Why is our wine called Ambriel? There’s a bit of a story.
AVOIDING CONFUSION – NOT FRENCH
When we planted the vineyard in 2008, there weren’t so many vineyards in England. It may seem ridiculous now, but we were genuinely concerned that people might mistake the wine for French. The bottle is the same shape as for Champagne. We use the same grapes and the same Traditional Method. So how to highlight that it was from England?
POPE GREGORY THE PUNSTER
There’s an old story we remembered. In about 590 Pope Gregory saw some boys in a Roman slave market. He asked who they were and was told they were Angles from Angle-land (more familiar to us as England). He exclaimed ‘non angli sed angeli’ (not Angles, but Angels) and sent St Augustine to convert the England to Christianity.
The angelic connection with Englishness was a lightbulb moment. You can spot the same thing in other languages: ‘Angli’ becomes ‘Anglais’ in French, and in dutch the word for ‘Angel’ and ‘English’ is the same: ‘Engel’. In fact, pre-reformation England was known as Angel-land (although post-reformation, ‘Devil-land’).
We were also charmed by ‘Non Angli sed Angeli’ being the first recorded pun in history. We love puns. We loved it so much we include it on each of our bottles. Check out the foil.
AN AMBROSIAL INSPIRATION
Having decided on the English/Angel connection, we needed a name. Obviously we wanted something angelic. So we took ‘Ambrosia’ (the delicious food of the gods) and ‘Gabriel’ (one of the most famous angels) and with a little bit of concision – boom! – ‘Ambriel’.
We thought we had made it up. Which just goes to show, you should always run your name through a search engine. It turns out we were reinventing the wheel – ‘Ambriel’ already existed as a name. Luckily, Google says it is the name of – you guessed it – an angel. Although it isn’t common, we’ve been contacted by a couple of people in the USA called Ambriel.
THE SUFFRAGETTE CONNECTION
While we’re divulging secrets, there’s also a little message in the bottle livery. The suffragettes used to identify each other secretly by wearing purple, green and white/silver. You can still find suffragette jewellery if you try. These are the colours of our bottle livery – just a little nod to Wendy’s human rights background.
We think Ambriel tastes divine (Sorry – I told you we liked puns) but now you know – why ‘Ambriel’? I think we were right to be worried about Frenchification though. Even now, some people pronounce ‘Ambriel’ with a French accent, but if you remember ‘Ambrosia’ and ‘Gabriel’ you can’t go wrong.