Vineyard January 2022

Page 1

VINEYARD for viticulturists in Great Britain ™



New editor

Preparing for frost

Winter pruning tips

A Cotswold vineyard

Spectacular success The first ever Vineyard & Winery show proved to be an outstanding success – with a vibrant buzz


• Vineyard sales & acquisition • Planning applications • Business plans • Environmental schemes • Grants •

Matthew Berryman 07710 765323



0333 577 6466 0333 577 6466 Chester, Cheshire (HQ) Chester, Cheshire (HQ) Amathus Drinks London | Muswell Hill | South Kensington | SOHO

Amathus Drinks Drinks London | Muswell Hill | South Kensington Amathus Kensington || SOHO SOHO

VINEYARD for viticulturists in Great Britain


Piwis to be approved for PDO wines in the EU


Book to inspire VINEYARD Kelsey Media, The Granary, Downs Court Yalding Hill, Yalding, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 6AL 01959 541444 EDITORIAL Editor: Jo Cowderoy GRAPHIC DESIGN Jo Legg Flair Creative Design ADVERTISEMENT SALES Jamie McGrorty 01303 233883 PHOTOGRAPHER Martin Apps MANAGEMENT CHIEF EXECUTIVE: Steve Wright CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Phil Weeden MANAGING DIRECTOR: Kevin McCormick PUBLISHER: Jamie McGrorty RETAIL DIRECTOR: Steve Brown RENEWALS AND PROJECTS MANAGER: Andy Cotton SENIOR SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING MANAGER: Nick McIntosh SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING DIRECTOR: Gill Lambert SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING MANAGER: Kate Chamberlain SENIOR PRINT PRINT PRODUCTION MANAGER: Georgina Harris PRINT PRODUCTION CONTROLLER: Kelly Orriss DISTRIBUTION Distribution in Great Britain: Marketforce (UK) 3rd Floor, 161 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9AP Tel: 0330 390 6555 PRINTING Precision Colour Print Kelsey Media 2022 © all rights reserved. Kelsey Media is a trading name of Kelsey Publishing Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden except with permission in writing from the publishers. Note to contributors: articles submitted for consideration by the editor must be the original work of the author and not previously published. Where photographs are included, which are not the property of the contributor, permission to reproduce them must have been obtained from the owner of the copyright. The editor cannot guarantee a personal response to all letters and emails received. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Publisher. Kelsey Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties. Kelsey Media takes your personal data very seriously. For more information of our privacy policy, please visit Kelsey Media takes your personal data very seriously. For more information of our privacy policy, please visit . If at any point you have any queries regarding Kelsey’s data policy you can email our Data Protection Officer at

10 Christian Davies appointed as editor of Vineyard

12 Wines of Great Britain

Winemaking Conference

REGULARS 16 In conversation...

With 30 years in the global drinks industry, Andrew Carter, was appointed as CEO of UK brand leader Chapel Down Wines. He now has impressive plans for Chapel Downs future.

18 Matthew Jukes

Is 2022 the year in which the collective UK wine scene capitalises on its ambitious plans?

37 The vine post

The rise of the compact vineyard.

45 The agronomy diary

Five priorities to see in the New Year.

50 Glass manufacturing process 53 Meet the people behind the wines

54 Representing you

Diversity & Inclusion Conference

57 Machinery

Mechanical weeding just as effective as herbicide.

Front cover image: Vineyard & Winery show © Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

globe-asia twitter @VineyardMagGB facebook VineyardMagGB

CONTENTS Features Tranquillity of the Cotswolds


Vineyard discovers a site steeped in history where the ethos is single estate, hand crafted wines which reflect a sense of time and place.

Spectacular success


The first ever Vineyard & Winery show proved to be an outstanding success – with a vibrant buzz reflecting a fast growing and buoyant wine sector.

Actively fighting frost


With such valuable crops, and to avoid sleepless nights, Vineyard speaks to some of the companies offering frost protection measures.

Pruning for optimum yield


Winter pruning is one of the most technical, expensive, and important tasks in the vineyard year. Vineyard finds out how pruning methods can help avoid potential yield losses.

Jo C

specialists Hutchinsons offers specialist Viticultural agronomy advice, guidance on nutrition, precision soil mapping and soil health. We supply all production inputs and a range of sundry equipment for vine management, together with a comprehensive range of packaging materials. Our professionalism is coupled with our commitment to customer service. With a highly experienced Horticultural agronomist team and dedicated Produce Packaging division covering the whole country, we have all the advice you want and all the inputs you need, just a phone call away.

It’s our people that make the difference. TURRIFF



Wisbech: (01945) 461177













Ledbury: (01531) 631131

H L Hutchinson Limited Weasenham Lane • Wisbech Cambridgeshire PE13 2RN

Tel: 01945 461177 f: 01945 474837 e: @Hutchinsons_Ag HLHutchinsons


From the editor

À bientôt

The Vineyard


eroy d ow

No, I’m not moving back to France! But I am sadly, after 15 editions, leaving my role as Editor of Vineyard. However, I will remain in the industry, continue to contribute to Vineyard – and can announce my new position in January. I’m excited to see the development and direction of Vineyard, with new Editor, Christian Davies at the helm. Christian has a wealth of experience in drinks industry publishing and I’m sure he will add an interesting and essential trade dimension to the content. Welcome Christian! I have been reflecting on my highlights over the last year or so – and there are so many – as I have enjoyed my time editing Vineyard enormously, and the opportunity to reignite my early career as an agricultural journalist. I was first involved with English wine in the mid 1980s, so my visits to a couple of the early pioneers of our industry, Breaky Bottom and Carr-Taylor, were particularly special – and a chance to share some wonderful stories! If we had a crystal ball back then we would have been in wonderment of the changes in UK wine production. Another highlight was my visit to Danbury Ridge – it was a revelation – and installed me with such confidence for the future of the industry. I was in awe of the quality and potential that can be achieved with the right skills, talent, and professionalism. I have had the luxury of researching and writing many articles across all topics, but the Piwi varieties were the showstoppers for me with their key role in the sustainability of wine production here, especially as the climate changes. At least we have our own viticulture climatologist as well as an expert team at Plumpton College – as knowledge, education, training and research is surely the key to the industry flourishing in the future. I would like to thank all the wonderful members of our industry who have contributed their expertise and knowledge to articles and columns, also the brilliant team that creates Vineyard – and Martin the photographer responsible for so many brilliant front covers. And not forgetting Matthew Jukes, whose marvellous column entices me to buy far too many wonderful wines each month! I have been privileged to interview industry leaders and gain valuable insight into their thoughts of the challenges that face the sector – keeping ahead of the curve with marketing strategies, education, research, and industry governance seem to be key to ensuring our region is placed firmly on the world wine map. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Vineyard & Winery show 2022!


Marden: (01622) 831423

6 20235HUT~Update_existing_Vineyard_Specialist_Advert(93x270).indd 1

09/10/2020 10:24

Send your thoughts and comments

by email to





Book to inspire

UK wine winner in Harpers Design Awards 2021 Tillingham Winery, a natural and biodynamic wine producer in East Sussex, is amongst the international winners in Harpers Design Awards 2021. Scooping the award for Best Established Product, is the label for the wine Endgrain 2020 – an engaging and impactful label, from design agency Kellenberger-White. The design is to reflect on the wood in the winemaking process, with the composition based on woodgrain carved into a woodblock.

Kieron Atkinson, award winning winemaker and owner of the English Wine Project, based at the historic Renishaw Hall vineyard, has written a book to inspire and guide others in how to grow and make wine - whether it’s from a vine in a greenhouse or from a fully-fledged vineyard. Wine Making: A Guide to Growing, Nurturing and Producing is published by The Crowood Press and offers a personal yet practical guide for the grape to bottle journey for producers of any size. The book covers all aspects of wine production; guiding the reader through the processes, the challenges, the fun and the satisfaction. It features everything from vineyard site selection, choosing, planting and caring for vines, through harvest – and tasting. In wine expert and TV personality Oz Clarke’s foreword to the book, he comments: “This book shows you how to care for your vines and perfect your winemaking skills, but above all it will give you the confidence to grab the reins and ‘go for it’. With Kieron as your guide, you will be in for a fantastic ride.” Kieron started a career in wine making and vineyard management in 2011, after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as an officer in the British Army. Kieron commented: “I am so happy to

have been able to write and have published a book which I know will support people on the journey I have gone through, to produce really good wine. Looking after vines and making wines requires a lot of determination and passion for what you want to achieve, but it’s also such a satisfying career – or pastime – and one I would recommend to anyone with a love of creating their own product and working with nature. This book will be a companion to anyone who wants to make excellent wines – whether to simply enjoy with friends, or to sell as a commercial product on a much larger scale.” The book will be available for pre-order from 11 December 2021, from Amazon or direct from the publishers, Crowood Press.

Piwis to be approved for PDO wines in the EU


According to a recent report in Decanter, following a recent modification of EU rules, member states are now allowed to employ resistant varieties in the production of PDO wines. Previously, only Vitis vinifera vines could be used for PDO wines produced within the EU, while vines that presented any genetic trace of non-vinifera species, such as the fungal-resistant Piwi varieties, were excluded. According to the updated regulations however, member states can now use vine varieties belonging to vitis vinifera as well as hybrids containing both Vitis vinifera and non-vinifera genetic material from vine species of American and Asian origin. The EU’s decision came as a response to the challenges posed by climate change and to help the European winegrowing industry become more sustainable. Many of these Piwi hybrid varieties benefit from a greater resistance to downy and powdery mildew, meaning that the vineyards require fewer treatments.

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

Photo: Joel Jorgensen

Brand new eco-posts


Zero waste, positive impact • Made from repurposed excess plastic & aluminium cutoffs • Guaranteed for 10 years • 100% recyclable posts • Smallest carbon footprint on the market

Built to perform • Resistant to mechanical weeding • Square shape: 2cm x 2cm • Custom heights: from 0.6m to 1.2m tall We provide a special attachment to link posts to trellis wires: Tutofix.


Contact us:



Christian Davies appointed as editor of Vineyard

The New Year will bring a new editor to Vineyard, as from January 2022 the magazine will be in the very capable hands of experienced drinks industry writer Christian Davies. A career in drinks industry publications I started off on local newspapers – The South London Press and then, after a stint living in Denmark, the Wandsworth Borough News. I came into the drinks industry on The Morning Advertiser which, at that time, was a national daily newspaper for the pub trade – a step up from weekly locals. So, I witnessed pubs starting to provide food – ‘pub grub’ and then supermarkets starting to sell wine with all the implications that had for the off licensed sector. From there I had stints in the catering/foodservice sector and retail – William Reed’s Convenience Store. More recently, I worked on Harpers, the Wine & Spirit Weekly – deputy editor to Tim Atkin MW and then as editor. Finally, I took over Drinks International, the magazine for global drinks buyers. Historically, more spirits orientated, but being a wine lover, I beefed up the wine coverage, redressing the balance. Also, I improved coverage of beer and started reporting on soft drinks as the increasing popularity of gin and therefore tonic waters (Fever Tree et al) became significant.

Career highlights so far?

Working on Harpers… I am a wine drinker and enjoy covering the people who make wine. Thanks to Harpers, I managed to travel to virtually all the major wine-producing countries and regions around the world. My particular favourites are: South Africa and Australia and I think Chile makes fantastic value-for-money wines. The then owners were also enlightened enough to encourage career development. So, I was able to gain Wine & Spirits Education Trust qualifications, culminating in passing the WSET Diploma.

What are you looking forward to in your role as editor of Vineyard?


This is an opportunity for me to return to the sector I particularly enjoy. Unlike the spirits sector which is more corporate, people who make wine are far more open about what they do and how they do it. I am looking forward to learning about the production side and getting out and about

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

meeting the sector’s characters and personalities and finding out what makes them tick. The challenge for me is to deepen my knowledge of the more ‘agricultural’ side of wine production. It means I will not be sleep walking into this role. I have to learn about and be more hands on about tractors, harvesting equipment, presses, filtration units et al. At the recent Vineyard & Winery Show, seeing all that stainless steel, made me recall my time on Catering magazine when I used to visit a lot of factories making refrigeration units, regeneration ovens, hobs – you name it when it comes to producing food! Most people just think about chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Marcus Wareing. But there is so much more to producing food and the people who toil in professional, industrial, kitchens working with modest budgets.

Viticulture and winemaking experience

I have been around countless vineyards and wineries. I helped a friend plant a vineyard up on the North Downs just south of Faversham. I have more than half a dozen vines in my garden. Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot but also Pinotage and Back 22A. So, I have done planting, pruning and canopy management, albeit on a tiny scale – but I have never actually made wine.

Developing the magazine With my more global background, contacts and knowledge of the marketing, merchandising side, I would like to broaden the coverage to include developments, initiatives which might, arguably should, be of interest to English and Welsh wine makers and producers.

Opportunities for the industry

I think the opportunities are huge! I like to think I noted the start of improved, knowledge, professionalism and the start of commercialisation of English wines. A favourite story, is coming back from a tasting of English wines at the House of Lords and raving about the quality of the wines I tasted. Tim Atkin laughed and jokingly made me Harpers’ ‘English wine correspondent’. I did not have a problem with that. Far from it. With English consumers drinking

more and more wine, I could see the opportunity for English/Welsh wines.

Industry challenges

I think that climate change is one alongside the implications of Brexit going forward – such as the difficulties with importing/exporting; attracting people to work in the vineyards. Also, all of the ‘green issues’ – recycling, packaging (light weighting, use of plastics etc), tax, duty, the list goes on…

Favourite wine

At the Vineyard & Winery Show, I attended Matthew Jukes’ tasting. My overall favourite was a magnum of Nyetimber. It was awesome and, I think, good value at £85. I have always liked the Nyetimber sparklers. I also like Gusbourne wines. Simpson’s in Barham, near Canterbury, do an excellent Chardonnay. I thought their Roman Road Chardonnay was as good as a top Chablis. I recently bought a Biddenden Gamay from my local farm shop. I’m not a great fan of Beaujolais and the Gamay grape, but curiosity got the better of me – and I thought the Biddenden Gamay was very good.

Any spare time?

I love cycling and skiing. I used to play football, squash and badminton. Sadly, I can no longer do the former but I try and keep my hand in with my rackets. My Cocker Spaniel, Maisie, dominates my daily routine. A rescue dog, found wandering around Alicante in Spain, she sets my daily agenda in terms of walks and feeding. Undemonstrative, she nevertheless lets me know when it is time to get off my backside and feed or walk her. She will be accompanying me on visits… I like reading particularly, history, autobiographies and a bit of crime thrillers.

Anything else?

I am half Danish. My mother was a war bride, swept up by my father in his RAF uniform. I lived and worked in Copenhagen for about two years so I can understand and rustily speak Danish. With vineyards now springing up in Denmark maybe my Danish might come in useful in terms of covering cool climate viticulture!

“We are delighted to welcome Christian as Editor of Vineyard," comments Jamie McGrorty, Publisher. "With his wealth of experience in the drinks industry he is a perfect fit that can only benefit the industry as a whole. UK Vineyard and winery owners alike have a real gem at the helm. The whole team at Vineyard Magazine would like to thank Jo Cowderoy for all her hard work as Editor. "In the time she has been Editor she has taken Vineyard up a notch or two with her technical knowledge and readers have regularly commented that they have enjoyed her advice led articles. "We are really pleased that Jo will be staying on as a contributor, ensuring that the industry can still benefit from Jo’s knowledge of viticulture and winemaking advice."


Winemaking conference Technical topics and tastings. The second Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) Winemaking Conference took place on 29 November 2021 at Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey, and was organised by the WineGB winemaking working group. The one-day conference was well attended by winemakers, winemaking students, and WineGB members with an interest in wine production, for a full day of technical presentations and wine tastings from a range of expert speakers with experience from across the industry. There was also time to visit the WineGB patrons who were exhibiting and supporting the conference, and network industry peers and friends. With the welcoming speech from Simon Thorpe MW, the key topics tackled included protein and tartrate stability, producing wine

> Simon Thorpe MW, WineGB CEO presented a tasting with a comparison of UK blanc de blancs and still white wines from the UK


in a changing climate, sustainability auditing in the sector, and FTIR analysis and wet chemistry. Being a winemaking conference, tutored tastings took place including a range of Piwi wines, a comparison of UK blanc de blancs and still white wines from the UK, as well as the new and innovative canned wines.

Protein and tartrate stability

Sarah Midgley, from Plumpton College, focussed on recognising protein and tartrate instabilities and providing solutions to prevent these occurring. For tartrates this included the pros and cons of chilling, the contact process, electrodialysis and ion exchange. Sarah finished with a process and timeline to stabilise bulk wine.

> Jennifer Lincoln

Jennifer Lincoln from Enartis, a company providing oenological products and technical support, focussed on calcium tartrate instability, which she explained is a marginal problem, but a growing issue in many wine regions. She explained that this is likely linked to increasing calcium content in grapes, and soils. The calcium tartrates can be responsible for ‘gushing’ in sparkling wines, and cold stabilising has little effect, she explained and discussed the Enartis predictive test, before speaking about Zenith, a product for potassium tartrate stabilisation. Geoff Taylor, former wine chemist and industry consultant, concluded the session emphasising the importance of understanding the concept of stability and the many influences that can cause << changes to a wine’s complex chemistry,

> Duncan McNeill


Kenward Construction based in Horsham, West Sussex offer a full design and build service for your next steel framed building including composite cladding, concrete panels, roller shutter doors and bespoke designs to meet individual planning conditions. Kenward Construction also offer a wide range of services offering a truly one stop shop for your next building project. Demolition, plant hire, access roads, drainage, sewage treatment plants, rainwater harvesting, paving, concrete floors/ slabs, walling and site landscaping.

To discuss your project in more detail email or call 01403 210218

01233 714919


NEW VINEYARD NEW VINEYARD ESTABLISHMENT IN EAST ANGLIA & SOUTH EAST ENGLAND ESTABLISHMENT • SITE SELECTION & SITE ASSESSMENT: Correct choice of site is vital in the • SITE SELECTION & SITE ASSESSMENT: Correct choice of site is vital UK’s northerly winegrowing climate. in the UK’s northerly winegrowing climate. • VINEYARD DESIGN: Design of your trellis system and density of plantation • VINEYARD DESIGN: Design of your trellis system and density of plantation is offered as a standard part of our service. is offered as a standard part of our service. • PRE-PLANTATION ADVICE: All advice and organisation of soil & site • PRE-PLANTATION ADVICE: All advice and organisation of soil & site preparation works. • GRAPEVINE SUPPLY: All vines sourced through one partner nursery, preparation works. Proven vine establishment over many years. • GRAPEVINE SUPPLY: All vines sourced through one partner nursery, •proven VARIETIES, CLONES, ROOTSTOCKS: All combinations created to suit vine establishment over many years. your vineyard site and target wine styles. • VARIETIES, CLONES, ROOTSTOCKS: All combinations created to suit• PLANTING: your Planted by GPS guided machine, accurate to within 8mm. • TRELLIS MATERIALS: We supply everything, sourced direct from the vineyard site and target wine styles. factory to ensure lowest possible prices! • PLANTING: Planted by GPS guided machine, accurate to within 8mm. • TRELLIS MATERIALS: We supply everything, sourced direct from the factory to ensure lowest possible prices! YOUR VINEYARD WILL BE IN THE GROUND FOR 40 YEARS. GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME, WITH DUNCAN MCNEILL AND VOLKER SCHEU OF VINES DIRECT LTD. WE HAVE 50 YEARS COMBINED EXPERIENCE IN VINEYARD MANAGEMENT.




07972 668370



13 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

<< pre-bottling, post-bottling and during transportation and storage. Understanding this concept is important to understanding that there are no absolutely guaranteed methods to stabilise wine – or to predict its future stability. Geoff explained that the food industry accelerates ageing with food products to gauge shelf life, and he calls for more work, and research, to be done to achieve this with wine.

Winemaking and sustainability

> Steve Dorling

> Geoff Taylor > Alistair Nesbitt


Ian Behling, Associate Director, Sustainability at Ricardo, who focusses on strategy development, was the first to speak. Ricardo is the auditing partner for Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB), which is helping secure environmental sustainability at the heart of UK wine production. Ian announced that SWGB now has 65 vineyard members and 35 wineries. Ian described the role of Ricardo as supporting information sharing with factsheets for producers and providing measuring monitoring and guidance towards certification. The winemaking objectives are to improve winery design to reduce environmental impact, reduce the energy and water footprint per bottle of wine, reduce the environmental impact of wine packaging, reduce, re-use and recycle winery waste and wastewater as well as reduce the carbon footprint per bottle. Ian was also able to reveal that so far, all audits have passed. Next to speak was Duncan McNeill, Viticulturist with McNeill Vineyard Management to explore the new Piwi varieties, the hybrid varieties, crossed with Vitis vinifera, that are more resistant to fungal diseases – especially in our changing climate with an emphasis on sustainability. He explained that vineyard managers are seeing the benefits of theses varieties, with reduced inputs as well as lower costs of production. With a tasting of a Piwi variety, Sauvignac, Duncan was able to demonstrate, and impress winemakers in the audience with the quality of the wine. In his view there are four varieties emerging as suitable for the UK, Pinotin, Caberet Noir, Cabinet Blanc and Sauvignac. Duncan concluded by saying that he wished he had planted more Piwi varieties in his own vineyard, and said that it is now over to the winemakers to make some great Piwi wines.

A Changing UK Climate: Wine Production Risks & Opportunities Dr Alistair Nesbitt, Director of Vinescapes and Professor Steve Dorling, University of East Anglia and Weather Quest, shared their data and research to illustrate what is happening to the climate for wine production and how climate change may affect wine production in the UK. Starting with a chart of Growing Degree Days the speakers were able to demonstrate the pace

of change of 70 years in the regions of Bordeaux and Napa, with the rising growing season temperatures changing the parameters for vines, their ripening, alcohol levels and therefore wine styles and flavour profiles. This, they explained, is leading to adaptation of viticulture practices in order to manage warmer conditions in the vineyard. Using a chart showing climate suitable regions and variety groupings, it could be seen how the rise in average growing season temperature has benefited the UK, making it a cool climate region suitable for varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – and with this a change in wine style. The speakers then presented early results from the ‘Climate Resilience in the UK Wine Sector’ (CREWS-UK) research project showing how climate change will affect the wine production sector in the UK. The interactive IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) map showed that the northern hemisphere is more likely to be affected by climate change and rising temperatures. Using two scenarios from modelling for temperature changes in the UK the speakers were able to indicate that temperatures will rise over the next decades, whichever model is followed. Subsequent slides in the presentation showed that there are likely to be more summers like 2018, with warmer wetter winters and hotter drier summers across the UK in the future. The speakers concluded that there is significant uncertainty in the world wine sector and that climate change is just one cause. That we are the lucky ones, but we must get used to the idea of change, research and plan for it. They emphasised that research will be critical to a resilient and world class wine producing region and that the WineGB R&D strategy needs resourcing in order to deliver a sustainable future.

FTIR analysis vs wet chemistry

The conference continued with presentations on comparison of FTIR (Fourier Transform Intra Red) analysis and wet chemistry. Geoff Taylor, first to speak, explained that for certain wine production and bottling operations it is a brilliant cost and time saving tool, but that there are limitations and that FTIR must be complemented by wet chemistry data. Other speakers were Rachel Rees, Campden BRI, Alison Evans and Henry Powles, from Encirc.

UK canned wine

James Elliot from Greencroft Bottling talked through the benefits of wine in a can; they are perfect for on the go, such as picnics, they are environmentally friendly, as they can be recycled, that the wine is good quality and great value. His presentation showed the technology and equipment required for packaging in a can.

y : ilit ew b N via OD t C as d ye an

Free to look • £10 per listing • No commission •

Looking for wine in tank or in bottle?

CONTRACT WINEMAKING AND LAB SERVICES Lab results within two working days

A wide range of tests available, including pre harvest analysis. Scan the QR code for details and prices Outside Canterbury, CT4 5HL

Safety Revolution’s approach is both direct and personal and has engaged the whole vineyard team, enabling a full and thorough understanding of what is required to work safely.” Fred Langdale, Vineyard Director, Exton Park Vineyard

bespoke health and safety advice for rural businesses | | 0800 028 1965

15 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D



er C EO C hapel Dow n

In conversation...

A nd rew Car


With 30 years in the global drinks industry, Andrew Carter, was appointed as CEO of UK brand leader Chapel Down Wines in September. With extensive experience across wine, beer and spirits, Andrew has held senior leadership roles at some of the world’s best known drinks companies. Most recently Andrew was Managing Director of Chase Distillery Limited for four years and led the transformational growth. He now has impressive plans for Chapel Downs future. es

I tried my first English wine 21 years ago at the millennium whilst waiting to see if the millennium bug materialised. Over the last decade I have become more of a regular consumer of English wine, and when working in Herefordshire with Chase Distillery I came across Three Choirs and Sixteen Ridges.

Drinks industry background

As a commercial business leader with 30 years of brand building experience in the drinks industry, I have worked for Treasury Wine Estates, Bacardi, Lion Nathan and Bulmers. I have worked in France and Australia and travelled the world building international drinks brands. I now have a reputation for delivering transformation growth through building high performance teams – and exciting consumers about premium drinks brands. I actually started my career marketing household products – but hastily left the world of toilet cleaners to market drinks brands, starting with Bulmers in 1995. Drinks brands are about creating memories, they are emotional, and create status and occasion.


Career highlights so far?

I am very lucky to have worked on great brands like Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Bacardi, Bombay Sapphire, San Miguel, but my two biggest highlights would be creating the Chase super premium gin brand which a company on the scale of Diageo was prepared to buy, and, secondly setting up and leading the European division of Treasury Wine Estates post its demerger from Fosters, and step changing the growth of Penfolds as a luxury wine brand icon.

What attracted you to the role at Chapel Down? Chapel Down is England’s leading winemaker and its mission to change the way the world thinks about English wine forever, strongly resonates with me. It's not every day you have the opportunity to help build a new wine region in the world. I am looking forward to the opportunity to create something very special, ‘England’s leading and most celebrated wine company’, and to work with my wine industry counterparts to develop a flourishing English wine region that is a real legacy for future generations.


First introduction to English wine?

What is your vision for Chapel Down?

To be the number one and most celebrated English winemaker. We have the opportunity to double our business size over the next five years and beyond this significantly scale the size of our business through organic and non-organic growth. In 2020 we sold 1.5m bottles of wine and our sales were £13m and we have 780 acres of land. We have the opportunity to double our business size in the short term and as the English wine market grows from its forecast of 3.5m bottles to 40m bottles over the next two decades, we want to be at the forefront of this growth. At the moment Chapel Down’s challenge is to be able to meet demand. We will be planting 150 acres over the next 24 months to take the area under vine up to 930 acres.

“Drinks brands are about creating memories, they are emotional, and create status and occasion.”

Challenges ahead

As the region scales up its production, one of the challenges will be to continue to ensure that we are focussed on producing premium and luxury English wines of the highest quality. As all of the current planted vineyards start to come to full fruition in the coming years there is going to be a lot of grapes – and the industry will need to establish a Champagne region style system by which these grapes can be purchased. Although English wine is still essentially in its infancy, as the industry grows, and as category leader, it will be important to collaborate on all levels – from sharing technical knowledge to solving issues such as labour.

Viticulture or winemaking experience? I’m definitely a business leader and not a winemaker. Whilst I have spent time learning about the process from grape to glass, I can leave the winemaking to the professionals, we have an amazing team of talented winemakers producing world-class sparkling and still wines from fruit grown on the chalky terroir in the south east of England by our viticulture team. That said, I love the agricultural aspect to wine and am passionate about the environment and landscape within which we operate.


« Our expertise for your vineyard » Come & meet us : SIVAL Angers From 11th to 13th of January 2022

Favourite English or Welsh wine? (other than Chapel Down!) There are some amazing English wines out there, I have recently enjoyed both Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs and Rathfinny Classic Cuvée. I’m working my way through the English Pinot Noir’s and my favourite to-date is still Sixteen Ridges.

(+33)7 88 40 29 83

Spare time?

I’m a big fan of National Hunt horse racing and am involved in a couple of partnerships and I am a director of Henrietta Knight Racing club. I love my cricket and still play – but my reactions behind the stumps are slowing a little from my prime days.

 Office 01273 492404 � 

STEEL FRAMED BUILDINGS, RECLADDING, REPAIRS AND GROUNDWORK We specialise in the supply and construction of steel framed buildings. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the wine and fruit production sector to complete your new facility Based in the heart of Sussex, covering the South East. Sussex builders since at least 1605. Forma offer all aspects of steel framed construction and cladding together with groundworks and electrical fit out if required.

� �  @info_forma

100% British designed & built

Over 35 Year’s experience

Site visits Call to arrange a site survey



Mat h e w


es Juk

Is 2022 the year in which the collective UK wine scene capitalises on its ambitious plans? Aſter all, there is a lot of very good wine in the system and more depth of stock and breadth of choice than ever before. DESKTOP ENVELOPE Ambition is fundamental to our drive and determination, and I certainly sense that there is ambition crackling through our business even though many of our famous wine pioneers look remarkably laconic on the surface! A simple definition of ambition is the strong desire to do or achieve something. The absence of ambition in the workplace must surely mean the slow decay and eventual demise of a business, so it follows that ambition is a vital essence that we must harness and direct with skill and accuracy. But all of the ambition in the world cannot make up for lack of resources or acumen, and this is where, in my opinion, we are very well placed as an industry. UK wine businesses are, on the whole, very well informed, fairly wellfinanced, genuinely outward-looking, well-resourced, impressively globally aware from both a wine and food appreciation sense and also a business standpoint, which makes us rather unique. We might have endured a rather tricky vintage last year, but at least, for the main part, it was not a disaster, which might well have been the case a decade ago. We are getting better at this game. The main source of energy and determination in our vineyards and wineries is our ambition, and we should not be shy in expressing this. As a nation, we are on the fast track, and if this rate of change and improvement continues, we cannot fail to attract the world’s attention.


2015 Ridgeview, Blanc de Noirs, Limited Release, East Sussex £50.00 I am certain that everyone who reads this page is familiar with Cavendish, Ridgeview’s lip-smacking NV Pinot-led beauty. However, there needs to be a steady hand on the tiller if you expect your fans to step up some £20 to a vintage Blanc de Noirs and be certain of universal approval. Is this hurdle ambitious or overconfident? There is a fine line dividing these two intentions, and there are plenty of wineries in the UK and thousands overseas who could not guarantee a sure footing when you take this leap of faith. But you will not be surprised to hear that this is another wine that aces expectations and delivers more than you could imagine in terms of succulence and luxury on the palate. Ridgeview has always been packed with ambition, and yet there comes a time when you can trust a winery’s new releases because their back catalogue is simply impeccable. From my point of view, this is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to spend fifty quid while having complete confidence that you and your pals will be in raptures with the results.

2015 Chapel Down, Kit’s Coty Blanc de Blancs, North Downs, Kent £36.95 £40.20 £43.95 £37.95 £37.99

It strikes me that the entire Kit’s Coty range is superb, but what sets this wine apart from the rest is that its balance, harmony and depth of flavour are all spectacular. If you consider the eye-catching packaging and the value for money, which at £40-ish quid looks pretty competitive these days, you have a truly compelling proposition. A couple of years ago, I noted that the 2013 vintage of this wine was lithe and long and, at the time, the 2013 Coeur de Cuvée, at £100, showed genuine ambition. This 2015 Blanc de Blancs is an even more refined wine than the 2013 duo and Chapel Down’s ambition has been realised both from the investment ploughed into this vineyard and also in the sheer quality and finesse exhibited by the Chardonnays, in particular, harvested here. It is also exciting to taste a top-flight Blanc de Blancs that is drinking beautifully at only six years of age. In keeping with last month’s ‘fine wine theme’, balance is born, and there is no finer nor more balanced wine in Chapel Down’s portfolio right now.

NV Exton Park, RB45 Blanc de Blancs, Meon Valley, Hampshire Approx £50.00

Ambition takes many guises, and yet there cannot be many estates in the country who have ripped up their playbook and re-launched a suite of wines under a new, pioneering and captivating banner! In Exton Park’s case, this is the Reserve Blend family of wines. Corinne Seely has nerves of steel, and this arresting character trait is evident in the high tensile backbone found in this extraordinary wine. There are no less than 45 Chardonnay components that make up RB45, as well as a discreet but nevertheless crucial 25% of old oak in the mix, too. The ten-year library of Chardonnay has been assembled by masterblender, and the results are as ambitious as it gets, and the flavour will leave you breathless. Hold onto your glass because the perfume alone will send shockwaves through your body. I cannot wait to watch this wine evolve over the coming decades!

19 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

Jo C


Imagine steep slopes, drystone walls, wooded valleys and fast running streams and you will be picturing the scenic setting of Woodchester Valley Vineyards, in the South Cotswolds Area of Natural Beauty, where their three vineyards - Woodchester, Amberley and Stonehouse are planted. Vineyard discovers a site steeped in history, nurtured by the Shiner family, whose ethos is single estate, hand craſted wines which reflect a sense of time and place. 20

“The Domesday Book of 1086 records vineyards at ‘Stanhus’ – near our Stonehouse vineyard,” explained Fiona Shiner, Vineyard Manager and Co-owner of Woodchester Valley Vineyards. “In the 12th century, the historian William of Malmsbury wrote very flatteringly of the abundant vineyards of Gloucestershire: ‘no other county in England has so many or so good vineyards as this, for either the fertility or sweetness of the grape’.” Fiona added.

A family business

Woodchester Valley Vineyard was planted with its first trial site, of an acre, in 2007 and the first wines were made in 2010. However, a career change from solicitor to ‘vigneron’ was not on Fiona’s radar. “Had anyone told me 20 years ago, as we were returning to the UK after a 17-year stint in Hong Kong with a young family, that I would plant a vineyard from scratch and be running a wine business, I would have laughed out loud,” smiled Fiona. “I have always been interested in wine and with my mother-in-law Mary, often speculated whether the Romans grew grapes on the steep fields

deroy Editor ow

Tranquillity of the Cotswolds

around our house, where her rare breed sheep grazed, as Woodchester is home to the Orpheus Roman pavement. In 2005 the UK wine industry was looking interesting and with the children growing up, I was looking to go back to work. Law beckoned – but was finally out voted by the more tempting prospect of planting a vineyard on the limestone soils of our sheep fields. “I qualified as a solicitor in the UK and quickly moved to do international tax and trust planning at a multinational firm in Hong Kong – and this experience has been extremely helpful to navigate the rules and regulations which apply to planting a vineyard and setting up a winery,” Fiona added. Woodchester is very much a family-owned business. Owned by Niall and Fiona Shiner, Fiona runs the business and manages the vineyards at Woodchester, other family members include Fiona’s daughter Chloe, who is a key member of the management and finance team. “Chloe is a chartered accountant by training. In 2017 she was looking to move out of one of the ‘big four’ accountancy firms to join a start-up – and Woodchester Valley fitted the bill – it was very timely.” Fiona’s soon to

be son-in-law, Greg, signed up for a vineyard apprenticeship after helping with the 2020 harvest. “A former quantity surveyor Greg is also our sustainability coordinator, as his first degree was environmentally focussed,” explained Fiona. Fiona’s sister-in-law, Gail, has been running the holiday accommodation since the outset. “Gail’s daughter, Emily, is currently working full time in her gap year in our cellar door shop and our tasting room. Cameo appearances are made by other family members during the busy season and for harvest!” Fiona added. The team is completed with non-family members. “These include our talented head winemaker, Jeremy Mount, who has been making award-winning wines from the very first vintage processed through our winery. We are indebted to the expertise of Susan McCraith, a Master of Wine who advises on a consultancy basis. We also have a dedicated and very hardworking vineyard crew who have been with us for many years. They have a great sense of what is needed to produce quality fruit and work hard to make that happen. “Our sales team have a good mix of retail and hospitality experience. Our shop staff and tour hosts are all WSET qualified with a passion for wine which they love to share with our customers, in an informative but approachable way. Our accommodation team are dedicated to excellent customer service and go beyond the necessary to ensure our guests have a great experience when staying with us. Our reviews are a credit to both teams. We are a close-knit

> Woodchester Valley Vineyard team team – all very hands on,” smiled Fiona.

The vineyards

Woodchester Valley Vineyards has three sites around the Stroud Valleys – Woodchester, Amberley and Stonehouse. They are predominantly south facing and planted on the limestone soils of the Cotswolds AONB. “The Cotswold brash has a shallow layer of topsoil, typically 20-40cm, over limestone and two of the vineyards, Woodchester and Amberley, have adjacent quarries,” explained Fiona. “The soils are free draining and very stony. The soils of

our Stonehouse vineyard are more fertile with a higher clay content. “All three vineyard sites are on steep slopes – I believe some of the steepest vineyard slopes in the UK – which rise quickly from 58m to 150m above sea level, at our highest point. All nestle below the higher topography of the surrounding hills which gives some protection from the prevailing westerly winds. Our fruit benefits from the intensity of the sun on the steep slopes which helps to ripen the grapes,” said Fiona. The slopes help to mitigate against the risk of frost damage. “Although we have some <<

Photo: Mike Barby



> Holiday accommodation

> Tour and tasting

“We all know what a roller coaster it can be to grow grapes in the UK, and it is important to be able to weather the ups and downs and factor them into your business plan.” > Limestone soils


<< areas at the very bottom of our slopes where the neighbouring woodlands cause frost issues, the majority of our vines have proved remarkably resilient to some very frosty springs and our Stonehouse site rarely suffers frost damage. The Normans – or whoever planted the vines recorded in the Domesday Book – knew what they were doing,” Fiona added. “The trial acre in 2007 just happened to be one of the wettest summers on record. It was so wet that the local sewage treatment plant flooded and cut off much of the area’s fresh water supply. We were grateful for our slopes. Not an auspicious start. We only planted the one acre because as far as we knew, there had been no vineyards in this area for 2,000 years. However, we were very pleased with the results of the first vintage, so further plantings followed in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and also in 2019. “Establishing a vineyard and getting to know the potential of our sites has taken time. Just like grapes ripening for harvest, these things can’t be rushed, and, in our case, we have gradually rolled out our plantings, to better understand our sites. It has been a very interesting 14 years of getting to know what grows best and where – and we are learning all the time,” added Fiona. Woodchester Valley Vineyards now has almost 23 hectares under vine, for both still and sparkling wines. “From the outset, I have been a firm believer in the potential to make quality still wines in the UK,” explained Fiona, “so we have a real focus on grape varieties for still wines such as Bacchus, Pinot Précoce, Ortega, Regent and Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Noir is our largest planting; we have nine clones of Pinot Noir and six clones of Chardonnay, including Burgundian clones suitable for still wines. In years when the ripeness levels are good enough, we have the option to make a still Pinot Noir or Chardonnay… with our limestone soils – why would you not? Sparkling varieties also include Meunier, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Seyval Blanc. As we are

on limestone and have high pH soils, we have a variety of rootstocks including SO4, Fercal and Binova,” added Fiona. The vineyards are still relatively young, with vines at varying maturity, but over the last four years yields have averaged 6.10 tonnes per hectare. “We have had highs and lows of 3.3 tonnes in 2020 to 9.8 tonnes in 2018,” explained Fiona. “As a single estate vineyard, we have to wear what the harvest gives us, and we work very hard in the vineyard to make sure we maximise the potential for quality fruit each year with minimal losses to disease and wildlife. We all know what a roller coaster it can be to grow grapes in the UK, and it is important to be able to weather the ups and downs and factor them into your business plan,” advised Fiona. When deciding when to harvest, Fiona and her team look for phenolic ripeness as well as target sugar and acidity levels depending on the style of wine to be made. “A characteristic of our sites is that our grapes tend to hold their acidity. In some years we reach our target sugars but have to wait for acidity to drop. So, keeping the fruit in good condition is critical to allow us to let it hang for optimum ripeness. More and more we are netting our later picked varieties – to prevent the wildlife enjoying them before we are ready to harvest! Wildlife is plentiful in our vineyards and in the words of one of our tour guides, Elizabeth, ‘it’s like there is a @wvv WhatsApp group which notifies the local birds, badgers, foxes, deer and squirrels that the grapes are ripe for the eating,’” said Fiona. Harvest 2018 will be remembered as a fantastic year for most English vineyards, including Woodchester Valley. “We picked our Sauvignon Blanc grapes on 5 October at a natural 12% potential alcohol and 9.5 g/l TA, with a yield equivalent to 8.90 tonnes per hectare. The wine made from these grapes went on to win two international gold medals in the IWSC, 96 points, and Drinks Business Global Sauvignon Blanc

Photos: Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

Masters (one of ten golds) – the first English Sauvignon Blanc to achieve an international gold. We were pretty chuffed with this as planting Sauvignon Blanc was a bold move at the time,” smiled Fiona. As for many vineyards harvest 2021 was more challenging. “We were all a bit nervous about harvest 2021. We knew it was a late year due to the cold spring and lacklustre summer, but flowering was surprisingly good down to a timely July heatwave – and the warm and sunny

September and October really saved the day. Fortunately, the rains which plagued other regions missed us – it was like being under an umbrella with rain falling all around. We did not suffer from mildew and the grapes were clean and reached good sugar levels, and nearly all varieties performed well. Coming off a low yielding year in 2020, we made the decision early on that 2021 was not a year to experiment with new wines and after a late and long harvest ending on 2 November, we were rewarded with

some fantastic fruit with intense flavours and aromas. Our yield came in at a nicely balanced seven tonnes per hectare,” added Fiona.

The winery

The winery was built in 2016 and has a capacity of 180 tonnes. “We adapted existing buildings on the farm at our Woodchester vineyard to remain in keeping with the environment. David Cowderoy from BevTech assisted on the design and the >> supply of the equipment for the winery.


















Quality Stoppers and Closures Since 1774

+44 (0)1844 203100

23 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D


<< Jeremy joined us as winemaker in the summer of 2016, hot off the plane from his previous post at the Matua winery in New Zealand, just in time to help put the finishing touches to the winery, which was still a work in progress at the time. He transitioned from a winery making 30 million bottles a year to our first-year production of 30,000 bottles,” exclaimed Fiona. “As a single estate vineyard and winery, we believe our wines should have an identity in the unique soils and aspects of our vineyards,” explained Jeremy. “We aim to make a diverse range of wines that are clean, well balanced and express the best characteristics of each of the different varieties. “Our press has a hyper reductive function that helps to prevent any deterioration of the precursors of the flavour and aroma compounds for the still wines. We also have a positive nitrogen system to each tank that helps to prevent oxidation of any wines in tanks with ullage space. Other equipment includes a large cold store for storing grapes at five degrees pre-pressing,” Jeremy added. “We currently have 67 barrels and are slowly building on this each year. They are bought either as reconditioned or new from French coopers. Currently for the still wines they are used for the fermentation of Ortega and some Bacchus

John Buchan AGRONOMY LTD For independent advice on: Interpretation of soil and tissue Formulation of nutrient programmes Supply of tailor-made products General agronomic advice

24 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

which goes into the white blend 'Culver Hill' and the 'Orpheus'. Barrels are also used for fermenting as much of the sparkling base wines as possible, which include Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We also use a combination of both new and reconditioned barrels for aging the red wines for at least 12 months each year,” said Jeremy.

The wines

Still wines are a very important part of the Woodchester Valley portfolio. “The stills were the first wines we released and the wines upon which we built our reputation and won our first awards,” explained Fiona. “They account for approximately 60% of our production each year and our range includes white, rosé and red wines. Bacchus is a big player and features in our single varietal Bacchus and Orpheus Bacchus and as part of our Culver Hill blend, with Ortega and Seyval Blanc. We produce two rosé wines (harvest permitting), a delicate Pinot Rosé and a fuller bodied red berried rosé made from Regent. Our cellar door exclusives include a Sauvignon Blanc, Atcombe Red and Pinot Noir,” continued Fiona. “I think that the best kept secret in the English Wine industry at the moment is the potential for the still wines. When we started producing wine, very few of our customers had heard of Bacchus, let alone drunk or had the confidence to order a bottle of English Bacchus in a restaurant. All that has changed in the last five years,” said Fiona. Each harvest is different and while we have a core range of wines we make every year, some wines, such as a Pinot Noir is only made in years when the fruit reaches the appropriate ripeness levels,” added Jeremy. Woodchester Valley currently produces a range of four traditional method sparkling wines. “The first sparkling wines produced in our winery were released in 2018 with our Cotswold Classic and Rosé Brut, followed by our Reserve Cuvée and Blanc de Blancs in 2019 and 2020. We were particularly pleased with the triple silver medals recently awarded to our 2017 Reserve Cuvée by Decanter, IWSC and the Champagne and Sparkling Wine Awards,” smiled Fiona proudly. “Our Cotswold Classic sparkling is a blend of Pinot Blanc and Seyval Blanc, it is our Cotswold adaptation of traditional method from non-traditional

varieties. It is a more fruit forward sparkling wine which we release after 15-18 months on the lees,” said Jeremy. “We also produce a vermouth in collaboration with our friends at The Cotswolds Distillery, added Fiona. “Our single estate wines have distinctive characteristics – the limestone soils bring a purity and freshness to the wines, that is often commented upon by our customers,” said Fiona. “As the industry is growing fast, we need to keep a focus on quality, and we are very lucky to have the wonderful resources at Plumpton College – which is training the future of the English Wine Industry,” added Fiona.

> Jeremy Mount

Routes to market

Woodchester Valley focusses strongly on retail with direct sales from the cellar door shop. “Our ‘Cellar Door Shop’ is a converted 19th century munitions factory on the busy A46 between two of our vineyards. We also have a tasting room adjacent to the winery on our Woodchester farm – which has far-reaching views across the valley. We are building up our online business. “We also sell direct to local trade accounts in the Cotswolds and surrounding areas focusing on independents, delis, farm shops and restaurants with a local food and drink emphasis. We enjoy working with Thorman Hunt who distribute our core range of still wines outside of the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire, including London,” added Fiona. “But we do not export… we simply don’t have the volume.”

> Fiona and Chloe Shiner

Wine tourism

“Whilst the focus is on wine production at Woodchester, the Cotswolds is a growing tourist destination and we get lots of visitors to the area,” explained Fiona. “There are not many vineyards in the Cotswolds AONB and fewer if any other wineries. It is scenic and people like to visit us. Earlier this year, Stroud was voted the best place to live in the UK. “We also have holiday accommodation and the boom in UK wine tourism has been a big benefit for us – we have been phenomenally busy when we have been allowed to open. We have accommodation ranging from luxury guest barn rooms in the vineyard to self-catering properties which can sleep up to 12 people. “A big recent phenomenon has been the arrival of the ‘DFLs’ (Down From London) –these are predominantly holiday visitors but increasingly people who live and work partly in London and partly from home. Stroud is only 1 ½ hours from London by train. “Our tours and tastings are populated by a good mix of local residents, residents from the surrounding towns of Cheltenham, Bath and Bristol and tourists – UK and overseas when restrictions allow. The tastings, tours and accommodation all help to build our customer base,” continued Fiona. Woodchester Valley offer regular tours and tastings throughout the year. “We have a busier schedule during the summer months. We offer a Classic Tour, a Sparkling Wine Tour, lunch tours with picnic hampers, fizz and chips tastings and even a wine tasting with a guided dog walk around the vineyard. We also offer more seasonal events, such as our Grand Christmas Tasting where you can taste the full range of our wines. We are fortunate to be close to the towns of Nailsworth and Stroud with plenty of restaurants – so we do not feel the need to have a restaurant onsite,” added Fiona. Like many UK vineyards the pandemic resulted in an increase in their web-based sales. “Since the first lockdown was imposed in March 2020, we have seen a huge increase in online sales, 2020 was up 700% on 2019. In 2021 this has tailed off slightly but is still a very significant jump from pre-pandemic times. The combination of Covid-19 and Brexit, has meant a significant increase in both retail and local trade sales with a genuine interest by customers and the trade to buy local,” explained Fiona. Collaboration is key at Woodchester Valley. “We work with lots of local businesses, from giving support to trade customers, cross marketing opportunities to offering corporate packages and events. We are popular with the local taxi firms who ferry our tour and tasting guests around and we always recommend our guests to visit the local pubs and restaurants as good refuelling stations before or after one of our tours,” said Fiona.

> Tour and tasting



For viticulturists in Great Britain Vitifruit Equipment Sales and Hire

In association with

Inaugural Vineyard & Winery Show a spectacular success The first ever Vineyard & Winery show took place on 24 November 2021 at the Kent County Showground and proved to be an outstanding success – with a vibrant buzz reflecting a fast growing and buoyant wine sector. Jo Cowderoy, Vineyard magazine editor, reviews the events of the day.


> Ben Kantsler

This historic event, organised by the Vineyard magazine team, was a long-term dream of Show President, Julian Barnes, owner of one of Kent’s oldest vineyards, Biddenden. His vision was to hold a show on the scale of events seen in other wine regions around the world – and this was more than amply achieved. The free to attend one-day event attracted over 1400 visitors, had 80 trade exhibitors, a Wine Hub with the UK’s 100 top wines on offer, as well as a structured tasting from globally renowned wine writer, Matthew Jukes. Expert speakers, and a full day of technical seminars, informed a packed audience on topics current and pertinent to the industry. Suppliers to the industry had the perfect event to showcase their latest machinery, equipment, technology, and professional services – it was a long-awaited opportunity for the whole industry to network and undertake face-to-face business.

 “A massive congratulations to you and all the team for bringing together such an amazing event – the showground was BUZZING with enthusiasm and knowledge.” Lucinda, Blackdown Ridge

Both well-established vineyards and prospective growers were able to speak to experts and seek professional advice. Throughout the day, in the fully packed seminar hall, expert speakers shared their knowledge and inspired discussion across all disciplines: wine marketing, grape growing and winemaking. These included presentations that provided comprehensive information for new entrants, along with, building a sustainable business through wine tourism, achieving yield and quality fruit, and the wine chemistry behind malolactic fermentations for acid management. The Kent County Showground did not disappoint and provided the perfect venue, with all exhibitors, activities, and events under one roof. Local catering and free coffee made it an enjoyable, as well as valuable day out. Beautifully etched glasses were gifted to each visitor, along with an individual disposable spittoon - helping make the day Covid-19 safe. Topping the bill and opening the show were Wines of Great Britain’s CEO Simon Thorpe MW and keynote speaker Ben Kantsler, Nyetimber Vineyard’s head viticulturist. Simon welcomed visitors and made reference to the fact that our growing industry is, “attracting more and more talent, both home-grown and from abroad,” as he introduced Australian-born, Ben Kantsler. Ben started his keynote speech by thanking the headline sponsors, as without their support the show would not have been possible. These included CLM, Berlin Packaging, Hutchinsons,

Over 1,300

pre-registered tickets Vitifruit, Royston Labels, Harvest Green Developments, Urban Bar, Elite Refrigeration, Rankin Brothers & Sons, Defined Wine and Ferovinum. Ben also urged everyone to attend the fantastic seminars and commented, “my learned peers discuss a wide range of topics that impact our industry. These relate to changes in climate, financial considerations when investing, business diversification and the practicalities of qualitative fruit and wine production. On top of this there are numerous suppliers in attendance that also help the knowledge transfer process.” Ben, who is originally from Margaret River in Southwest Australia has been working in the UK >> with Nyetimber since 2015. “What I would

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D



 “Many congratulations on staging a WONDERFUL Vineyard and Winery Show yesterday at the Kent Showground. I hope all the exhibitors got real value from the number of visitors you managed to encourage to the event. As a new grower it was very INSPIRING and informative.” Ian Beecher-Jones, Chiltern Hills Farms

> Matthew Jukes


<< like to talk to you about today is how I found myself in the wine industry, my experiences in Australia working through an expanding and then contracting market and what learnings could the UK take from this,” Ben started. “My first experience drinking English wine was Christmas 2014. My sister had arrived back from Europe with a bottle of sparkling wine. I still remember our appreciation of the subtle citrus and brioche notes. I instantly thought my sister has been on a glamourous weekend away in Champagne. Without being too discourteous, I was truly amazed when I discovered this wine came from England. That experience really resonated with me and challenged my pre-conception on what growing requirements are needed for fine wine. In a simple twist of fate, a few months later the same producer was advertising for a viticulturist and a new chapter started in my life later that year. “It is a great privilege to be speaking here today representing Nyetimber. There are several core values associated with the brand but the two that echo the greatest sentiment to me are embracing

innovation and a pioneering spirit. Who would have thought a brave decision in 1988 to plant Chardonnay in the UK may be the reason why I am here speaking to you today! “When I started, we had 150ha in production now the business has expanded to 350ha under vine. My first years took a lot of work, including learning about general patterns in the English weather, the different legislation in the UK and the wider wine industry in general. I still feel I

have much to learn – but I can spot a northerly airstream in April now! “The strong international demand that originated in my earlier years working in Australia resulted in effectively tripling the area under vine over a 20 year period. A very similar trajectory can be seen in the UK now, which has quadrupled its area under vine area since 2000. So personally, I do see some similarities in my earlier years with >> the UK now.

 “Just a note to congratulate you on a fantastic show yesterday. I was BLOWN AWAY by the size of the event and the number of exhibitors and attendees.” Nick Wenman, Albury Vineyard



It was busy all day on the social media channels – lots of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook posts – from happy visitors and exhibitors alike! twitter @screwtopsandcorks Love the cork bag and my lovely wine glass. Top event too! twitter @hiddenspringuk Great to spend the day at the Vineyard & Winery Show by @vineyardmaggb. Especially proud to have our Bacchus Fume in the Top 50 by @matthewjukes, and our classic Cuvee in the top wines too. Loving the sustainable cork bag too. #vineyardandwineryshow21 #classiccuvee #bacchus #top50 #sustainable INSTAGRAM dundry_lane_vineyard Great day yesterday at Vineyard and Winery show in Maidstone. Made some great connections with existing suppliers and explored some interesting new suppliers too. Oh yes, and there was a wide range of inspiring British wines to taste as well!

INSTAGRAM cynthia_schaeffer_mccreadie A brilliant day at the Vineyard & Winery Show today with educative exhibitors and a vast array of award-winning wines to taste - out of the 48 we managed, Flint Vineyard was a clear winner with their 2020 Silex Blanc and 2020 Bacchus. A glass of Champagne at St Pancras was de rigueur to break up the journey back to Norfolk.

30 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

<< “One thing 2021 has reminded us - growth is good when you have stable markets and consistent supply and demand but when this balance is disrupted changes will occur. In Australia’s case, eventually the Aussie dollar increased in value thanks to another boom in mining, and suddenly, our wines became more expensive in a new global market and struggled to compete with other new wine regions. With wine demand on the decline, vineyard expansion ceased and we in the industry had to adapt to a new market of oversupply. One of the worst outcomes was that even though there was an oversupply in the country the stronger dollar made wine imports more attractive, and suddenly many Australians were drinking NZ Sauvignon Blanc much to the disgust of many in the industry! “I am referencing these events in Australia today, as I understand the current fear some people have in our industry regarding periods of market expansion and potential contraction. Increased globalisation does mean markets can shift very quickly and given events like the pandemic who knows what is around the corner. If, as an industry we continue to focus on quality, do the hard work to market the varietals that our natural resources can deliver and provide a good foundation for industry to innovate our market will continue to prosper. “In my short time in the UK, I am already seeing more of these qualitative values within industry compared to when I first started. My first industry event was a WineGB trade tasting in London.

 “We were so BUSY. I would be talking to one customer and then I’d turn round and another one was waiting to talk to me. No time to stop at all Steve at NP Seymour

In my quest to learn about English wine I think I tasted every entry and was surprised to see several wines with noticeable faults. Some of these were production related (for example a result of light strike or recent sulphur addition) and some were just a general imbalance, but it did impart some qualitative concerns at the time. “Since then, I continue to benchmark English wine and the more I do, the more these qualitative concerns are fading. I would like to commend the industry collectively for this improvement as Great British wine needs to be our industries greatest strength. The majority of credit for this rests with the producers pushing for their own gains, but I also would like to make special mentions to those educational pathways of Plumpton College, WineGB workshops and general collaboration within the industry. I do feel that for us all to grow and remain resilient in the marketplace, the pursuit of quality needs to be at the core of this. “With that in mind we should always be very careful to maintain a healthy image for >> Great British wine and all of us need to be

twitter Coes Farm @CoesFarm Great day at the #vineyardshow today. Thanks to @VineyardMagGB

twitter Calleva Wine @CallevaWine Couldn’t agree more! It was brilliantly organised and so good to catch up with so many friends and business partners. Many thanks and huge congratulations to all involved! hands-wash twitter Certis UK @CertisUK The vineyard and winery show was well attended today - great vibes and a buoyant wine industry. The show covered all things viticulture from crop protection to wine tasting #viticulture @VineyardMagGB

twitter Steve Parker Cheese and Wine @stevecheesewine Serious research today @VineyardMagGB show at Kent Showground. Many many (OK about 50 - not too many) top quality English wines tasted in search for great pairings with my Top 100 Artisan English Cheeses. #englishwine #cheeseandwine

31 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D


twitter Wines of Great Britain @Wine_GB Off to a great start: we’re at the Vineyard and Winery Show in Kent, along with 70 exhibitors, 1,300 visitor registrations attracting talent from around the world to the UK wine industry! @VineyardMagGB #vineyardshow #viticulture #winemaking

> Nick Lane, Head Winemaker, Defined Wine; David Cowderoy, Managing Director, BevTech Ltd and consultant winemaker; Emma Rice, Director & Head Winemaker, Hattingley Valley Wines Ltd

twitter @tuffonhall We’re back from a busy but inspiring day at the @ vineyardmaggb Vineyard and Winery Show. @matthewjukes was flying the flag for UK vineyards with his masterclass.

INSTAGRAM ukwinemakerwife Whilst Rosie the #vineyarddog and I were checking the vines yesterday morning on @chetvineyard - @ukwinemaker was on his way to the @vineyardmaggb conference in Kent. Quite an early start! He had a successful day by all accounts and met up with freitagvolker from whom John has bought many vines!! He took two team members too for the day trip and a lot was learned about vineyard tourism, malolactic fermentation , effects of global warming and much more. Looking forward to hearing all about it when he has time to sit down and chat about it all! Maybe I’ll get to go next time. #cpd #vineyardmagazine #vineyardeducation #winetourism #vineyardtourism #vines #dayout #tired #longdrive.

<< ambassadors for that. To compete we also need to play to our strengths and embrace the resources available to us. “Our soils in the UK are youthful, healthy, rich in organic matter and biodiversity, our vines are a natural extension to the garden of England. Our climate allows for fresh, healthy canopies and this is portrayed in our delicate orchard characters that come across in our wines. Our cool, extended growing seasons maintain a lovely acidity in our wines that not many regions in the world can achieve or emulate. “I honestly feel this industry has the requirements to ride out any market fluctuation provided it plays to its strength. The support network within the industry is ever expanding and I would like to think we are all in attendance today partly because we enjoy each other’s company… but more importantly we have a desire to improve our knowledge, benchmark what we do with one another and challenge ourselves for the better. “Let us improve upon what we already do, innovate where we want change, explore the boundaries of what is possible and work together to strengthen the qualitative image Great Britain has in the world,” concluded Ben.

The seminars

The seminar programme, sponsored by working capital and investment platform Ferovinum Ltd, was chaired by Simon Thorpe. The seminar area was packed, 160 chairs were laid out – but often it was standing room only. One of the speakers, Dr Alistair Nesbitt, did a quick hands-up poll to see who already had a vineyard and who was planning to plant. It transpired that nearly half the audience were considering planting – reflecting the growing interest, and investment, in the UK wine sector. The first session, ‘Venturing into viticulture in a changing climate’ was aimed

32 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

Thoughts from our Show President “Having talked around the subject of a vineyard exhibition at the Kent showground a few years previous, I was delighted that we eventually managed to pull such an amazing inaugural event together, and honoured to have been asked to be the first Show President," said Julian Barnes, Biddenden Vineyards. “Having spent a lifetime working in English vineyards and wine, and during this time travelled to events abroad, the most striking comment was, unlike the shows abroad everything here was suitable for UK viticulture and therefore more relevant. “Every stand holder and visitor I talked to was full of praise for the event, a good mix of trades, seminars and wine tasting contributing to the buzz around the hall which lasted the whole day. “As a relatively new agricultural sector we must thank Vineyard magazine and Kelsey Media for their vision, hard work and determination in making it so successful. Those involved in wine already know how it brings people together!” > Mark Crumpton showcasing the 100% carbon neutral bottle

at providing information and access to support for new entrants to the UK wine industry. In his presentation Wines of Great Britain –helping your business to thrive, Simon Thorpe used the analogy of ‘teenage years’ to describe the UK wine industry – growing rapidly but still with a few challenges and ‘bumps’ in the road ahead. He said that as the industry continues to grow it’s vital there is a representative body to help provide the framework and environment in which vineyards and wine producers can build towards a sustainable future. WineGB strives to provide that support, from those considering planting their first vines to the old guard. Simon was able to outline the key strategic pillars and objectives of WineGB as well as giving an overview of the many activities and campaigns planned for 2022. The future climate for grape growing in the UK was the title of Dr Alistair Nesbitt’s presentation. Alistair is a world respected Viticulture Climatologist and CEO of Vinescapes, a specialist consultancy that supports the technical and strategic development of wine production businesses. Alistair presented early results from the ‘Climate Resilience in the UK Wine Sector’ (CREWS-UK) research project showing how climate change will affect the wine production sector in the UK. He explained how the results of the project will help inform better decision-making, investment, and adaptation, and emphasised the importance of vineyard site selection. Alistair concluded with the opportunities, as well as threats, from a changing climate. James Dodson, from Vine Works Ltd, a vineyard establishment and management company, provided advice from the ground up in his presentation Setting up a vineyard: the costs and practical considerations. James explained that establishing a vineyard can be a daunting, and expensive, task and that poor advice and mistakes can be costly. With some facts, figures >>

INSTAGRAM rowles_farm Wine Wednesday!! We have had an unreal day at the Vineyard & Winery show…we just about managed to peel ourselves away from the wine tasting!

twitter Ashford, Tenterden and Whitfield @nfumtenterden A day well spent at The Vineyard & Winery Show on Wednesday! It was great to celebrate the excellent culture of wine making and hear about all the work happening within the industry. Our team were on hand, speaking to vineyard owners about their policies @VineyardMagGB

twitter Vineyard Magazine @VineyardMagGB A little wrap up of the Vineyard and Winery Show is now up on our Instagram. A huge THANK YOU to our sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and everyone else who came along. We hope to see you all again next year! #Vineyardshow #VWS21

33 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D



<< and photographic examples James provided those considering planting a new vineyard information on how to get it right from the start, choosing land wisely and with a realistic budget to see the project over the finish line. Discover how capital can become your key competitive advantage was the title of Mitchel Fowler’s presentation. Mitchel is the founder of Ferovinum Ltd, a company that provides a tailormade working capital product. Mitchel explained that access to capital is a key competitive advantage and as UK viticulture produces world-class traditional method sparkling, how Ferovinum is levelling the playing field with its innovative approach to inventory finance, and helping businesses invest for the long term and build resilient brands. The second seminar session, Building a sustainable business through wine tourism focussed on an increasingly important element of business success – the wine tourist. Julia Trustram Eve, Head of Marketing, WineGB, has worked in the UK wine industry for some 30 years, was to share WineGB’s best practice guidance. Julia explained that there is a wealth of research from around the world that highlights the economic importance of wine tourism and that the UK, already gaining a global reputation for high quality wine, has great potential to attract domestic and international visitors. Providing insight into understanding the wine tourist, she reminded the audience that not every visitor is there for the wine and that art, music, wellbeing, weddings, cycle and walking tours, may be the attraction for some. Julia also spoke of the benefits of collaboration of vineyards and wineries for both the region and the individual businesses. Wine tourists in the UK, was the title of the presentation given by Paul Harley, Wine Business Lecturer at Plumpton College. Paul, whose area of expertise includes wine consumer behaviour, focussed on who the principal wine tourists are in the UK and what a tourist expects, and desires, from a visit to a vineyard or winery. Informed by the latest research Paul provided hints and tips to help vineyards maximise satisfaction – and revenue. Jo Smith, Brand Manager, Wine Garden of England leads an association of Kent wine producers who work together to bring wine tourism to the county. Jo’s presentation titled ‘Best practice in action – working collaboratively to develop regional presence,’ shared the successes and learnings so far for this tourism cluster, as well as their aims for the future. She concluded by announcing a new member of the group – Westwell wines. The afternoon session focussed on topics pertinent to viticulture and winemaking. The UK as a cool climate viticulture region experiences variable yields, and the speakers were able to

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

> Mathew Jukes at the structured wine tasting

share their expertise on the topic. In the winery there are many decisions to be made, and one in particular is the benefit, or otherwise of malolactic fermentation, and the best method of doing or preventing this. Dr Gregory Dunn, Head of Wine, Plumpton College, trains oenologists and viticulturists at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Greg has also held a range of positions in research, education, and training in the Australian wine industry. In his presentation, Securing sustainable yields in a UK vineyard, Greg emphasised the importance of meeting vineyard yield and composition targets to underpin a productive industry, as large yield fluctuations and low yields threaten the sustainability of businesses and

have economic implications through the entire production and supply chain. He explained how the formation of yield potential and its realisation is a complex process, and explored critical factors involved in managing and protecting yield, as well as estimating yield. He also reminded the audience of the importance of site. Quality vs yield vs style and yield management for organic vineyards was a ‘double act’ presentation by vineyard managers Alex Valsecchi and Matt Strugnell. Matt Strugnell, Vineyard Manager, Ridgeview Wine Estate, and Alex Valsecchi, Vineyard Manager, Albury Organic Vineyard. Together they provided practical vineyard management advice on plant health and good viticulture skills to achieve yield and quality in

 “It was the FINEST wine show I have ever attended in the UK, and it is testament to the professionalism and successes to date of our very own home-grown wine business. I am very much looking forward to next year’s show. This is BETTER than the London Wine Fair, and all the wines are from the UK.” Matthew Jukes

New tractor unveiled Kirkland UK Ltd decided that the Vineyard & Winery show would be a very fitting occasion to unveil their new tractor! With pomp and ceremony, the Antonio Carraro TONY 8700 V tractor, was revealed from under a red velvet drape, to the delight of the audience. This conventional style tractor for vineyards and orchards was a finalist in the Tractor of the Year 2021 awards – it is fully equipped but one of the narrowest models, with an overall width of less than one metre. Scott Worsley, Kirkland UK, commented: “What a great show, very well attended and a great opportunity to show our latest machines including the exciting revealing of the new Tony V tractor from Antonio Carraro! We look forward to meeting everyone again next year.”

 “I could not be happier, delivering a first outing event is a nerve-wracking thing, in the early days of planning you can never tell if a concept is going to deliver everything that is hoped for. Happily, the Vineyard & Winery show has been a FANTASTIC success, something that was evident from early in the year. We have brought together the right event, at the right time of year with the right blend of exhibitors delivering what the British wine industry needs. The show was so EXCITING, I have to admit it was quite an emotional experience watching a crowd come through reception, with a standing room only seminar to my right and a packed hall of exhibitors and visitors ahead of me. My best quote of the day ‘isn’t it great, we don’t have to go to France for a trade show anymore’, just like British consumers don’t need to buy wine from anywhere else anymore either, we can do it better right here!” Show Director, Sarah Calcutt

a challenging climate. They also shared their experiences from both a conventional and organic/biodynamic viticulture perspective. The final session of the day focused on malolactic fermentation for acid management. Three experienced winemakers shared their protocols in a presentation titled, Malolactic fermentation: why, when and how; Emma Rice, Director and Head Winemaker, Hattingley Valley Wines Ltd, David Cowderoy, Managing Director and Consultant Winemaker, BevTech Ltd, and Nick Lane, Head Winemaker, Defined Wine. The speakers explained how acid management is a key part of winemaking in a cool climate and that deciding to do, or not do a malolactic fermentation is a critical decision – as it affects house style. They discussed the many choices and options with MLF, such as the proportion of the blend, how to do it, and when to do it.

Matthew Jukes structured wine tasting

World renowned wine writer and Vineyard magazine’s regular columnist, Matthew Jukes took 120 guests on a journey of discovery during his

hour-long structured wine tasting session. Guest were able to gain exclusive insight into some of the very best wines in the UK, in a relaxed and enjoyable setting. Matthew Jukes’ tasting was sponsored by Urban Bar and HSBC, and all the proceeds from the ticket sales, priced at £20 each, were donated to the Drinks Trust. The six wines selected by Matthew Jukes for the structured tasting session were: ◆ Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2018 ◆ Hattingley Valley King’s Cuvee 2014 ◆ Nyetimber Classic Cuvee magnum 2010 ◆ Greyfriars Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2020 ◆ Ashdown Estate White (Chasselas) 2020 ◆ Ambriel English Reserve MV (Demi-sec)

The Wine Hub

Another highlight at the show was the 30-metrelong ‘Wine Hub’ – with 100 of the UK’s top wines available to taste on the day; it was buzzing! Sponsored by contract winery Defined Wines Ltd, the table hosted Matthew Jukes’ Top 50 wines, and the show guide provided Matthew’s write up of each of the wines, as featured in his Vineyard magazine column. It was also an opportunity >>

NEXT YEAR'S SHOW 23rd November 2022

<< to showcase 50 of the award-winning wines from the 2021 WineGB Awards. A thank you goes to all the producers who kindly contributed their wines.

The main show sponsors

Vineyard magazine is very grateful to the main Vineyard & Winery show sponsors for their support. These are of some of the most prominent businesses in the sector – Berlin Packaging, CLM, Hutchinsons, Royston Labels and Vitifruit.

The exhibitors


The Vineyard & Winery show was buzzing all day, as the 80 crowded trade stands attracted anyone, and everyone, interested in the growing UK wine sector including, vineyard owners and winemakers as well as prospective vineyard owners.

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

“It is so refreshing to see the growth of our industry and the turnout of visitors is a testimony to that. With established vineyards investing and growing and the many new start up vineyards coming down the track, demonstrating that we have a real success story in the UK – we will definitely be back next year,” said Glyn Scriven, Royston Labels, show sponsor and exhibitor. “‘The Vineyard and Winery Show was fantastic. A great event for both those currently in the sector and newcomers, providing an opportunity to listen and talk to experts and access suppliers from across the UK and Europe. We’ll definitely be exhibiting again next year,” said Paula Nesbitt, Vinescapes Ltd. Volker Freytag provided tastings of a range of Piwi wines throughout the day and commented: “We want to thank you and the team of Vineyard

magazine for the great organisation. We are happy that we could be part of this amazing show!” “By 10am we had more leads from the Vineyard Show than the last five other events that we have done combined,” said Nick Rainsley, Hutchinsons “Well… what a fantastic event – give yourselves a pat on the back! I would definitely like to secure a spot for next year, we would like to increase the size of our stand next year as well so please keep us in mind for the next event. Next year we are planning to bring in some machinery so we would need to discuss the options regarding larger areas and power options. We had a great day and the organisation and planning all paid off in my opinion. Well done guys and thank you for all the help advice and support,” said Wayne Russell, WR Services.


The rise of the compact vineyard We are all very used to hearing the great stories of planting hundreds of thousands of vines and producing millions of bottles of wine each year, but little is heard from the more modest end of our industry. Over the last few years Vine-Works has seen a significant increase in the desire to establish smaller scale projects from people who wish to take a piece of the English wine dream into their homes. Ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand vines each, these vineyards’ sizes don’t always match their owners’ ambitions. Michael Rhodes at Thurston Place Vineyard, Suffolk runs a successful contract winemaking operation for other local vineyards on top of managing his recently expanded vineyard with his wife, Irene. Michael told us that although he and Irene found their award-winning contract winemaking service immensely enjoyable and satisfying, they have desired to have a vineyard of their own for some time. They now plan to take the next big step and open a cellar door to receive customers to their site next year. The challenges of establishing a site of this size are often very different from a commercially scaled project. Finding a local contractor able to complete the required ground preparation can prove difficult and access for machinery and material deliveries is rarely simple. All this on top of learning a whole new set of skills and knowledge is no mean feat. However, the growers we spoke to are all delighted with their decision; finding great reward in watching their vines develop and tasting the finished wine at the end of the year.

David King from Five Oaks Vineyard, Hertfordshire has found that keeping on top of the weeds is one of his largest challenges – something that UK vine growers of any scale will surely sympathise with! Keeping your newly planted vineyard free of weeds is extremely important for a successful establishment. Weeds are often able to out-compete vines for nutrients, and if allowed to grow vigorously can trap moisture and humidity – creating potential disease threats. Site selection and vineyard design is another challenge that small and large growers alike face. Ensuring the right place for your vineyard is possibly the most important decision to make. However, Jeremy Macklin from Marlbank Farm Vineyard, Worcestershire knew from his 17 years’ experience working with vine growers in France that he had a great site when he saw it. His concern came from a potential frost risk, for which he sought help from a local agronomist. Together they came up with a plan to help the cold air drain away down to a stream that runs off the Malvern Hills, carrying it safely out of the way. Working with an expert to design and plan your vineyard will help to protect yourself from any potential risks. Many producers of this size are choosing to plant varieties (PIWI/FRG) with more inherent resistance to the disease threats we receive in the UK. By doing so, their projects are better protected from challenging years such as 2021 and the management of their vines becomes simpler – significantly reducing the need to use pesticide sprays. This allows for time to be focused in other areas of the vineyard, to help ensure a quality crop is produced in an increasingly

> Michael Rhodes – Thurson Place with the Vine-Works trellising team

Tom Re


Vine-Works more sustainable way. The primary goal of these producers, like any good vigneron, is to craft the best possible wine and many are developing close relationships with contract winemakers to ensure this. Vine-Works sees a very healthy future for vineyards of these sizes. As the industry grows and develops, there are more and more opportunities for people to enjoy the world of grape growing in the UK. There are now several options for contract winemaking services tailoring themselves to smaller volumes. Plumpton College offers fantastic viticulture and winemaking courses to teach you the fundamental knowledge to help your project succeed. Should you wish to investigate the possibility of establishing your own vineyard, consult with a professional who will be able to assist you through every stage.

Key considerations when establishing a vineyard

◆ Know your site It is important to pair your ambitions with the realities of the site. ◆ Preparation, preparation, preparation The earlier and better your site is prepared, the greater the success of your planting. ◆ Timing Running a vineyard takes time – even at a modest scale. Familiarise yourself with the tasks involved and plan accordingly.

> David King – Five Oaks

> Jeremy Macklin – Marlbank Farm

DESKTOP ENVELOPE phone-alt 01273 891777



Actively fighting frost Fresh in many of our memories are the devastating frosts of May 2020, and the chills of 2021 – with cruel low temperatures that descended on the new, tender vine tissues causing irreparable damage. With such valuable crops, and to avoid sleepless nights, Vineyard speaks to some of the companies offering frost protection measures. > Plantex UK

The 2020 WineGB frost survey, reported in the January 2021 edition of Vineyard magazine, carried out by Stephen Skelton, chair of the WineGB viticulture working group and Steve Wain from Mapman, revealed that from the 198 separate frost reports received 60% of these claimed that they had no frost protection in place. Despite good site selection to avoid frost pockets, there may be areas that are prone to frost, depressions or low-lying corners where the cold air can settle. Active frost protection measures include irrigation and sprinkler protection, biological stimulation, as well as physical heat from candles, and fans to raise air temperature. All at a cost, but these have to be considered against the financial implications of crop losses.

Irrigation and sprinkler frost protection from Plantex UK


Plantex UK, based in Canterbury, Kent, offer free advice and planning for frost protection in vineyards using irrigation and sprinklers, as well as suppling, installing, maintaining the systems and supporting customers. “The sensors and controllers make management easy for our customers, as the system can be fully automated and used from an app. It has been said that the system is almost 100% effective at protecting buds,” explained Ewan Worsley, General Manager. “The Sprinkler system is used in a strip format along the vines, with one sprinkler per post. When temperatures drop the sensors turn on the system spraying water onto the vines, and as the water cools it creates a frozen layer of ice around the bud. The science behind it is: when water is freezing, it generates a small amount of heat which will protect the bud. It is important that the water is continually sprayed for the heat to continue to be produced until temperatures rise again. It is particularly effective against radiation frost, and the running costs are low,” Ewan continued. According to Plantex, to ensure effective frost protection the system delivers several pulses of water per minute, providing continuous watering over a large area for many hours. “The system is designed to use less than 50% to 70% of the water required by full-coverage sprinklers – reducing operating costs by up to 30% compared to other systems. The design also provides uniform water distribution, irrespective of topography – even on sloping terrain and long rows, due to a unique flow regulation mechanism. Our systems are simple to install and are made to withstand agrochemicals and adverse weather conditions,” added Ewan Commenting on the Plantex UK irrigation system, Vineyard owner Neil Bainbridge said: “Judging by the extent to which the buds have now burst, I can say without fear of contradiction (and judging by the devastation wreaked on my Wisteria) that the Plantex system saved this year’s crop on its first day of operation.” A spokesperson from NIAB EMR at East Malling also commented: “After four years the system is still working well and has saved our crop many times.” >>

01304 849 205


The Ul�mate Frost Protec�on

Leading Irriga�on And Sprinkler Frost Protec�on Specialists

Lowest System Cost

Advice And Planning

Control And Automa�on

Our technology enables great water coverage with the lowest possible flow rate – reducing opera�ng costs by up to 30% compared to other systems.

We offer a free advice and planning consulta�on as well as supplying the full Frost Protec�on package, including supply, installa�on, support and maintenance.

Our control systems are built bespoke to suit your individual requirements and budget.

Effec�ve Frost Protec�on

Achieves op�mal results even with sloping terrain and long laterals due to a unique flow regula�on mechanism.

Delivers several pulses of water/minute, ensuring con�nuous watering over a large area for many hours.

Water And Energy Efficient

Specially designed to use less than 50 – 70% of the water required by full-coverage sprinkler systems.

Uniform Water Distribu�on, Irrespec�ve Of Topography

Low Maintenance, High Performance Our systems are simple to install and are made to withstand agrochemicals and adverse weather condi�ons.

FROST PROTECTION Increase the plant’s natural resistance with AntiFrost AntiFrost, a natural biostimulant from UK based company CropAid, increases the plant’s natural resistance to cold and frost injuries. “Plants naturally protect themselves from cold and frost injuries by producing their own antifreeze proteins. Some plants produce more than others based on their genetic properties, as well their growing environment,” explained Aydin Tanseli, Director. “It’s a natural product, certified by the Soil Association,” he continued. “After the application of AntiFrost, the plant will tend to have increased photosynthesis activity. The product contains Thiobacillus bacteria, with rusticyanin, oxaloacetic acid and pyruvic acid, which is applied with a blend of minerals. The product is used as a spray and is absorbed through stomata of the leaves and stems, and also via the roots, where it stimulates and enhances the biochemical processes in the plant’s natural Krebs Cycle. This results in the production of the plant’s own antifreeze proteins (AFP) and new glycoproteins. These proteins interact with the water in the plant’s cells which reduces or stops ice nucleation – thus preventing cell rupture and death. The plants that can produce these proteins will have resistance to cold and frost injuries. After the cold and frost stress is over, the AFP will be consumed by the plants during their growth – which can increase yield and quality. The effect can last up to 14 days but is most effective within the 48 hours after the application.


“CropAid’s AntiFrost has been used successfully by many growers worldwide as it is cost effective, environmentally friendly and offers long protection with increased yield and quality in return,” concluded Aydin. A customer in France commented: “In a land where vineyards are widespread, we had the product applied in a Sauvignon vineyard a couple of days before the frost. The temperature dropped to about -3 °C. The vineyard was saved. Those around were severely damaged.”

Tackling frost with candle power

The Crop Candle Company Ltd, based near Henley on Thames, supplies frost candles so well known to wine regions around the world – but the candles use 100% vegetable bio-degradable wax. “These are better for the environment and burn hotter and longer than others,” explained Tim Jeffs, Director. “Also no other company offers the 12 hour and 10 hour candle – as well as the most important aspect which is #refillRevolution. Hundreds of thousands of empty ‘bougies’ – sometimes with non biodegradable wax – end up in landfills every year. Vineyards can use the Crop Candle cans for three to four seasons and just purchase refills at a reduced cost,” added Tim. The candles are placed out at the beginning of frost season under the vine, when a frost warning is received, they are moved to the centre of the rows. “All our candles come with a eco-firelighter to speed up their ignition in the early hours – taking one person about 10

-15 minutes per hectare. At bud burst or woolly bud stage we recommend 250 candles per hectare, and at later stages this is increased to 400 candles per hectare,” said Tim. “In my view the sooner all UK vineyards use our candles the better it will be for the environment. If there is no frost then our candles can be put away until the following season or stored for up to five years. >>

10-12 hour Frost protection candles Reusable cans 8hr Refills order now for next season 100% Vegetable and biodegradable +44 (0)1491 411565 Members of WINEGB / Sponsors of SWGB




• Capacity: 6 Litres • Weight: 5.1 kg Net of wax • Duration: about 8 hours • Packaging: 180 candles per pallet • Caloric Value: 25.5 MJ/h (40MJ/KG) • Origin 100% natural and eco-friendly • Biofuel: Stearin of natural origin. No palm oil.

✓ VERY LOW SMOKE EMISSION ► WWW.STOPGEL.FR LES VERGERS DE L’ILE • 37 rue de Crussol, 26600 La Roche de Glun, FRANCE Tel : +33 4 75 84 61 11 • Mobile : +33 6 48 10 02 65 • Email :

41 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D


> Stopgel

Photo: Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

> Stopgel

<< We have talked to Chris Foss from Sustainable Wines Great Britain (SWGB) with a view to seek grants for vineyards to use these candles. “Our new candle this year is far superior to any other that has been on the market. We are the new ‘Fever Tree’ in the candle industry and are constantly looking to where we can improve our product for UK vineyards,” concluded Tim. Dillons Vineyard commented: “We trialled 120 candles against our more regular supply from France. We were impressed. The Crop Candles lasted longer for sure. We found them very easy to light. We also particularly like the refill capability that has been added this year.”

Stopgel Green

France based company Stopgel, produce the Stopgel Green anti-frost candle, to protect vineyards from frost while respecting the environment. “The Stopgel Green anti-frost candles make it possible to keep temperatures above 0ºC by warming the layer of air in contact with the vine,” explained Cédric Chazalet. “Depending on the number of candles used, the temperature can be kept above 0ºC even during freezing weather down to -7ºC. Stopgel Green offers an efficient heating method using 6 litre candles evenly spaced across the vineyard, with a burn time of around 8 hours. The size of the candles makes it possible to stay within the zone of temperature inversion, thus allowing the circulation of heated air at the height of the vines. A chart to help with candle density is provided on our website. “The Stopgel Green anti-frost candles are of 100% natural origin, using the wax Stearin, to help protect your crops in a more environmentally friendly way – using anti-frost candles that emit very little smoke. Using a raw material which is unique to our products, Stopgel Green candles perform better as they have a significantly higher calorific value per hour than the “other” candles on the market, producing on average 25.5MJ per hour where paraffin candles are usually between 15 to 18MJ per hour,” concluded Cédric.

Raising the temperature with Agrofrost’s Frostbuster


> Tim Jeffs, The Crop Candle Company

The Frostbuster and Frost Guard frost are two frost protection machines produced by international company AgroFrost. “Unlike other frost protection systems, the principle is not based on raising the temperature above the critical values, but on phase transition,” explained Patrik Stynen, Director. “Or in this case by controlling the forming of hoarfrost, the feathery type of frost. >>

AGROFROST Masters in Frost Protection ! More than 2500 units sold worldwide ! Frostbusters - FrostGuards - Wind Machines


The biggest range of in the world.

Why Agrofrost ? We are the biggest producer of frost protection machines in the world and our turnover increases year after year. During the last 50 years, we have been the only company that introduced new effective solutions to fight frost. We have the biggest range of frost protection machines in the world, so we can always offer you the best solution and we continue to invest in research for better solutions and better results. For spring 2020, we introduce several new machines: New Frostbuster F501 with 8 or 10 bottles and automatic burner ignition. New 3-Point Frostbusters, with 2 low or 2 high outlets (ideal for blueberries). New FrostGuards Basic; a new economical model. A new Frost Alarm, based on the wet temperature. New Wind Machines and Burners for Wind Machines. UK Importer: NP Seymour - Cranbrook - Kent TN17 2PT Tel: 01580 712200 - Email:

Agrofrost (Belgium) Contact: Patrik Stynen Tel.: 01580 291565 or mobile +32 495 517689 Email:

Find out all about it on our website:

why growers use antifrost: why growers use antifrost:

high protection

AntiFrost increases a plant’s natural frost tolerance by up to a further 7°C below their high protection AntiFrost increases a plant’s natural frost tolerance by up to a further 7°C below their natural tolerance! natural tolerance!


INCREASEs YIELD By increasing the plant’s own levels of anti-freeze proteins, AntiFrost reduces crop losses By increasing the plant’s ownand levels of anti-freeze proteins, reduces crop losses due to frost and cold injuries stimulates the growth of AntiFrost more buds. due to frost and cold injuries and stimulates the growth of more buds.


INCREASEs QUALITY The surplus anti-freeze proteins are converted to proteins, vitamins, The surplus anti-freeze proteins arefrost. converted to proteins, vitamins, sugars, oils, and nutrients after the sugars, oils, and nutrients after the frost.


ENVIRONMENT Nohelps need for THE excessive water consumption for irrigation. No need to No needharmful for excessive water consumption for irrigation. No need to produce greenhouse gas emissions. produce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

saves time

saves time AntiFrost can be applied with other inputs and is effective AntiFrost can be after applied with other inputs and is effective for up to 14 days instructed applications. for up to 14 days after instructed applications.

tried by tried and and confirmed confirmed by

® Biological Horticulture Biological && Ecological Ecological Aid Aid for for Horticulture +44 +44(0) (0)1702 1702 296 296 888 888 CropAid CropAidInternational International Ltd Unit Unit11, 11,Imperial Imperial Park Park Industrial Estate, Shoeburyness, Shoeburyness, Essex, Essex, SS3 9QT on our Please our product product range range Pleasevisit visitour ourwebsite website for for more information on

44 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

<< “Where our machines are used, we notice a significantly lower formation of hoarfrost, which is the biggest enemy for the soft tissue of flowers, shoots and buds – but there is a way to use this enemy for protection,” continued Patrik. “The transformation of vapour into hoarfrost is called desublimation or deposition and liberates a lot of energy,” he explained. “This energy is transferred to its surroundings, in this case the surrounding air but above all into the soft tissue. It is the hoarfrost that normally causes most damage - this is because the ice crystals extract energy and humidity from the flower. Without protection, the layer of hoarfrost will increase and finally cause damage by dehydration and under-cooling. “With our equipment we pass with a hot air stream, every seven to ten minutes, part of the ice evaporates (called sublimation) and the remaining ice gets energy from the passing air. The higher the humidity, the more energy that is transferred. After a few minutes, the air cools down again, the relative humidity increases, and new rime ice will be formed. This liberates energy and gives energy to the flowers. This allows us to create an optimal protection with only a fraction of the energy input that is needed by other systems. “The FrostGuard protects between 0.4 and one hectare, the Frostbuster between four and eight hectares, depending on the model and application. One of the many advantages is that the equipment is not fixed, and as it is mobile it can be in whichever plot it is needed – and doesn’t require planning permits. The maintenance and running costs are low – other systems can cost at least three times more for the same protected area. “The machines perform very well with radiation frost. There’s also protection during wind frost, where the maximum wind speed is about 7 km/hr – however results are not as good as during radiation frost. Romain Henrion, from Hattingley Valley Vineyard commented: “I wanted to tell you about the excellent results regarding the Frostguards. This year and last year we had several cold spells in the spring and the Frostguards have shown great efficiency on our sites. We were able to reduce the damage to <1% on the total plots which represents a minimal economic loss for us.”


Rob S

ders un

Five priorities to see in the New Year





per Coo

The quieter winter period is an ideal time to take stock of vineyards and prepare for the coming season. Hutchinsons agronomists Rob Saunders and Chris Cooper highlight five priority areas. 1. Sample soil

Soil sampling should typically be on a threeyear cycle, and in England, if applying any type of fertiliser, legally needs to be done every five years. More frequent testing may be needed in problem areas. Terramap is an excellent way of monitoring nutrient levels over time, using multi-point sampling and the ability to return to the same spot each time. Alongside key considerations like phosphate, potash, magnesium, pH and lime requirements, be aware of potential manganese deficiencies too. Historically, many vines received small quantities of manganese contained in applications of mancozeb-based fungicides. However, this is no longer available as the EU withdrew the active in February 2021. Subsequently, no approved product is available in the UK, where this is still legal to use, so deficiencies are likely.

2. Plan pruning

Deciding when to begin pruning is a compromise between what is ideal and what is practical, depending on vineyard area and labour availability. Ideally, prune closer to spring when rising sap is thought to protect the wound against infection, and there is less time for trunk diseases to develop. Later pruning helps mitigate frost damage, as tall, upright canes are less affected by ground frost. There is also more material to select from if frost damage does occur before pruning. Realistically though, only smaller sites, or those with plentiful labour, can leave pruning until later, and anyone reliant on contractors may have little flexibility over timing, although tying down can be delayed. Whenever pruning starts, try to avoid wet

days which increase infection risk on cuts - dry, cold conditions are ideal.

3. Appraise canes

A critical appraisal of cane growth helps identify those most suitable to lay down for the coming season and can also highlight problem areas requiring attention. Ideally most canes should be a reasonable diameter (pencil thick) and have reached the top wire during the year. Cut out any “bull-canes” which will be too vigorous and unbalance the growth in 2022. Examine any that fall short of the top-wire to identify the causes. Lack of nutrition, poor soil structure and issues such as compaction or poor drainage, are common causes. Growing conditions and moisture availability were generally very good last season, so this is unlikely to have affected nutrient uptake. It may be worth conducting a soil mineral nitrogen (SMN) test in the New Year on areas of poor vigour as nitrogen is key to promoting strong foliar growth. Given high fertiliser prices, there is extra need to accurately target applications, both to compensate for 2021 crop uptake and meet nutritional requirements for the coming season. If the vine has wispy cane development due to cropping well, be realistic about what the cane can support next year and reduce the number of fruiting buds correspondingly.

4. Manage weeds

Maintaining clear ground under vines is a method of reducing spring frost risk damage, but bare earth during winter is bad for soil health, given the reduction in carbohydrate available for soil biota, increased nutrient

leaching, run-off and erosion risk. Allowing soil to “green up” with some weed growth can help, by providing useful ground cover and root growth. Generally, aim to remove weed cover in late winter/early spring to reduce the frost risk affecting emerging buds in late April to early May Small weed populations are relatively easy to control with a single application of glyphosate in March or propyzamide (if available) in late January, however spray application shadow where there is dense weed cover makes full control difficult if weeds are well established. In these situations a programmed approach will be needed. This usually involves one treatment in mid-late winter to reduce the weeds to a level that can be effectively controlled with a second spray in March. Using different actives at each timing is important for resistance management, but this is becoming harder given limited herbicide chemistry approved in vines. Many growers are therefore exploring other options such as mulches, flame-weeding, water weeders, cultivations and cover crops.

5. Maintain sites

Now is a good time to catch up with basic site maintenance, such as repairing trelliswork, maintaining drainage, trimming around boundaries and clearing cold air channels through hedges. While there were relatively few frost problems in 2021, the year before showed how damaging late frosts in May can be, so investing a bit of effort now to reduce the risks could be worthwhile. Finally we, and the Hutchinsons team, would like to wish all readers a happy, prosperous New Year.

DESKTOP ENVELOPE phone-alt 01945 461177 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D



Pruning for optimum yield Winter pruning is one of the most technical, expensive, and important tasks in the vineyard year. Vineyard finds out how pruning methods can help avoid potential yield losses from frost, disease, and poor weather at flowering. Achieving vine balance, with the correct crop load and bud numbers is critical for managing the vine during the season, but in a cool climate even a healthy, well-pruned vine can have its potential yield ruined by frost, poor flowering and fruit set, or disease. A few adjustments, techniques and treatments during winter pruning can help in the battle against these obstacles.

Delayed pruning

There are many published studies that show delaying pruning will delay budburst and, thus, delay flowering to a time when the weather conditions are likely to be warmer and more favourable. “At Plumpton College we have had three students looking at delayed pruning in a UK vineyard,” explained Dr Greg Dunn, Head of Wine, “but so far we haven’t seen any delay in bud burst. This may be related to the UK climate and more work needs to be done specifically in the UK. In other countries delayed pruning has increased yield, as both flowering and bud differentiation occur during periods when the weather is likely to be better and warmer,” Greg continued.


“Delayed pruning could also be useful for avoiding spring frosts. Pruning late when the sap is flowing helps protect against grapevine trunk diseases – along with other good practices such as avoiding pruning in the rain, trying to always prune upwind and, of course, cleaning secateurs between vines. However, for many vineyards it may not be very practical to leave pruning until the last moment due to workload and labour, unless the vineyard is suited to mechanised pre-pruning,” Greg added.

Sacrificial canes

Losing crop to frost is costly, damaging to production planning, logistics, sales, and winery operations – as well as heart-breaking. Candles, fans, irrigation, and other frost mitigation methods are available, but manipulating the vines architecture by pruning to leave additional buds and sacrificial canes also plays a role. “I have left sacrificial canes a few times now on sites that are frost prone, including a couple this year, and this has worked well,” explained Joel Jorgensen, Managing Director and Viticulturist, Veraison Ltd. “On the sites that are more frost

prone, I prune later, towards the end of February or early March and then tie down the ‘normal’ canes at the end of March – leaving the sacrificial canes upright. “The principle is that firstly, you are leaving twice as many buds as needed, so that if there is a frost and you lose say, half the buds - you end up with the originally planned bud number. Secondly, by leaving so many buds the vine tends to go through bud burst later – and even a few days can make a difference and avoid a late spring frost. “Also, because the sacrificial cane is upright, the buds are sitting at a slightly higher nighttime temperature, which could be just above the damage point. Although the textbooks might suggest more distinct apical dominance on the upright canes, in my experience, observationally, there is not an obvious difference." “Leaving sacrificial canes can save a valuable crop, but it is not without its costs, as tying down after a frost has to be done very carefully to avoid damaging young shoots, it’s a much slower process – and you have to hold your nerve until mid-May! Also tying down in May coincides with many other vineyard tasks. However, at two sites


> Vines Direct: Duncan McNeill demonstrates pruning cuts we manage, this pruning technique avoided frost damage and resulted in a potential yield of 9 tonnes per hectare – without leaving the sacrificial canes the frost damage would have seriously reduced or wiped out the yields.

Respecting the vine

The Simonit&Sirch ‘gentle’ pruning method allows the vine to branch naturally and avoid blocking the flow of sap, or vascular function, allowing for better fertility, resistance to disease and reliable yield. Joel Jorgensen studied in his native South Africa. “I was taught at university, in Stellenbosch, to prune to respect the plant, and although not described as the Simonit&Sirch method of gentle pruning at the time, it follows many of the same principles, one of which is respect the sap flow,” explained Joel. “Summer pruning – or shoot selection – needs be carried out in a way to ensure that in the winter you only need to make cuts above the crown. With any cuts made, there needs to be an allowance for dieback, leaving some extra wood to avoid damage to the vascular tissue. By leaving dieback wood, avoiding pruning in the rain or in wet conditions, and if possible, pruning when the sap is rising means that I don’t feel the need to use any wound treatment – but if I did, I would probably select a Trichoderma based product. I think any sealant type product would just trap any infection inside. The Simonit&Sirch gentle pruning principles are central to Viticulturist Duncan McNeill’s approach to pruning, regardless of whether the vines are VSP, high wire, spur pruned, or cane pruned. “When I adopted the method back in February 2013 it took a little while to re-adjust, but there comes a ‘lightbulb moment’ when the method suddenly makes sense and I’ve never looked back since,” explained Duncan. “It has fundamentally changed the way we make our cuts and how we consider the ramifications of those cuts to the vascular system of the vine. In fact, there are only very minor methodology changes needed to adopt the Simonit&Sirch system – but they have a huge positive impact on the health and longevity of the grapevine,” explained Duncan. “I’m not concerned about how wide the Y-shaped head may extend. We are in our ninth

> Vine-Works: Leaving sacrifical canes season now and I don’t have any vines which need re-working. This seems to be a major reservation that people have with the system – there’s no need – you just go with the flow! “The key is with renewal spurs, and the position of the buds on the spurs. The end bud needs to be facing upwards. This will become next year’s fruit bearing cane. The lower bud needs to be pointing downwards – and this will become next year’s renewal spur. The following year, you simply repeat the process. It is actually very simple and because it has very clear, simple rules I have found it very easy to teach new staff and the quality of my team’s pruning has dramatically improved. According to Duncan potential yield is influenced by correct pruning as it affects crop loading and vine balance. “If a vine is overloaded with buds, the excess burden of shoots and crop means that distribution of carbohydrates to the other – equally important – organs of the vine is

compromised. Foliage and grapes are the primary sinks for carbohydrate – if the vine is overloaded with buds, then there is not enough to be taken into the fruit buds, trunk and root system,” explained Duncan. “Next year’s buds, the trunk and the roots need this carbohydrate to continue the development of the vine’s permanent structure and to develop the buds for the following year’s crop. I’ve seen so many cases of ‘yo-yo yields’ in vines pruned to double guyot, retaining 20-24 buds, in planting densities of 2.2m x 1m. There are simply too many buds for vines planted this densely – the root system doesn’t have enough soil volume from which to draw moisture to service 20-24 shoots. “I moved over to all single guyot pruning back in 2015 and have observed far more consistency of yield over recent years. In my opinion, the reason for this is that my vines with 12 shoots can generate enough carbohydrate, via photosynthesis, to ripen a decent crop – with >>

Training The Plumpton College WineSkills training programme includes viticulture workshops and it is best to check the website for the latest updates: The Welsh Vineyards (registered with Tyfu Cymru) provide a wide range of horticultural workshops, some of which, specifically viticulture training, including pruning workshops, may be repeated. See the website Vinescapes Ltd offer online and practical viticulture courses, which can be downloaded and taken at the learner’s own pace. These include: ◆ Advanced Pruning 1: Beyond Basic Pruning and Vine Balance by Dr Glen Creasy ◆ Advanced Pruning 2: Vine Capacity and the Ideal Vine by Dr Glen Creasy For more information visit:



Protecting pruning wounds According to crop protection company Belchim, and agronomist John Buchan, biofungicides are a way forward to Grapevine Trunk Diseases (GTD). Recently celebrating 20 years as an independent consultant agronomist in the viticulture sector, John Buchan is in a good position to assess the key challenges, both historical and new, in an industry that has experienced significant change in recent years. “Back in 2001, when I began to focus solely on viticulture, there were significantly more chemical options available to growers and certainly no-one was really talking too much about sustainability or greener production methods in wine production. Fast forward to 2021 and sustainability is now, quite rightly, front and centre with a genuine need for far less reliance on use of chemicals to treat disease when maintaining vine health. With both issues almost symbiotically linked, use of true biofungicides must be the way forward when tackling trunk disease threats,” said John. GTD is a major cause of vine death, and reduction in vineyard productivity across most wine regions of the world, including the UK. Whilst good plant nutrition to improve the vine’s health and natural resistance can help mitigate the spread of the disease, treatments such as wound sealants have either lost approval for use, due to potentially harmful ingredients, and are now prohibited. “Over the last 10-15 years GTD has become increasingly problematic for UK growers. Spread by spore production through the infection of

pruning wounds, or by buying in new vines that have not been correctly hot water treated, it can be destructive with significant production losses. However, in Vintec, a biological fungicide containing Trichoderma atroviride SC1 that was launched in November 2020, we finally have a well trialled and proven treatment that is safe for the user, the plant, and the environment,” explained John. “On the question of sustainability, it’s a natural endophyte with multiple modes of action that establishes well within the vines on application. It’s quick and simple to apply to the pruning wound and does not lengthen nor complicate the winter pruning process. Crucially, it can be used on both conventional and organic vineyards. For best results Vintec should be applied when a temperature of 10 degrees occurs soon after pruning and, ideally, there should be no frost or rain for 48 hours following application. For season long protection is it generally advisable to follow up with a second application, as a spray. “Overall customer feedback to date confirms that Vintec is effective, safe and easy to handle with no unpleasant odour and following successful trials across a number of vineyards this year my current plan is to extend use to around 20 vineyards for winter pruning in 2021/2022. “I’s rare for me to endorse any specific product. However, GTD, is a serious and genuine threat and, in Vintec, we have a fully approved management tool, and only product option for wound protection,” John concluded.

> John Buchan

<< enough left over for distribution to the buds, trunk, and roots. This is vine balance! Understanding the biology of the vine, its natural growth habits, and internal vascular system are essential – and logical – feels Duncan. “A vine is a creeping plant, so it grows most strongly from its extremities – hence the phenomenon of apical dominance or end point principal. If we load the plant with too many buds, we get exaggerated apically dominant growth. “We need to understand that every cut will cause a cone of desiccated vascular tissue – with deeper cones of desiccation when cuts are made through older wood. We accept that there will be desiccation at the site of pruning wounds, and this is why we orientate our cuts so that the wounds are made to the upper facing surface of the vine. In doing so, the downwards facing surface of the vine has un-damaged healthy vascular tissue along which to conduct the flow of sap. “This is also why we only make cuts through older wood once that wood has completely dried out. Cuts through dried out vascular tissue do not cause any further inner desiccation. Therefore, we leave a protective stump when cutting through older wood. As long as there is no shoot growth on the stump next season, no sap is drawn into that stump – and so it dries naturally. With careful cuts Duncan finds that he has not needed to use any product to protect the pruning wound. “I was taught that leaving protective stumps, which are cut away the following year, is the best method of protection. This makes sense to me – it is working with nature. The pathogenic fungi associated with the Esca disease complex only travel around 2cm per year through the wood. Therefore, if we leave a stump of 3 to 4cm and cut it away the following year, once it’s dried out, this should keep the pathogens out of the ‘living’ inner tissue. All the tasks we perform in the vineyard are completely inter-related and pruning influences yield, disease risk, vine nutrient status, fruit ripening, wine quality, running costs, longevity – so it’s such an important task to get right,” concluded Duncan.



“Training is an absolute must!” exclaimed Joel. “Pruning needs a good eye, its technical, expensive and can be challenging! “Poor pruning will result in yield losses and unproductive plants – as well as a whole host of other problems. Even though I have been a viticulturist for many years I undertake refresher courses when I can. It’s always good to see how other viticulturists prune – there are so many ways – and if you are not learning, you’re standing still! I offer winter pruning training to groups or individuals, and there are several courses coming up around the regions.

s ine


i ase

Biological Fungicide Pruning wound disease control


d sca


• Naturally derived Trichoderma from woody tree species • Fast movement within the vine • The only product approved for Esca disease control in UK • Long seasonal protection • Protects the vine even at low temperatures • No MRL • Fully approved by 2 UK organic organisations • Multi-site activity

USE PLANT PROTECTION PRODUCTS SAFELY. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND PRODUCT INFORMATION BEFORE USE. For further information on product hazard warnings, risk and safety phrases, consult the Belchim Crop Protection Ltd website. Vintec® contains Trichoderma atroviride strain SC1 and is a trademark of Bi-PA NV/SA

Technical enquiries: 01480 403333 |




n pto

Glass manufacturing process

M a rk C

Furnaces last between 12-16 years subject to maintenance breaks and rebuilding. Glass composition Technical information and chemical characteristics Glass is obtained by melting a mixture of raw materials. The three main components in the process are: ◆ Silica, which is the vitrifying element (it melts at very high temperatures); ◆ Soda (sodium carbonate), which is the melting agent (it lowers the melting temperature of the silica); ◆ Calcium (calcium carbonate), which is the stabilising element (it improves the chemical resistance of the glass). Other ingredients are added to these three components in order to obtain certain properties: ◆ Magnesium, lowers the speed and temperature of the devitrification and thus enables the working of the material at better temperature conditions; ◆ Aluminium oxide, lowers the coefficient of thermal expansion, increases the viscosity levels at processing temperatures and improves resistance to water and thermal shocks. Other additives (nitrates, sulphates) are introduced in order to eliminate gas bubbles and improve the homogeneity of the vitreous paste, as well as colouring or decolouring agents. It is worth underlining that the decolouring of glass is not generally a chemical reaction but the result of a physical process based on the superimposing of complementary colours. With the production of flint glass (clear glass), despite the use of carefully selected raw materials, some impurities continue to be present (such as iron oxide or very small particles of chrome that give a yellow-green colour to the batch). For this reason, appropriate amounts of other ingredients are added, such as selenium (pink) and/or cobalt (blue) to obtain the typical "colourless-transparent" aspect of glass. Other frequently added colouring agents are chrome (green), pyrite and graphite (dark yellow), copper (red).


Physical characteristics

Because of its distinctive features, glass can be considered both as a solid (because of its hardness, the ability to maintain its shape, etc) and as a liquid (because of its isotropy, disordered structure, etc), and it is therefore sometimes described as a "high viscosity liquid". Between its extreme fluidity during the refining phase and the solid state of the finished product, there is the so-called "working range". ◆ Hardness: this is increased by calcium and boron. Only diamond can scratch glass; ◆ Density: this varies according to the type of glass. On average it is 2.5 kg/dm3; ◆ Fragility: this well-known characteristic is partly a result of its viscosity, which may cause internal stresses during the cooling phase; these can be partially eliminated using a particularly careful annealing process; ◆ Tensile and elongation strength: negligible; ◆ Resistance to compression: 40 kg/mm2.

This makes it possible to use glass in the construction industry; ◆ Thermal conductivity: 50 times lower than steel and 500 times lower than copper. Glass is not a good heat conductor and this is another cause of its fragility; ◆ Conductivity of electricity: glass is a very bad conductor of electricity in its solid state (the glass used as an electrical insulator is obtained by using specific variations in its composition, since the presence of alkali must be minimised in order to eliminate the surface conductivity, created by the saline solutions that form between the dampness of the external layer and the sodium silicates – the white effect). Glass manufacture follows phases. Raw materials make up around 15%-20% of carbon emissions. Using recycled cullet is therefore

Temperatures (approximate average data) Melting at 1500°C Refining at 1300°C Forming at 900/1000°C Annealing at 350/550°C

DESKTOP phone-alt 07805 081677 ENVELOPE

important to reduce the carbon footprint of bottle manufacture but quality must be maintained, so a proportion of virgin or industrial recycled raw materials are used in the process subject to the colour target.

Phase 1

The proportions of the glass mix of Silica, Soda, Calcium plus Magnesium and aluminium oxide, is automatically mixed from silos with the crushed cullet and is transferred into the melting chamber.

Phase 2

In the melting chamber, the first of two chambers, the batch is melted under extreme heat to 1400-1550℃, often with heat exchangers to allow for heat recovery for use in the plant, this is then fed into the second chamber, generally the smaller furnace termed the “working” chamber. Depth and size of these furnaces varies but typical sizing of the furnace glass bath is 1.4m deep and 30m2-100m2 surface area. A complex air and gas combination is maintained with heat and combustion of natural gas (CH4) recovery operating through various channels to maintain an even heat distribution and mix of glass in the furnace. This is the largest form of carbon emission making up 60-70% of the total carbon emissions of a glass container. Electric heating elements can also supplement the furnace temperature and the electricity from carbon neutral sources can further reduce the CO2 emissions.

Sensors and probes automatically manage the furnace adding in more batch material. As glass is pulled into forming containers the raw materials are added with homogenisation of the material as consistent and regular as possible. Heating is also important to avoid hot spots and various convection patterns are monitored. The molten glass is now in optimum and homogenous condition ready to transfer to the moulds.

Phase 3

This molten glass at a temperature of 14001550°C is transferred into the feeders, delivering the glass to the forming machines, made of a complex metal alloy it resists the glass sticking and passes to a special heated basin where the molten glass is precisely weighed and cut via a mechanism forming elongated “gobs”. This gob is a specified temperature and weight for the container purpose and typically the traditional method bottle most popular in the UK market is a 835g weight; able to withstand 5-6 bar continuous pressure. This gob falls by gravity via chute into a blank mould chamber.

> Glass cullet going into the glass mix

now in a semi solid state and rotates 180° into the finishing mould where the container has a further blunger inserted with the exact neck and punt ring finish along with the side plates with any embossing or decoration. Moulds are maintained with carbon washing every hour so depending on the production.

Phase 4

Phase 5

Glass containers are typically formed via the Press and Blow (or Near Neck Press and Blow for lighter weight bottles) method. The gob falls into the blank mould (Parison) and a plunger is inserted and the glass is blown with heated compressed air where it takes a general shape, it is then released by the blank mould,

The fully formed bottle is released onto a conveyor that then goes through a managed heating and cooling (annealing process) allowing the glass to cool at an even rate reducing internal stresses in the vitrified state where the energy from the furnace is locked into the container.

Colour variation and protective abilities COLOUR OF GLASS

































> Light transmission: This varies according to the colour and thickness of the glass; the table above shows the approximate values of glass filtering power



Top student > Lucy at Artelium

> Lucy graduating

Back in August, we introduced Lucy Sawyer and two other students. At the time, Lucy was completing her BA in International Wine Business. Lucy graduated with 1st Class Hons and became the top student in her year. Lucy is now working at the newly opened Artelium Wine Estate, looking after their marketing needs and helping to build the brand. Below is a summary of her final year project, along with the major conclusions.

Lucy Sawyer, BA International Wine Business (Hons, 1st Class) Major project The Impact of Covid-19 on the English and Welsh Wine Industry.

Major conclusions


The Covid-19 pandemic is undoubtedly one of the largest and most significant events in recent history. It will take many years for its full effect to be realised. The way consumers spent during the pandemic and lockdowns changed the way sales of English and Welsh wines (EWW) were sold and the subsequent distribution. Vineyard visitor numbers were affected, with forced periods of


closures in the on-trade, also reducing sales. Producers had to adapt quickly; enabling consumers to purchase and receive their wines. English and Welsh wines were largely purchased from the supermarket, independent retailers, on the producers’ websites and at the cellar door during this period. Exports of wines produced in the UK were also significantly affected. By collating primary research from interviews, anonymous surveys, and secondary research in literature reviews, this paper investigated the effects of this major event on the emerging British wine industry. It also described ways in which producers adapted for their businesses to survive. This study identified the potential opportunities that arose during the pandemic and potential future threats to the industry.

Given producers initial concerns regarding revenue at the start of the pandemic, many can be fairly positive about the impact of Covid-19 on the industry in 2020. There has been enormous growth in online sales, with producers acting quickly to boost sales whilst achieving higher margins. Digital engagement was extremely successful overall in building awareness. Product involvement in EWW and virtual tastings looks set to continue beyond

the pandemic. While there has been a large decline in on-trade sales, it is hoped that once restrictions are fully lifted these will bounce back to pre-pandemic levels. Although still a relatively small part of the EWW industry, it is essential (especially for the larger producers) that exports return to their previous level. Whilst awareness of EWW continued to grow in the UK during the pandemic, more collaborative promotion will be needed to increase awareness overseas and grow the export market. Looking at the evidence, the Covid-19 pandemic did not impact EWW producers as greatly as expected in the early stages. Many, especially the small and medium-sized producers, felt overall, it positively impacted their sales, and the awareness of their wines grew. With 80% of producers surveyed stating they had seen an increase in sales in 2020, it could have been worse. Also, as producers continue to adapt to the changes they may face, there are some very strong areas of opportunity for continued growth beyond the pandemic. The limited literature on this subject has resulted in certain areas not being thoroughly assessed. Further study is needed on more detailed sales figures and visitor numbers when the information becomes available.

Visit for more information J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D


oush i k, Pl aK um

A k sha y


Meet the people behind the wines

oo a nd Deep b Ba

The wine students at Plumpton College are fortunate to have Dr Akshay Baboo and Deepika Koushik as part of the international teaching team, bringing their knowledge and talent – both academic and practical – from around the world. They are also married. Akshay is the Programme Manager for the undergraduate degrees in wine production and teaches winemaking. Deepika is the Winemaker at Plumpton and teaches winery operation skills. ege Col l on pt

A career in wine production

“When I was seven, I saw a documentary on winemaking,” said Akshay. “My mother brought home grapes the next day and I decided to make them into wine - Mum wasn’t best pleased. I guess that’s when the bug bit me!” He added. “I think wine found me,” explained Deepika. “I taught microbiology and was extremely interested in fermentation sciences and after visits to wineries I decided to take up winemaking as a career. I wanted a career where I could learn something new every day and something that keeps me on my toes, and making wine is all about that!” Deepika added.

Studying winemaking and viticulture

“I have a degree in botany, chemistry and zoology from Bangalore University in India, a Masters in viticulture and oenology from École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie, Montpellier SupAgro, a Diplôme National from the University of Bordeaux, and a doctorate from the University of Turin,” explained Akshay. “I did my Masters in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis, California. Before, that I did an MSc. In Applied Biotechnology at University of Westminster in London. I also studied chemistry, zoology and microbiology at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, India,” added Deepika.

Work experience

“I worked in Dehlinger Winery, California, where they specialise in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. I also worked for Château De La Tour in Clos de Vougeot in Burgundy, and before I joined Plumpton I worked with Rathfinny Wine Estate,” explained Deepika. “I started out working for a very large multinational in Bordeaux and Champagne,” added Akshay, "and after this I started a wine consultancy firm, based in Milan where I worked as a consultant winemaker at several small family run vineyards in Spain, Italy, France, and Germany. I then moved back to India and worked for Grover Zampa Vineyards as their assistant winemaker and AVP – Vineyards. The UK beckoned with the opportunity to teach, and to do research within a small but dedicated team of academics – and not to mention the fizz,” smiled Akshay.

What do you love about your jobs?

“I really enjoy the interesting discussions with students and the long ‘corridor chats’ as well as looking at various aspects of winemaking, and the variety in their paradigms of thought,” said Akshay. “I love it that my job involves doing something slightly new and different every day. Also the students – they have so many questions and new approaches to things,

it challenges me to give them the best experience they can get,” added Deepika.

Challenges and opportunities in the UK

“I think there are a lot of opportunities for building a career in viticulture and winemaking in the UK. I think that the UK’s sparkling wines are the calling card to the wine world. I think the challenge, apart from the everfluctuating vintages, now, is how to get the wine all over the world and grow the region as a must have,” commented Deepika. “With climate change, the opportunities for the UK is huge, within the fizz market, and eventually in the still wine market as well, however, the single most important challenge for this industry, in my opinion, is reduced yields, which not only has an effect to the price of the wine, but is also capitally intensive for producers,” added Akshay.

Tips for a career in wine

“Be prepared to work long, and tiring days,” exclaimed Akhsay, “and be prepared to clean at the end of a long and tiring day. Be flexible. Have a willingness to learn a new skill – be it plumbing, or engineering, or chemistry,” he added. “Get experience anywhere and everywhere you can. The different areas of wine from viticulture to cellar work, to sales and managing inventory – all those skills will help out when you least expect it,” Deepika added.

Working together

“We met in Bangalore and were married in July of 2020. Working together is easy and we are able to bounce ideas off each other – but we are still learning to switch off at the end of the day,” said Akshay. “We definitely had to learn how to separate out professional and personal lives though,” Deepika agreed.

Favourite wines

“Other than Plumpton Brut Classic! Trouble with Dreams 2010, Hindleap BdB 2010, and Suitcase Pinot Noir are my favourites,” commented Akshay. “I also particularly liked an Orange Bacchus made by Chapel Down,” added Deepika.

Any spare time?

“I like to paint and go for hikes. If I had more spare time I would love to go touring more wine regions!” Deepika commented. “I like to cook, read about wine, travel – and anything Formula 1,” Akshay added.

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D


Representing you Working in partnership with Vineyard magazine for a developing UK wine industry. WineGB is the national trade body representing the vine growers and winemakers of Great Britain from the largest producers to small hobbyists. Our members work together with the organisation to develop strategy, expertise and marketing opportunities for long-term, sustainable success.

If you are interested in wine production in the UK find out more about WineGB and join us. Visit our website

Diversity & Inclusion Conference

WineGB will be hosting a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Conference at the end of January. D&I is at the heart of WineGB’s strategy going forwards, and this conference will fulfil its commitment to provide further information and support for its members. The event will take the form of an online, half-day conference. Representatives from Moët Hennessy will discuss the commercial benefits of D&I while members of the WineGB community will present best practice cases, giving examples of those who are excelling in this field. The event is free of charge and open to any member of the drinks industry. The date will be confirmed shortly. Visit the WineGB website for further information.

New website

WineGB’s new website, which will now incorporate a self-service membership management function, is set to launch in January. The goal has been to simplify the look and content of the old website and make it easier to use. The members’ area has been streamlined and all the content re-loaded as separate files. A much-improved search facility will make these files easier to locate, while they can be downloaded as and when required. The self-service feature will allow members to update their shared details and make membership payments. In conjunction with the launch, WineGB will release a series of webinars explaining how to use and get the most out of the new website.

WineGB Uncorked

WineGB Uncorked is a new online forum open to all WineGB members. It takes the form of a Zoom meeting hosted each month by different members of the WineGB executive team and board. It is a chance for members to speak directly with decision-makers and ask questions and raise concerns. The first session was held on 15 December and future dates will be publicised to members through the WineGB Weekly newsletters.


Plans for 2022

WineGB’s marketing activities support members and build awareness of English and Welsh wines and the industry at large. An extensive calendar of events and campaigns is planned for 2022, as well as being involved in other external events. WineGB’s key focus areas for 2022 are: ◆ Sustainability: WineGB’s commitment to sustainability across every aspect of the industry will be demonstrated through its activities and in its communications. ◆ Diversity and inclusion: WineGB’s commitment to D&I will include providing further information and support for members as they look at their own businesses. ◆ UK wine trade engagement: targeted activity, including English Wine Week and a series of one-day wine schools, plus the annual trade tasting in September. WineGB will also be working with the London Wine Fair to enable a presence at the show, with affordable stand options for members. Its focus in 2022 will be on the on-trade ◆ Wine Tourism: Actively supporting the growth of wine tourism in Britain. As well as delivering further support for its members, WineGB will be staging a ‘travel show’ aimed at travel trade and tourism media in February 2022 to highlight this important sector.

◆ Export: Supporting the initiatives undertaken by WineGB’s export group. ◆ A comprehensive PR, social media and website content plan to deliver across the year, both to support WineGB’s activities and to develop even further awareness and following. ◆ Holding a Business & Marketing Conference in March, the focus this year being economic sustainability.

MARCH Friday 11 March (TBC) WineGB UK Pruning Competition Location: Yotes Court Vineyard


27 January Sustainable Wines of Great Britain AGM Location: Denbies Wine Estate Date TBC WineGB Diversity & Inclusion Half Day Conference

Thursday 17 March WineGB Business & Marketing Conference. Key theme: building towards economic sustainability. Location: TBC Sunday 27 – Tuesday 29 March ProWein Location: Düsseldorf

APRIL Saturday 23 - Wednesday 27 April US inbound trade & influencers visit


Saturday 4 - Sunday 12 June Welsh Wine Week Friday 9 June Viti-Culture Show Location: Yotes Monday 13 - Thursday 16 June WineGB Awards 2022 judging Saturday 18 - Sunday 26 June English Wine Week

JULY Date TBC WineGB Awards 2022 winners’ lunch Monday 18 July One-Day Wine School – trade masterclass

SEPTEMBER Tuesday 6 September WineGB Trade & Press Tasting Location: RHS Lindley Hall


Monday 16 - Wednesday 18 May London Wine Fair Location: Kensington Olympia

Date TBC UK Wine Tourism Travel Show (Trade/Press event)


Wednesday 23 November Vineyard & Winery Show

Thursday 2 - Sunday 5 June Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Date TBC WineGB Viticulture Conference



phone-alt 01858 467792 paper-plane globe-asia 55 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

Battle Mowers Ltd



Our company has over 10 years experience with mechanical grape harvesting. We harvest nearly 600 hectares of vineyards each year. Our harvester is a high quality ERO 7000 machine with the new selection table.

Benefits: • Harvest a bigger area in a short time • With the destemmer and the new selection table we get a perfect grape quality • You can harvest vineyards when they’re in the third year • Unloading into grapeboxes


NEW AND SECOND-HAND MACHINES AVAILABLE Servicing to all makes of machines and parts supplied.

Your contractor for grape harvest. In partnership with VINES DIRECT LTD

Lohnunternehmen Lukas Klein

Unit 15-19 Vinehall Business Park, Vinehall Road, Mountfield, East Sussex TN32 5JW

Saint-georges-Straße 4 | 67245 Lambsheim | Germany

01424 773096

Email: Mobile: +49 (0) 15142358410

Vitifruit Equipment Sales and Hire







/vitifruitequipment J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D


 01732 866567


Mechanical weeding just as effective as herbicide The results of an integrated weed management trial have demonstrated that mechanical weeding is just as effective as herbicide when it comes to vine health and increasing yield. In a talk hosted at NIAB EMR on Friday 24 November, Flora O’Brien, from NIAB EMR, and Paul Tuteirihia, from Clemens, the manufacturer of the mechanical weeders used in the trial, presented the three-year IWMPRAISE project findings to the fruit and vine growers in attendance. Part of a Horizon 2020 project to support and promote the implementation of IWM in Europe, the IMWPRAISE project trial was carried out on Chardonnay at the Kent-based facility’s research vineyard. Data showed that compared to the control row, which received no weed treatment, both mechanical weeding methods (the Clemens Radius SL+ and the finger disk with finger roller) and the herbicide application positively impacted the health of the vine and yield. In 2020, all weed treatments resulted in a yield 214% - 247% higher than the control, and in 2021 this was increased to 261% - 292% higher. The study also showed that the difference between the mechanical and chemical treatments was marginal, thus dispelling growers’ concerns that moving away from herbicide would reduce yield. As expected, data showed a significant difference in vine vigour, and nutrition between the treated and untreated vines, this proving the adverse impact that weed competition has on vine growth. Interestingly, the trial also found that the blade treatment, the Clemens Radius SL+, was the most effective in reducing biomass and impacted the

greatest number of different weed families. Following the presentation, attendees were invited to the research vineyard and orchard to see a demonstration of some of the Clemens machinery, which is imported and distributed in the UK by the specialist dealership, NP Seymour. The first machine to be operated was the Clemens Multiclean. Attached to an over-the-row frame, the mulching brushes effectively help growers take the weeds back to ground level without interfering with the soil structure while also removing unwanted shoots and significantly reducing the cost of bud rubbing. Next was the Clemens Radius SL+ which had been used in the trial. Attached to the SB Compact Frame, the Radius SL’s cultivator blades effectively undercut the topsoil and cut the root structure of the weeds, while the optional rotary tiller incorporates the topsoil. Moving to the research plum orchard, fruit growers could then see the Clemens orchard frame with Radius SL attachment. This works in the same way but allows for inter-row widths of up to 3.2 metres. “Mechanical weed control is still one of the things we get asked the most about, and it was great to see that the trial data has proven it to be just as effective as herbicide,” said Claire Seymour, Sales and Marketing Director at NP Seymour. “Under vine cultivators are not a one-size-fits-all product. Modern systems can be incredibly sophisticated, so before choosing a make or model, growers need to think about what they are trying to achieve. “The system on offer from Clemens is robust and comprehensive and has been built to suit

growers who need to do everything in just one pass. It is designed to deal well with hardy weed, and vineyard managers often comment that the Clemens will do a more thorough job, with the effects lasting noticeably longer,” she added. For more information on the Clemens range of under vine cultivation equipment, please contact NP Seymour on 01580 712200.




Haynes Agri




RICHARD SMITH 07483 035922

The UK's leading specialist tractor and machinery dealership since 1974


Avon Works, Cranbrook, TN17 2PT • 01580 712200 • • J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

vid Sayell & a D

c ha Ri

rd Witt


Cane tying down Tying down canes after pruning can be a long tedious job but can be sped up and made more pleasent when using specialist tools. The choice is between powered and non powered. The non powered Ligatex hand tool is good but you do need to be fairly dexterous with some skill to hold the cane in the right position with one hand and push and pull with the other, however it's a popular choice for smaller vineyards or with some teams who may not be under time pressure. The alternative battery powered tools come as semi pro and pro. The semi pro are cheaper and can beat the manual tools in terms of ties done per day but the professional units from Zanon easily outstrip the others both in the number of ties done per day but also the simplicity of use. These pro tools are also available to hire. DESKTOP phone-alt 01732 866567 ENVELOPE

Rycote Lane Farm, Milton Common, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 2NZ Godfrey Drive, Overfield Park, Winthorpe, Newark upon Trent, NG24 2UA Coldridge Copse, Shefford Woodlands, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 7BP Wharf Farm, Coventry, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 0NB Holmbush House, Holmbush Ind. Est., Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9XY London Road, Twyford, Reading, Berkshire, RG10 9EQ

59 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D




CALL ITASCA WINES 01252 279 830 “Enartis, 40 Years of Stabilising Effectiveness”

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.