In 2006 Christian Seely, the English Managing Director of of Axa Millésimes (owners of  Château Pichon-Longueville, Chateau Suduiraut and Quinta do Noval, among others) had the first inklings of an idea.

At around the same time in the City of London – two years before the global banking crisis – an old friend of Seely’s, Nicholas Coates, resigned from a successful career in finance and returned to his home at the foot of the North Hampshire Downs in England, determined to discover a new way of life in tune with the countryside around him.

A year later, in October 2007, the two friends – who had first met at business school in Fontainebleau over twenty years previously – sat on the vine-covered terrace of Seely’s Bordeaux home and proceeded to turn that initial idea into a hard plan: to create, in partnership together, a great English sparkling wine made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes grown on the Southern chalk downlands of England.

They would call their sparkling wine ‘Coates & Seely’.

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