A champagne occasion: Burgon & Ball Groundbreaker spades used for historic planting

Garden tools and accessories manufacturer Burgon & Ball has helped world-famous Champagne house Taittinger make history by providing the spades to break first ground at a new vineyard in Kent – the first planting in the UK by a Grande Marque Champagne house.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place in early May 2017, with a view to producing premium English sparkling wines from the Domaine Evremond site near Chilham in Kent. To ensure the planting went smoothly, Burgon & Ball supplied spades, specially engraved to mark the occasion, and commemorative trowels were also engraved.

Champagne Taittinger approached Burgon & Ball after a recommendation from the Royal Horticultural Society. The aptly-named Groundbreaker spade was selected for the ceremony.

The historic first UK vines were planted by Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, president of Champagne Taittinger, accompanied by his wife and daughter, and representatives from Taittinger’s UK agency and partner Hatch Mansfield. In addition, over 200 guests planted their own vines with their individually numbered souvenir trowels.

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger said: “Our aim is to make something of real excellence in the UK, and not to compare it with Champagne or any other sparkling wine. We are very excited that this dream is now becoming a reality.”

Burgon & Ball managing director Heather Culpan added: “It’s wonderful that Champagne Taittinger and its partners are embarking upon this project to create new premium English sparkling wines, with an outstanding French heritage. We are thrilled that our beautiful Groundbreaker spades have been able to play a small part in the day.”