winemaker at Hattingley Valley is varied – she oversees the development of the vineyards, including producing Hattingley’s signature wines, manages the growing winemaking team and, as a director of Hattingley Valley, is involved in running the business at board level.