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Elderflower Sparkling Wine Workshop

Cowdray Hall

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Raise a glass to spring! This workshop is full of flavour and inspiration for you to make yourself this summer.

On this workshop George our Estate Forager will take you on a short walk around Cowdray Hall’s surrounding countryside. We will look closely at the elder tree and other common hedgerow plants and shrubs, learning how to identify each as well as discussing their uses historically in brewing.

George will then take you into Cowdray Hall kitchen to guide you through the process of making and safely bottling Elderflower  sparkling wine. To complete the day you will also have a tasting where you will sample this wonderful beverage along with a range of other fantastic foraged canapés, hopefully inspiring you to make your next party a little more wild.

Course contents

Foraging walk: 1.5 hour

15 – 20 minute tea break: Tasting tea break with elderflower fritters and biscuits

Talk 20 – 30 minutes:

  • Intro
  • History of Hedgerow brews
  • Types of Brews: wine, mead, beer, whisky
  • Natural brewing process
  • Benefits of fermentation and brewing for health

A short talk about the benefits of the slow food movement, wild ferments and how both can benefit us. We will also touch upon the wide range of potential for using fermentation and preserves in our day to day lives. We will also cover the history of traditional wild brewing, different recipes, types of brews and other ingredients used in the recipes.

This workshop is aimed at giving you an overview of the world of hedgerow brews using
elderflower  sparkling wine process to guide you through each stage. We hope this will inspire you with the confidence to go out into your hedgerows, identifying the best of your local British season and making your very own amazing brew to impress at any occasion or just to enjoy in the summer sun.

The Sparkling Wine Process demo: 1.5 hour

Wild canapés and elderflower sparkling wine tasting: 30 mins

George will vary walk locations around the Estate to give you the best walk which encapsulates the season. Please see the reminder email sent out before the event to get the exact start location for your walk. Please wear footwear that is suitable for undulating terrain. Click here to find out more about Foraging at Cowdray.

Meet George, Cowdray’s Forager:

George has been foraging and using wild foods for some years, supplying the freshest foraged wild edibles to some of the country’s top restaurants, chefs and food establishments.

After years of being immersed in the ‘wild’ himself, George now focuses on encouraging others to appreciate the significance of our native countryside, and how we can enjoy and protect it for future generations.

Over his years of foraging George has accrued an in-depth knowledge of our countryside, its diverse habitats and the variety of plants and fungi each contains. He has covered the length and breadth of the country from the Scottish Highlands to the moors and coasts of Cornwall, in search of new native edibles as well as sustainable sources to pick them. Working closely with chefs consulting on what, when and how to use each ingredient to best showcase them has led George to be featured on programmes like BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, following the journey from the forests and fields to fork. George now hopes to inspire you on your own adventure of discovery.


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