Tag Archive for: English Wine Producers

I could literally chew all of my nails to the quick, such is my anticipation of this year’s English wine harvest to arrive.

It’s pleasing to know that the UK in its entirety has had a summer of unprecedented good weather.  Even my web-footed friends from the rainy plains of Enniskillen, NI were pinching themselves as the mercury continued to rise to record levels.  Now that’s saying something!

For those of us living in the southern counties, the temperatures have, at times, been exhausting.  At Hannibal Brown HQ, our wines are kept cool and out of harm’s way.  Us humans, on the other hand, had the tricky choice of office air-con installation or simply lifting the foot off the red hot pedal a little – we chose the latter and allowed ourselves the pleasure of enjoying summer 2018.  (And in any case, the air-con systems were all sold out!)

England’s vineyards

Vines, like us humans, love extended periods of sunshine and warmth.  Grapes being grown for English sparkling wines in particular are thriving this year.  Compared to the Champagne region of France, England normally produces about a third of the wine grape crop – this year, there are suggestions that we could be on course for matching the Champagne level.  Ripening has been even and consistent since bud burst and if things remain as they are forecast (more sun, more heat), 2018 could yet prove to be the best wine harvest on record.

Of course, you never know with the British weather… a quick dose of hail in August or an angry tornado ripping through the Surrey Hills could put paid to everything.  So if ever there was a moment to call upon the good will of ‘Him upstairs’, now is the time.  Come on everyone, let’s drop to our knees and give ol’ Blighty a vintage to remember!



View from Exton Park Winery

As Euro zone wines gently increase as the pound falls to its 31 year low, let’s turn our heads towards our own home grown tipples…

2016 will surely go down as one of the most exceptional vintages in the history of English winemaking.

With the majority of vineyards in the south eastern parts of the country (think Hampshire, Surrey, Kent), the weather has been unbelievably kind with super temperatures that never really dipped at night (I do recall a rather memorable late evening in mid-July – 3.00 a.m and our guests were still comfortably seated outside – unbelievable!)

Many vineyards are now well into their picking but I read this morning that others are not kicking off this year’s harvest until October 8th.  Indeed the highly successful bubbly specialists of Exton Park have announced picking starts  Tuesday 11th.

The dry summer has continued throughout September (the highest temperature being recorded in September) and October shows no abate.  High daytime temperatures and warm nights make for ideal ripening conditions and hence we can confidently expect not just increased yields, but some super quality wines this vintage.

Sparkling production is also in a great position – up to double the volume in some vineyards compared to last year.

So before the sun says its final farewell this autumn, we should all be raising a glass of English wine and celebrating in style.  Afterall, knowing our unpredictable weather, it could be decades before we see these conditions again.

Check out our English wines here>