Sparkling at the Aintree Grand National

Jockies on horses in a race

First published 3rd April 2018

April sees The Grand National take place at Aintree, the world famous horse race that has a number of links to the world of wine!

One great example is the 1963 Grand National which was the 117th running of the race, and was won narrowly by 66/1 shot Ayala, ridden by 19-year-old jockey Pat Buckley. Forty-seven horses ran and all returned safely to the stables. Ayala was jointly owned by his trainer, Keith Piggott, father of Lester Piggott, and by Pierre Raymond, the hairdresser.

Ayala is of course a name that is synonymous with champagne too with Champagne AYALA being one of the longest-established champagne Houses.  It has been based in Aÿ, at the heart of the great champagne vineyards since it was founded over 150 years ago. One of the original twenty-six Grandes Marques Champagne Houses, Champagne Ayala was acquired by the Bollinger family in 2005 and remains the archetype of a great Champagne House.

The core range of cuvées epitomises the dry and elegant House style.  Ayala were pioneers in introducing a drier style of wine during the second half of the 19th century and today Cellar master Caroline Latrive carefully ensures the House style is maintained, crafting wines renowned for their precision, delicacy and quality - top quality wines which are enjoyed throughout the world for their freshness and elegance.

Fingers crossed for the safe return of all the horses in the 2018 Grand National.  It's estimated that more than 10 million people in the UK will watch the Randox Health sponsored Grand National this year and with millions more people around the world following it to see which horse triumphs in the Aintree Spectacular on Saturday 14th April, there will hopefully be something for us all to celebrate too!

Ayala is one of our best selling Champagnes and is terrific value for money. It is perfect to celebrate (or commiserate) depending on what horse you backed!