What a year for English winemakers!
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.
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