Yuletide merriment, fairy lights and festive fizz…

Hampshire is offering wine lovers a chance to launch seasonal celebrations with extra fizz, as one of the most popular fixtures in the festive calendar returns in time for Christmas.

Showcasing the county’s finest still and sparkling wines, the Vineyards of Hampshire’s annual Fairy Lights & Fizz event is back at the Guildhall Winchester on Friday 9 December.

While the UK’s wine industry may be a newcomer compared to those of France, Spain and Italy, English sparkling wine has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and Hampshire can lay claim to some of the best.

Helped by the warm climate and a similar chalky terrain to the Champagne region, the county is home to a host of vineyards, many of which provide tours and tastings during the year.

But each year there are two events that offer the opportunity to sample and enjoy the widest range of Hampshire’s finest sparkling and still wines all in one place – a summer Fizz Fest and winter’s Fairy Lights & Fizz.

Bapsy Hall, at the Guildhall, will look suitably seasonal with festive decorations and fairy lights shining throughout the elegant Victorian building, for the annual event, which is all about finding new wines, choosing a preferred Hampshire fizz and mingling with winemakers.

There will also be a Fizz Bar stocked with still and sparkling wines; and the Fizz Shop will be open to take orders for delivery.

Priced at £25 per person including expert tastings of more than 20 wines, the popular event is hosted by The Vineyards of Hampshire producers from Black Chalk, Cottonworth, Danebury Vineyards, Exton Park, The Grange, Hambledon, Hattingley and Raimes.

This year will also be the first time that newest members, Quob Park and Louis Pommery England, join in with the yuletide merriment.

Festive & Fizz Early Bird general admission tickets are priced £25 each (plus booking fee), or £30 on the door. Guests will be given a returnable tasting glass on arrival, a tasting note booklet and tasting samples of all the wines on show.

For more information about the Vineyards of Hampshire, and to book tickets for the event, visit www.vineyardsofhampshire.co.uk

Visit Hampshire has a special section on its website featuring vineyard attractions and tours: https://bit.ly/3p8ZXCN

For general tourist information about Hampshire, see www.visit-hampshire.co.uk