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Rachel’s Award Winning Garden!

Well, not quite, but in my eyes my garden has improved dramatically in the last month! With the re-development of my small courtyard garden and the ever-increasing number of signs advertising Open Gardens around Stow on the Wold I thought what better time than to suggest some wines perfect for those summer afternoons spent in the garden with family, friends or the garden-loving general public.

My garden has been turned from overgrown, small, narrow, slightly grubby terraced courtyard to a Mediterranean decked delight! With the old outhouse taken down and replaced, a two-tiered deck, a mini greenhouse and lots of giant plant pots put in, then really it has seen a transformation! With tomatoes, courgettes and basil plants all flourishing I thought an Italian theme would be best and quite conveniently my favourite sparkling wine happens to be Italian…..

So, for my perfect garden party I would choose the following:

Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene Extra Dry NV Italy  Prosecco di Conegliano

From a small town called Conegliano, just outside of Treviso, Venice, this delicate and aromatic sparkling wine is a perfect refreshment on a hot sunny day. It is pale in colour and bursting with aromas and flavours of apples, pineapples, lemons, limes and honeysuckle. It’s very delicate, so perfect as an aperitif or with light canapés.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano

I discovered this wine whilst on a three week study holiday in San Gimignano, and what better way to learn the local language than to frequent the local Vinoteca! I had plenty of time to enjoy the delicate Vernccia’s, with hints of lemon and lime and blossom, but with an unusual but enticing almond hint in the background. Again it is a refreshing wine, but with a bit more body which can stand up to poultry dishes, salads and fish dishes.

I Satiri, Salice Salentino Riserva 2006 Candido  I Satiri Salice Salentino Riserva DOC

Made from the Negroamaro grape native to Puglia in southern Italy, this wine is a rich wine with hints of plum, fig and prunes and an underlying smoky and earthiness. The 5 years ageing in bottle that this wine has seen makes it really approachable even though it is quite full-bodied. Absolutely perfect with bbq’d meat, tomato pasta dishes and roasts.

Hear more from the team in Stow on the Wold (and tales from Rachel’s Garden) on twitter @majesticstw or on their store web page www.majestic.co.uk/stowonthewold