If you were tasked with writing a text-book example of how a vineyard’s growing season should develop in Britain, then we think it’s fair to say that 2018 is the script you would present.
As the sun-filled months progressed and the period of harvesting drew ever closer, we were simultaneously keeping fingers crossed that there would be no sting in the tail and pinching ourselves to ensure we were not dreaming! Early flowering, great fruit set and the long period of ripening that followed ended by bringing in the best possible fruit.
One huge advantage this year has been the ability to harvest selectively, working closely with our winemaker to pick what we needed at just the right time. Initially we picked a proportion of the Meunier and Pinot Noir grapes when they were at the optimum balance for our Sparkling wine, leaving the remainder to ripen further for the Rosé. Our Chardonnay, traditionally needing longer on the vine and left till last, produced grapes with exceptionally high sugar content against almost perfect acidity.
Because of a vine’s particular physiology, next year’s incipient flowers are produced early in the current season’s growth, so we are looking forward with great excitement to 2019’s potential as well.
In the meantime, our winemaker Matthieu will work his magic and give us 2018’s sunshine in a much anticipated bottle!