Vineyard March 2022

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Y D VINEYAR VINEYARD YAR For Growers & Winemakers in Great Britain ™

MARCH 2022

All's well at Westwell

INSIDE Standing out in the wine market Flagging up powdery mildew In conversation with Frazer Thompson Matthew Jukes looks at three new brands


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

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VINEYARD for viticulturists in Great Britain


London Wine Fair announces new dates


Two new regenerative viticulture courses


Bibendum launches e-commerce site


Kiss of Wine is launching two new canned red wines VINEYARD Kelsey Media, The Granary, Downs Court Yalding Hill, Yalding, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 6AL 01959 541444 EDITORIAL Editor: Christian Davis 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

REGULARS 20 In conversation...

Recently retired as CEO of Chapel Down, Frazer Thompson steps down as a board member of WineGB. Arriving from the beerage and Heineken he transformed the Kent producer into the giant of English wine it is today.


Matthew Jukes

Three new brands that are future-facing and modern.


The agronomy diary

Five tips for establishing new vineyards.


Meet the buyer

Wine Society’s English wine buyer: Matthew Horsley.


The vine post

Gold-plated tying down.

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Preparation of base wines Representing you Diversity and inclusion.



Managing disease on compact sites. Front cover image: Westwell © Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

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CONTENTS Features All’s well at Westwell


'If music be the food of love, play on' is the famous opening line from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. At Westwell, they would substitute food for wine.

Standing out in the wine market


In terms of labelling and packaging has everything been too safe, too pastoral, too classic?

Flagging up powdery

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Jo Cowderoy finds out how understanding the disease, using appropriate cultural methods, monitoring and the effective use of plant protection products can reduce its severity.

2022 starts with Landini’s new products

A Made-in-Italy heart and an eye to the future.

n Davis



a st i

Fair’s fair

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From the editor

The decision by Messe Düsseldorf to move its ProWein show to within a hare’s breath of the London Wine Fair has quite rightly caused uproar among exhibitors, potential visitors and supporters of the traditional London show. The move appears to be unnecessarily predatory, confrontational and certainly controversial. Maybe naively, it seems something that is pretty alien and rare in the global wine sector. Unlike, say retail and, to a certain extent the corporate spirits sector, wine is normally a sort of ‘open book’. I don’t think it is a rosy tinted view but, broadly, my perception is that growers, producers come together, share information, help each other. I know that is not always the case, but broadly it is a sector defined, dominated, by a desire, passion, to make great wine rather than driven purely by the prospect of making money and screwing a rival. So it was hardly surprising that so many working in wine, were positively outraged at Messe Messe Düsseldorf’s decision to plonk ProWein on the toes of LWF. Brintex organiser, Hannah Tovey, has moved quickly and positively to move LWF to June. Credit to her. She has been a major mover and shaker of the fair after it rather lost its way out in Docklands at ExCel. Arguably ‘hoisted by its own petard’. Anyway, now more than ever, those of us involved with making wines in England and Wales really should move heaven and particularly earth to support the London Wine Fair. If you can’t afford to exhibit, take a table, at least find the time to attend. You never know you might learn something… Apropos helping each other, it is good to report in my Editor’s Visit that Adrian Pike of Westwell has joined the Wine Garden of England. He admits to being inherently sceptical of such generic organisations, understandably worried that such bodies are dominated by the big, maybe more corporate players with muscle, shouting the louder and the little guys, such as the Pikes, don’t get a squeak. Thanks specifically to Charles Simpson of Simpsons, which is a rival in terms of proximity, he has been instrumental in helping Adrian and Galia to further develop their business and, in doing so, ushering them into WGoE. In terms of having a vision and moving things forward, I commend the profile on Frazer Thompson who retired recently, having built Chapel Down into the thoroughly modern business it is today. Always interesting, always forthright in his views, there’s a man not afraid of shooting from the hip.


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London Wine Fair announces new dates The London Wine Fair organisers have announced new dates for the 2022 event. The fair will now take place from Tuesday, June 7 to Thursday, June 9. The change has come about as a result of ProWein’s decision to move their dates to clash with the London Wine Fair’s usual May timing. Organisers Brintex said consulting with exhibitors and supporters has been a priority and their feedback shaped the decision to move the dates. Many exhibitors were booked in to both events, with several UK agents and importers concerned that while they would be in London, their producers would be split between London and Düsseldorf. LWF event director Hannah Tovey, said: “Our objective is simply to create the best outcome for the wine industry. Being forced to decide between the two events was proving extremely unpalatable and clearly being in two places at once simply isn’t possible. When we pitched the possibility of

moving the fair to June, the response from our exhibitors was a resounding ‘yes’. “Our adaptability during the pandemic enabled us to create an unmatched digital event for the industry to meet and trade within, while Covid-19 restrictions were in place. Once again acting with flexibility and in the interests of our industry creates more opportunities for the trade at such a critical time of recovery for many. “We now have the London Wine Fair directly following the Platinum Jubilee celebrations which take place between June 2-5. The eyes of the world will be on London in early June, when celebrations not seen since the 2012 Olympics will take place. This is a really exciting opportunity for the fair and the wine industry at large. We invite visitors and exhibitors to take full advantage of London – one of the world’s greatest cities – at its absolute best. Over the coming weeks we will unveil a campaign centred around our own celebrations – our 40th anniversary – and the role

the fair has played in shaping the UK and global wine industry over the years. “We have experienced overwhelming support and affection for the London Wine Fair from all over the globe, since ProWein’s announcement. It has really highlighted just how significant the fair is in the industry’s hearts, minds and indeed calendars. I would like to thank our exhibitors, the wine media, the wider industry, the team at Olympia and all our suppliers for their invaluable support over the last few days,” said Hannah Tovey.

> Hannah Tovey


Photo: Joel Jorgensen

M A R C H 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

> Adrian and Galia Pike of Westwell

Westwell joins the Wine Garden of England Kent estate and winery Westwell has joined the Wine Garden of England, a partnership of eight Kentish vineyards committed to the growth of Kent as a wine destination. The Wine Garden of England is a collaboration of Kent’s leading vineyards, working to build wine tourism and promote Kent as a destination. Its members are: Balfour Winery, Biddenden Vineyards, Chapel Down, Domaine Evremond Gusbourne, Simpsons Wine Estate, Squerryes and now Westwell (see Editor’s Visit). Westwell is a single estate producing sparkling and still wines from grapes grown on the 40 acre site. Located beneath the Pilgrims Way on the North Downs in Kent; a route used for centuries by pilgrims travelling to Canterbury, the team grow four varieties – Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, a little Regent and their signature grape, Ortega. The vineyard was set up by John and Rids Rowe in 2008 and bought by Westwell Wine Estates in 2017. Westwell Wine Estates is owned by the Taylor family. The estate is managed by Adrian Pike, co-founder of record label Moshi Moshi records and music distributor The state51 Conspiracy. Henry Warde of Squerryes and WGE chairman said: “I’m delighted to welcome Westwell to the Wine Garden of England family and look forward to working with Adrian and his team in the future. Our aim is to create and encourage world class tourist facilities in Kent, celebrating the diversity of our membership” Westwell’s Adrian Pike stated: “We’ve admired the work of the Wine Garden of England from afar and been impressed by the commitment and energy shown. As we begin to welcome visitors to our winery and vineyard it feels like the perfect time to join and add our own voice to the team. The Wine Garden represents a range of differing styles of visitor attraction all with wine of the highest quality at their centre. We aim to add our own blend of behind the scenes tours, interactive winery experiences and pop-ups from some of Kent’s finest restaurants. We can’t wait to get started.”

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Two new regenerative viticulture courses

> Justin Howard-Sneyd


Dartington Trust, which describes itself as a centre for progressive learning in arts, ecology and social justice, based on a 1,200 acre campus near Totnes in Devon, has just launched two new regenerative viticulture courses. The courses have been created by master of wine Justin Howard-Sneyd, who joined Dartington in 2020 as associate head of wine. The well-known wine communicator and ex-head of wine at Waitrose is developing a programme of wine courses and talks at Dartington. These two new courses aimed at viticulturalists and those interested in viticulture, both have a focus on regenerative agriculture, which fits with the strong programme of short courses in regenerative and sustainable growing practices at Dartington, plus Regenerative Food and Farming postgraduate and undergradute programmes from Schumacher College, which is part of the trust. Dr Nathan Einbinder, course lead for food and farming is delivering the course alongside Justin Howard-Sneyd. Dr Einbinder said: “Regenerative farming has been gaining increasing support in the last few years, as it is acknowledged that ‘sustainable’ agriculture, in other words, sustaining a broken system that is harming the land and the farmers who manage it, is no longer a viable option. Instead, regenerative farming offers a more holistic approach, and one that ultimately helps tackle climate change by proposing transformation of the current industrial food and farming system, from the ground up.” Justin said: “There is a great deal of buzz around the term ‘regenerative’ at the moment, and a fast spread of awareness among farmers in the UK about how a regenerative approach can heal soils, and improve profitability. To what extent can you apply regenerative techniques to vineyards? We are aiming to point you in the right direction.”

M A R C H 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

There will be a two-day residential course entitled Regenerative Agriculture for Grape Growers held between 21-22 March priced at £425. It is designed for vineyard owners and viticulturists working in the UK to learn about the Regenerative Agriculture movement, and how it might apply to the improvement of soil health in a vineyard. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about some of the ecological problems associated with mainstream farming, and the solutions a regenerative approach can offer. There will be a focus on exploring best practices for growing delicious sustainable wine in the UK's uniquely damp and cool climate and discovering how to steer the UK's wine industry towards a more sustainable future. There will also be the opportunity to see regenerative growing in action on site at Schumacher College, as well as to enjoy a range of wine served with dinner on Monday evening. There is a second course available which is a five-day Introduction to Sustainable and Regenerative Viticulture which will run from 30 May 3 June priced at £995. This is for those who are interested in viticulture, and would like an immersion in the theory and practice of different forms of non-conventional viticulture in the UK. This will include a day on WineGB’s Sustainable Wine Certification, a day on organic and biodynamic viticulture, and a day examining business models and practices to improve profitability. Dartington says attendees may be considering a career in viticulture in the UK, or already working conventionally, wishing to understand the alternatives to conventional farming. A key objective of the course is to get everyone thinking about sustainability, and to equip attendees with the tools and resources to help them develop a more sustainable form of viticulture, with a positive impact on the planet and people.

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Hampshire wine fun at Fizz Fest 2022 Vineyards of Hampshire Fizz Fest’ returns. The eighth year of the event is hosted by Black Chalk Vineyard at Wherewell, near Andover, the afternoon of Sunday 24 July , midday to 4.30 pm. Fizz Fest is the Vineyards of Hampshire (VoH) flagship event, showing more than 20 sparkling and still wines to taste. With glass of fizz in hand and something to eat, attendees can learn more about, taste and purchase a variety of Hampshire sparkling and still wine. The VoH range from small family owned to large vineyards with wine tourism venues. Also, this year it welcomes its newest member, Louis Pommery England. All share one aim: to promote the quality of their Hampshire wines. Andres Seden, sales director at hosts Black Chalk Vineyard said: “We’ve all missed Fizz Fest and it’s so good to be back for 2022. We’re

looking forward to welcoming wine lovers from near and far to meet our vineyard teams and taste our beautiful wines in the stunning Hampshire countryside setting at Black Chalk.” Ticket bookings are open, for Fizz Fest entry as well as for exclusive masterclasses in the Wine Workshop Barn – such as ‘Enjoy Discovering Wine’ and ‘Tipple Talk – and pre-bookable vineyard and winery mini tours. Held in the vineyard circle event field at Black Chalk, the VoH tasting marquee, including the Fizz Shop, can be found at the heart of Fizz Fest. The Fizz Bar is run by the Cabinet Rooms cocktail


bar of Winchester. Hampshire Street Food is served from the cream of local Hampshire food producers. Vineyards of Hampshire comprises: Black Chalk, Cottonworth, Danebury Vineyards, Exton Park, The Grange, Hambledon, Hattingley, Raimes, and Louis Pommery England. Vineyards of Hampshire Fizz Fest is intended as an 18+ event. The organisers recognise it is not possible to leave children and therefore ask that if you do need to bring any under 18's they must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The tasting tent is strictly: adults only.

Tickets: £25 p/p, including wine tastings. Masterclasses: from £20 p/p per event. Vineyard tours: £10. For more visit:

Pernod Ricard reports strong H1 growth


Increasing demand for premium spirits powered Pernod Ricard’s 17% year-on-year sales growth in the six months to 31 December 2021. Sales increased to €5.96 billion for the first half of the firm’s financial year, up 17% on an organic basis. Profit from current operations increased 22% to €2 billion, which beat analysts’ expectations for a 16.7% rise. Sales were up 20% in the first quarter of the financial year, but growth slowed to 14% for the second quarter. Pernod Ricard said it expects to maintain the momentum for the rest of the fiscal year as the on-trade recovers and travel retail starts to rebound.

M A R C H 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

“Despite the ongoing volatile environment, we expect for FY22 strong sales growth across regions, with continued on-trade rebound, off-trade resilience and a gradual travel retail recovery,” said chairman and chief executive Alexandre Ricard. “We will increase investments to fuel growth momentum.” Star performers were: Champagne brand Perrier-Jouët which posted a 51% growth, followed by Royal Salute (+41%), Beefeater (+31%) and Ballantine’s (+29%). Absolut and Chivas Regal both increased organic net sales by 23%, while Jameson was up 22%.


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Bibendum launches e-commerce site Leading on-trade distributor Bibendum has unveiled its inaugural e-commerce channel, allowing customers to place all their wine and spirit orders quickly and conveniently online. In addition, eligible Bibendum customers will also have access to exclusive promotional deals, only available through the site. The north London-based premium wine, beers and spirits merchant specialises in supplying the on-trade and off-trade, throughout England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the

Republic of Ireland. It boasts a portfolio including 260 wine producers, of which English producers include: Albourne, Balfour and Bolney. The total value of the e-commerce sector in headline markets is expected to grow at an unprecedented rate between 2022-2025, according to the IWSR. Over the next five years (benchmarked from 2020), e-commerce sales of alcohol across key global markets are predicted to expand by +66% to reach more than US$42 billion. This figure was

unveiled by the IWSR's Drinks Market Analysis report in 2021. The report stated: “Looking ahead to 2025, e-commerce is projected to represent about 6% of all off-trade beverage alcohol volumes, compared to less than 2% in 2018. The greatest forecast e-commerce value growth will come from the US, thanks to average annual growth in the country of about +20%, which will see it become the top global market for online beverage alcohol.”

Hospitality sector predicting double digit price rises


The UK hospitality sector is predicting double-digit price rises, which is likely to be passed on to consumers. According to a recent UK Hospitality survey of more than 340 hospitality businesses, representing 8,200 venues, nearly half of operators (47%) reported that they will be forced to increase consumer prices by more than 10% this year, with 15% anticipating hikes of over 20%. Overall, it is expected that prices across the sector will increase by 11%. The inflation comes off the back of a Christmas trading period, held back by Omicron in a sector already in debt and low on cash reserves, following nearly two years of disrupted trading. The increase in prices is being driven by soaring operating costs, particular energy and food prices, according to the survey. A UK Hospitality spokesperson said: “With a return to 20% VAT, plus a rise in business rates and higher labour costs proposed for this April, the sector’s plight looks set to have a significant impact on the UK’s economy. Hospitality’s proportionately larger weighting in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) means that the average 11% price increase would mean a 1.7ppt rise in CPI. By com-parison it would take a rise of more than 50% in energy prices to have a comparable effect.”

M A R C H 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

Also, more than 80% of operators surveyed said they had experienced either moderate (39%) or severe (42%) levels of cancellations since the start of the year, indicating that consumers are already feeling the pinch. UKHospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “Omicron has affected the start of 2022 with lower than expected trading levels and higher than expected cancellations in hospitality venues. One in three businesses in our sector have no cash reserves left and are already carrying heavy debt burdens. Many of our community pubs, restaurants, hotels and hospitality venues will therefore fail as the cost of living crisis bites, causing demand to fall. This can only cause the UK’s wider economic recovery to stutter.” She added: “This April’s planned increases in VAT, employment costs and business rates are therefore likely to prove one financial burden too many for businesses who only then, as we come out of the quieter winter trading period, can hope to begin to start trading at full capacity once more. “The industry wants to play its full part in the UK’s recovery from the pandemic but, as these latest figures highlight, we can only do that with further support from the government – support that must include keeping VAT at 12.5% permanently,” concluded Kate Nicholls.


The Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships Liquid Icons, the fine wine research and content production company founded by the late Gérard Basset OBE MW MS and his friend Lewis Chester – has announced the opening of the application window for The 2022 Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships. There were 42 applicants from 23 countries for the 2021 scholarships, which saw Angela Scott, US and Dr Erna Blancquaert, South Africa, win the scholarships. This year there is an additional scholarship being funded. The application window is open until April 8. The Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship, Internship & Mentorship Programme is for aspiring black and ethnic minority students wishing to undertake the Masters of Wine (MW) and Master Sommelier (MS) programmes – open to candidates from all over the world. These scholarships, worth up to £55,000 for each scholar, will cover the entirety of their course and examination costs, as well as loss of earnings during their work placement internships. The internship programme includes a set of work experiences with some of the world’s top wine domaines and spirit distilleries: Bodega Catena Zapata, Castiglion del Bosco, Château Cheval Blanc, Château d’Yquem, Château SmithHaut-Lafitte, Lapostolle Clos Apalta, Colgin Cellars, Dom Pérignon, Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Domaine Baron Thénard, Domaine des Lambrays, Domaine Laroche, Klein Constantia, Lawrence Wine Estates (Heitz Cellars, Stony Hill Vineyard, Ink Grade Estate and Burgess Cellars), Liber Pater, Marchesi Antinori, Opus One, Ruinart, Symington Family Estates, Taylor’s Port, The Macallan Distillery, Vilafonté, Vina Vik, Weingut Egon Müller. In addition, Amorim Cork, Annabel’s Private Members’ Club, the Kedge Wine School, Octavian Wine Vaults, the OIV, UC Davis Department of Enology & Viticulture, and the WOW Wine School (Porto) will also provide academic courses or work experience opportunities for the winning scholars. Adrian Bridge, managing director of Taylor’s Port, said: “The Golden Vines Awards fundraising programme, which launched in 2021 to honour the legacy of Gérard Basset, is a remarkable programme with global reach. It shows how the wine industry can take an important leadership


> Taylor's head Adrian Bridge (right) with Lord Karan Bilimoria and Heather Bilimoria role in many areas, but particularly around diversity & inclusivity.” The Master of Wine & Master Sommelier Scholarship programme is for aspiring black and ethnic minority scholarships and are worth £12,500 each to cover the entirety of their course and examination costs for the Master of Wine or Master Sommelier programmes. Finally, the Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) will continue sponsoring 10

Golden Vines WSG Scholarships in 2022, awarded by the judging panel from students applying for the Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity and Golden Vines Master of Wine & Master Sommelier Scholarships. The winners of The Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships will receive their awards at The 2022 Golden Vines Awards ceremony to be held in Florence, Italy from October 14-17 2022.

Applicants can apply online at: M A R C H 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D


NEWS Waitrose announces appointment of Barry Dick Waitrose has announced that master of wine Barry Dick has joined the BWS team as Beer, Wine and Spirit Bulk Sourcing Manager. The multiple retailer says the role will focus upon the management of the global importation and UK packing of wines and spirits for the drinks buying team. Barry's move will mean that Waitrose now employs four masters of wine; more than any other retailer. Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Barry's CV includes degrees in food technology, European food marketing and winemaking. Having completed several vintages in California, the Languedoc and Australia, and previously working for a number of retailers and wine brands, Barry is acknowledged as an industry expert in the specialised field of UK packaging. He became a MW in 2013. Pierpaolo head of beers, ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks at Waitrose said: “We are delighted to welcome Barry to our team. This new role is a fantastic opportunity for us to increase our capability to import bulk wines & spirits and package them here in the UK, further building on our sustainability credentials. Barry’s extensive experience and knowledge in packaging, importation of wines and spirits as well as his passion for sustainability will make him an invaluable addition to the team.”

Kiss of Wine is launching two new canned red wines

Kiss of Wine is launching two new canned red wines made with independent producer and Valencia’s ‘winemaker of the year’ Rodolfo Valiente. The two new wines include a ‘Picante’ Garnacha Tintorera and a ‘Punchy’ Tempranillo. The tasting will be hosted by Kiss of Wine’s new COO and Master of Wine in training, Guy Palmer Brown and winemaker, Rodolfo. Presented in eco-friendly, single serve cans, ‘Punchy’ Tempranillo (RRP £5.95) and ‘Picante’ Garnacha Tintorera (RRP £5.95) are perfect for those evenings when you want to enjoy a great wine with dinner, but don’t want to open an entire bottle. The convenient packaging also makes them a great accompaniment to wintery walks, spring picnics and summer BBQs. Third-generation independent winemaker

Rodolfo Valiente is known for his sustainable and organic farming practices as they seek to promote biodiversity and rewild their solar-powered 60 hectare farm, which is set in the mountainous Valencian countryside. The vineyard’s altitude is said to give each wine a freshness, while Valiente’s care and attention to the health of each vine is said to show through in the vibrancy of the wines. In 2017, Rodolfo was named ‘winemaker of the year’ by The Valencian Association of Winemakers. Since launching in 2020, the female-founded Kiss of Wine claims to be challenging people’s misconceptions around canned wine and partnering with some of Europe’s best artisan producers to create great wines. All of its wines claim to be vegan and sustainable, with cans producing 2.5 times fewer carbon emissions than the equivalent wine in bottles.

Chardonnay du Monde The 29th Chardonnay du Monde, which claims to be the strongest concentration of Chardonnay, takes place in Burgundy between 9-11 March. It claims 1,000 samples from 42 countries with 300 international expert judges. Sadly, the deadline for samples was back in February.




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Core Equipment Ltd announce partnership with Bucher Vaslin Core Equipment Ltd, the UK’s leading supplier of winery equipment have become the new UK distributor for the Bucher Vaslin range of grape reception equipment. Core Equipment Ltd start a new chapter together with globally renowned, Bucher Vaslin, leading manufactures of innovative grape reception equipment for wine producers. The move takes advantage of Core’s successes within the wine sector, with the partnership naming Core as Bucher’s new UK distributors. “We look forward to commencing our relationship with Core Equipment Ltd. This is an exciting partnership for us, we stand for quality and the innovation behind the equipment and so the decision for Core to be our UK distributor was clear. We look forward to developing our association with Core further, offering our U.K customers, old and new, our leading range of winery and grape processing equipment,” stated Delphine ALAURENT, Area Sales Manager for Bucher Vaslin S.A. Always attentive to the needs of the wine producers and with a continuous desire to


find quality, Core Equipment were keen to embark on the partnership with Bucher Vaslin, promoting their value for excellence. Jonathan Chaplin, Managing Director Core Equipment explained: “We are very proud to have become a distributor for the entire range of Bucher Vaslin grape processing equipment in the UK and to have become a member of the Bucher Vaslin family. The exciting new partnership continues to exemplify the trajectory of Core Equipment as the number one equipment supplier to the beverage industry. Throughout the U.K. the wine sector has seen incredible growth; as

leading suppliers of winery equipment, we continuously source innovational products to support the wine producers of the country. We look forward to sharing this journey with new and existing customers”. Customers of Core Equipment will now be able to experience the quality and innovative designs from Bucher which have dominated the winery sector for decades. The Core in-house service team will continue to support customers with installations, commissioning and training on any equipment supplied, whilst a project coordinator and sales representative will be on hand to assist at each stage of the project.

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In conversation...

Frazer Thom

Recently retired as CEO of Chapel Down, Frazer Thompson steps down this month (April) as a board member of WineGB. Arriving from the beerage and Heineken he transformed the Kent producer into the giant of English wine it is today. Frazer Thompson talks to Vineyard editor Christian Davis, who has known the 62-year-old since he arrived at Whitbread, when it was a traditional brewer, as a raw, marketer, with a Geordie love of beer.

The here and now?

“I’m the newly retired founder/ex-CEO of Chapel Down Group plc, England’s leading producer. I handed over the reins to Andrew Carter in November 2021, after exactly 20 years.” Frazer and his wife, Sue, have three children and a grandchild. “I want to spend more time with them. We have a son in New Zealand who we have not seen for three years (because of Covid-19). We would need at least six weeks to visit him…” He does however remain a shareholder and an ambassador for Chapel Down.

How did you get to be in the wine trade?

“I graduated in 1981 and, as a Geordie, soon wound up in beer at Whitbread. At 29, having co-led a team to acquire and integrate the Boddingtons brand and develop a successful strategy as a response to the then Government Beer Orders, I was made a director of Whitbread plc. I joined Heineken in 1995 as global brand director for the Heineken trademark. Based in Amsterdam, my global remit was to sell more beer, make more money and build long term value. “I became CEO of Chapel Down in November 2001, having become bored with working for a huge corporate and becoming the sort of ‘turn left’ business executive I didn’t really like, marketing a product that was (at the time) unchangeable. “Chapel Down gave me something to feel passionate and excited about. It wasn’t the wine trade that attracted me, it was the potential proposition of English wine and the chance to do something that could make a real difference. After 20 years to the day, I retired and passed the baton to a new generation happy in the knowledge that English wine is now firmly on the wine world map, and Chapel Down its major player. “Years in the trade: 20 in wine, 18 in beer.”

How would you describe yourself?

“I’d describe myself as: 'Retired and happy’, but still trying to go to bed a little less stupid than when I awoke. “My performance reviews over the years consistently tell me I am seen as: ‘Engaging, charismatic, blunt, honest (not always seen as a strength, but rather predictably northern); creative (positive), independent (not necessarily positive), hard to manage (least positive), open, reliable.”

“Chapel Down gave me something to feel passionate and excited about.” 20

What do you love about the wine trade?

“The people who make wines happen. The growers, the winemakers, the commercial and financial teams who turn a humble grape into something special. “It’s an act of enormous faith to try to produce something as unique, beautiful and uplifting as wine with God as your most inconsistent business partner. “I also see the need for significant change in the industry and the opportunities that change can bring to companies like Chapel Down in the coming years.”

What frustrates you about the wine trade?

“The archaic protectionist rules and regulations concocted in the misguided belief that consumers want them, understand them, or value them. Consumers want brands. Well managed brands will have much tougher rules and regulations, driven by consumers, not protectionist landowners. “The quantity of intermediaries between the wine and the consumer in the current traditional route to market model is staggering. Sadly the quality can be poor. Wine attracts a lot of people who have nothing to add, just opinion not fact, swagger, not style and rudeness, not charm. There is no substitute for ensuring that every wine must have its own story to tell and it must tell the story to the customer and consumer far better. Otherwise, it’s just another wine on a list. There are literally thousands of them. “The enormous number of people and organisations between the producer and the consumer add huge cost, but rarely huge value. All will claim to be ‘passionate about wine’. Yet passion isn’t a word you should ever say of yourself. Earn it. Prove it. Live it. Excite others. Get others to say it of you. And always retain your integrity, humility, dignity and manners.”

If there is one thing you would like to do to improve things, what would that be? “If forced: Duty should be paid where and when the cash is collected. Secondly, please can we stop selling poor wine in pubs. Ranges are tight and poor because it ‘needs to be (cheap) £4-5 for a large glass’ or ‘because the consumer reads across to supermarket prices and might find the margins being made unacceptable’. They know that they can get two bottles of Peroni in Tesco for <£2. They don’t ask why its £6 a pint in the pub. They can buy 32 measures of Gordon’s gin for £15 in Tesco. They don’t ask why it’s £4 a measure. Why are we obsessed with serving bad wine just to reach an unsustainable price point or to be hitting % rather than cash margins? The on-trade only reject wine brands because of the ‘read across’. I still find that very illogical even now!” This subject borders on a Thompson rant, particularly about the on-trade’s aversion to stocking wine brands. They are happy to embrace and consume when it comes to beer and spirit. “Do they seriously think producers such as Treasury and Gallo do not supply pubs and restaurants? << They just create a specific brand, label but the liquid is the same.”


IN CONVERSATION... << He goes on to say with a pub selling 1,000s of pints but only stocking five or six beers, why should an on-trade outlet extol stocking 300-400 wines? “There is a high degree of risk. They haven’t a clue. It is ridiculous, and makes no sense – and no effort to match the wines with the food.” He goes on to criticise stemware. “You have badged beer glasses but wine gets sold in shit glasses.”

Fordwich – home of wine luminaries/stars Interestingly, Frazer Thompson lives in Fordwich, a village of 350 souls, which claims to be ‘England’s smallest town’. North of Canterbury, with one of Kent’s great rivers, the Stour, flowing through it, not only does it boast a Michelinstarred restaurant but three of UK’s wines’ cognoscenti. As well as Frazer, Charles and Ruth Simpson of Simpson’s and Henry Sugden of contract-only winery, Defined Wines, abode in Fordwich. So, if you have aspirations, ambitions, to be big in English wine, maybe you need to check out for ‘des reses’ in Fordwich. You never know who you might bump into, or overhear in the pub, restaurant or church…


What is your opinion of English and Welsh wines? “Improving every year. English sparkling wine, at its best, is truly world class. But look out for the best still white wines too. Some of them are already jaw dropping. “But we need more distinctive and interesting brands emerging. We tend to live in our wee bubble and imagine everyone has heard of our brand. In reality, there are only two brands that even register with most consumers. Producers need to really start to spend on their marketing.”

What are they doing well?

“Growing better fruit from better sites. Making better wine using the best kit and professional winemakers. Engaging with local consumers and developing tourism.”

How could they improve?

“Investment in time, people and marketing. This is a very young wine industry with lots of new and ambitious entrants (yet most have almost identical business plans). Time is irreplaceable. You can’t cut corners on people - and finding the right long term crew is mission critical. And don’t expect the trade body to do your marketing for you. Be distinctive and please don’t bore people with middle aged stories of passion and terroir and living the dream…”


“Still just 75cl bottles. Isn’t that a bit weird? Why not bring back returnable bottles? Some brewers are selling (returnable) flaggons. The likes of Heineken and Grolsch (in the Netherlands) have returnable bottles.”

What is your favourite wine?

“My palate is fairly good, but I’m not in the top 1% who obsess about this. For me, enjoyment comes from the company with whom I am sharing the wine (I never drink alone), the story behind the wine (if there is one that’s different) the beauty of the environment (and the glassware) and the ability of the wine to ever-so-slightly raise an eyebrow. Rarely does my jaw drop now… “In the latter category, which is vastly overrated but where every wine critic spends their time energy and words – then English sparkling – especially a great blanc de blancs – will always do that. But if I’m trying to enjoy it in a bad environment with people I don’t much want to be with from a tasting ISO then even the best wines I will leave unconsumed. 1. English blanc de blancs – I have to say (Chapel Down’s) Kits Coty 2014, not only because I planted the vineyard but because it has the best story to tell and, to me, is the best tasting English sparkling I have ever had. 2. I remember a bottle of Rully Chardonnay I drank in Dijon with my wife in a restaurant as being extraordinary for all the above reasons. Chardonnay – Burgundian style – is usually delicious but has been also astonishingly expensive and disappointing on occasion. 3. I like crunchy reds – Grenache is a favourite, but depends entirely on the occasion. I was blown away by a Sine Qua Non Californian Grenache I tried at an American tasting I blagged my way into a few years ago, but was told it was $1,800 a bottle and I truly don’t think I would ever pay anything like that for a wine. My most memorable red was a glass of Haut Brion given to me by my law professor. It was unlike anything I had ever tried. Which wasn’t hard at that stage to a 20-year-old beer drinking Geordie.”


20 - 2


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> Itasca Wines I try to keep up to date with new releases, yet it is awfully hard to keep abreast of everything happening in our green and pleasant land, not least because there is so much going on! This month, I have picked out three new brands, and one bottle is so new it has yet to be released! A couple of themes link these wines together besides being extremely impressive on the palate. The first is that these wines are future-facing and modern, and the second theme is that they are extremely brave. Bravery is a terrific component when brainstorming new ventures and also

new product releases, just as long as you do not overstretch yourself and come a cropper. If you can imprint as much of your character as possible into the finished creation, the story stacks up as genuine and credible when you come to sell it. This is precisely what this trio has done and so instead of a slow start which then has to be built on over the years, these brave brands have catapulted themselves onto the market with tremendous wines which all wear their hearts on their sleeves. Please support these brave souls by buying their wines and, if you like them as much as I do, spread the word!

NV Candover Brook, Rosé £39.99 launched in the third week of March The fruit for this beautiful wine comes from the Sainsbury family’s Preston Farm in Preston Candover, Hampshire. Mark Sainsbury and his brother Julian were inspired to get into grape growing by their late father, Baron Sainsbury of Preston Candover KG, and their neighbour John Ashburton (Lord Baring). It was rather fortuitous that their farm has silty clay loam over free-draining chalk sub-soil, which is perfect for this venture, and after planting a five-hectare vineyard in 2011, this inaugural wine is poised for release. Candover Brook is the name of the chalk stream that runs through the estate, and it is home to the rare English white-clawed crayfish depicted on the label. Made at Hambledon by Felix Gabillet, the blend is 54% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir and 13% Pinot Meunier and 85% comes from the 2018 vintage with 15% Hambledon reserve wine in the mix. This is one of the most English, stunning, rosés I have tasted, and the super-smooth, incredibly pure fruit is mesmerising. I will forgive the clear glass bottle on this occasion, but they must go green with their next wine! I urge you to track down a bottle and raise a glass to this brave new label as soon as you possibly can – they have cracked the hardest style of sparkling wine in their very first attempt.


es Juk

Three new brands that are future-facing and modern.


Brave old world

Mat h e

2020 Penn Croft, Pinot Blanc £28.50 Itasca Wines

Tel 01252 279 830

Try as I might, I cannot find this wine on the Itasca Wines website, but I am sure you will have more luck. The Wine Yard in Farnham doesn’t have a website, and The Pickled Pepper in Odiham does, but only shows Penn Croft’s Bacchus, so I wish you the best of luck in tracking down one of the 900 bottles made of this thrilling wine. Perhaps just give them a ring. Made at contract winery Itasca by Ben Smith, who was responsible for making my highest scoring English wine of all time (2018 Oxney Chardonnay), I have no problem declaring that this is the UK’s finest Pinot Blanc to date. The fruit comes from the Missing Gate Vineyard in Essex, where it was hand-picked and whole bunch pressed into third fill Burgundy barrels. I was lucky enough to taste a bottle late last year, and it is as lively and energetic as any white wine you will taste. A low sulphur regime and minimal fining have left the beautiful fruit to romance your senses. This is a truly brilliant wine with sensational depth, complexity and length. It is not slippery and smooth like an Alsatian PB, but grainy, combative and textural like an epic Chablis. It is nothing short of stunning, and it is certainly the epitome of brave winemaking.

2020 Rowton, Solaris £15.00 Rowton was founded in 2020 by twins Zoë and Melissa Evans. Zoë worked at Halfpenny Green Wine Estate from 2017 to 2020, and this was where 2020 Rowton Solaris was made. The Solaris grapes were harvested from two different sites; 55% from a young vineyard in Coventry and 45% from an established vineyard in Toddington, Bedfordshire. There is little mystery to the winemaking given it is stainless steel fermented and neatly dry at 2.5g/L, but its bravery is the reason everyone should track this delightful wine down because it celebrates the Solaris grape and manages to capture all of the traits of this variety perfectly. There is a clean, floral orchard-blossom nose here, which subsides into a lovely, satin-smooth mid-palate and a bright, green apple finish. These brave ladies planted a vineyard at their home in Rowton, in Shropshire, in 2020, and they will no doubt be making delicious wines from their fruit in due course. But for now, the Rowton name, with its cool labels and expressive wines, will no doubt capture everyone’s imagination and set the scene for a promising future.

Editor's note: the new website for Itasca Wines is now live.

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r ist r

Dav i s Ed ian ito

All’s well at Westwell


'If music be the food of love, play on' is the famous opening line from Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night. For Adrian and Galia Pike at Westwell, they would substitute food for wine. Christian Davis visits the Kent vineyard.


Adrian Pike, managing director and winemaker at the Westwell vineyard just off the A20 near Ashford, came to wine via the music industry. He founded record label Moshi Moshi and used to visit seven gigs a night on his electric scooter. Then in his last year, he realised that he had stopped scooting around and music had become “wallpaper”. His lightbulb moment took place in a restaurant in London’s Soho in 2014. “I tried one of Will Davenport’s wines. I realised the potential of English wine. I called


Photos: Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

Will the next day and began studying wine production and viticulture while working with him at Davenport.” He goes on to say: “Driving through France to Midem (a music industry conference) in Cannes every year visiting vineyards on the way – we

> Adrian and Galia Pike

would drive through Champagne, Burgundy and the Rhône – was incredibly inspiring. I was lucky enough to have a friend who was a vintner in Cannes, so we would load up our rickety Citroen 2CV with wine, breaking down regularly en route.” For a music man, used to different dynamics – tunes, melodies, harmonies, chord changes not forgetting fashion, wine must be staid, even boring. But with his background, Adrian looks outside the box, beyond the bottle. Here’s a man ‘in search of the lost chord’, even ‘Disraeli Gears’. He has been dabbling with ‘Pet Nat/Nat Pet’ since 2017 (Pétillant Naturel' a méthode ancestrale wine said to have developed in the 16th century, therefore the oldest way of making sparkling wine, the result of a single, continuous fermentation the wine is bottled before primary fermentation is finished, without the addition of secondary yeasts or sugars. So, Pet Nat wine is a low sugar wine), and most interestingly Piquette wines, made using honey (see page 28), code named ‘Pulp Friction’. Adrian is passionate about making a Kent/ Westwell version of a Piquette wine, which was originally made by wine producers to refresh and reward the pruners and pickers in their vineyards. It is banned in the EU but as the UK is not in the EU anymore, Adrian has been ‘banging on the door’ of DEFRA and is discussing with its ‘Brexit Opportunity Group’. Apparently they cannot see why not and are looking into it. For want of a better descriptor, Piquette wines are classified as ‘aromatised wines’ (at least 75% wine and fortified with alcohol to reach an ABV of between 14.5% and 22%. These wines also have ‘aromatic’ ingredients like herbs, spices, fruits and/or flowers added to them), along with the likes of Martini, Cinzano and Noilly Prat. “It is subject to ministerial approval,” Adrian comments ruefully. It is not trying to be an English wine. It is closer to a fruity beer, slightly sparkling, slightly beer-like, slightly alcoholic.” “I am happy with what we are making, it reflects what we have in the vineyard.” <<

Vineyard : Started with 13 acres in 2017, harvesting 42 tonnes Now 40 acres, 34 planted, 32 will be picked this year. On average: 2.8 tonnes per acre

Soils: Chalk, flinty loam Aspect: South side of the North Downs, 80-100 metres above sea level Grape varieties: ◆ Chardonnay ◆ Pinot Meunier ◆ Pinot Noir ◆ Ortega ◆ and a little Regent Diseases experienced: The usual! Pests: Starlings and badgers occasionally make an appearance Treatments: For the starlings, we set off rookies at intervals during late ripening Trellising: Mix of widths and styles Canopy management: Mixed

Green harvest: Usually, no, but if we need to we do Harvesting: Hand

Timings: We are a late ripening site

What’s new? Our new tasting room

Photo: Mike Barby



Piquette wine It’s basically stretching the grape pomace to extract any residual alcohol, sugar and flavour left in the skins by adding water, and perhaps sugar. It is an alternative to using the marc for distillation (which also takes advantage of the sugar/alcohol left in the skins) or using it for composting. How Piquette is made depends on whether you are dealing with white wine skins, or red/orange wine skins. For white wine skins, after pressing there is some sugar left in the marc, and water is added to wash this and any flavour compounds out. The piquette can be made by fermenting on the skins, or it could be made by re-pressing the water soaked skins before fermentation. It’s possible to add sugar, or even honey, to give the wine a bit of an alcohol boost. It’s also possible to add a bit of tartaric acid to balance the acidity in the light of the added water. For reds and orange wines, the pressed skins contain alcohol, and water is used to leach that out along with some colour and flavour. There won’t be much sugar present, unless it is the pressings from a carbonic maceration (when the wine is usually pressed before fermentation is anywhere close to finishing). But sugar can be added with the water and some more fermentation can take place on the skins. The result is a fresh, light-bodied wine that’s ‘smashable’, and hopefully cheaper…. Source: Dr Jamie Goode’s Wine Anorak


<< The not-at-all ‘silent partner’, Galia Pike self deprecatingly describes herself as “illustrator and dogsbody”. She does herself down. She had been working as a composer for film and television. She designs the exotic Westwell labels which are inspired by the artwork used on album covers along with the essential elements of making wine, such as the soil, vines and fermentation. Adrian talks the talk but he walks the walk shoulder to shoulder with Galia. So how did she get the wine bug? “Adrian! When we were living in London, both working in music, I genuinely hadn’t anticipated this as our future. Once I tried some English wine, though, I was amazed by the quality and it wasn’t long before we took the plunge, relocating to Sussex where I started studying at Plumpton College and began a blog on English

wine. My main job at Westwell is illustrating and designing our labels – mostly very detailed illustrations of vines and the vineyard.” With two girls, nine and 12 to raise she adds: “I tend to work mainly from home, but as a family, we are always about during harvest and I love the frantic excitement of getting the fruit in and thinking of all the possibilities – a little like getting a new sketchpad and pen.” And her favourite Westwell wine? “I absolutely love the Field '18. It tastes like some of the light juicy red Juran wines of which Adrian is so fond and is very versatile.” For a man naturally suspicious of things large scale and corporate, Adrian is supportive of WineGB, feeling the voice of the smaller producers does get heard. Westwell has joined the Wine Garden of England grouping of Kent-

Sparkling wines: ◆ Pelegrim

◆ Special Pink ◆ Blanc de Blancs 2013

Still wines: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Ortega Otega Rosé Summer Field Skin Contact

based winemakers (See News). He is fulsome in his praise of Simpsons’ Charles Simpson, which could be regarded as a nearly rival. “He has been very helpful, in fact, inspirational. I spoke to him and as a result I joined. There is a lot >> going on in Kent…,” he says.


















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29 M A R C H 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

EDITOR'S VISIT Westwell in short Westwell is located beneath the Pilgrims Way on the North Downs in Kent; a route used for centuries by pilgrims travelling to Canterbury. The vineyard has four varieties - Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Ortega. The estate boasts an ideal mix of climate, aspect and soil. There are six classified soil geologies here; and the varieties have been planted with these in mind. Chardonnay is situated on shallower, chalky soils where flint proportions are highest and where it captures the evening sun best. The Pinots are on mixed sand/chalk soil, and its Ortega is planted in the sandiest, most sheltered spot of all to fully develop its fruit-forward, aromatic style. All the wines are made on-site from fruit grown on our estate. This gives complete control of the full process and ensures an end product that the Pikes are proud of. The couple state the future for Westwell is bright: “We anticipate increased production in the coming years. We’ll continue to experiment - from skin contact to dessert wines, wild ferments, amphora, pet nats and more continuing to minimise intervention at every step. Our philosophy is simple: plant well, respect the soil and make great, honest wines from brilliant fruit.”

<< So what does he loves most about being Westwell’s winemaker: “The transformation from pruning the vines right back down to two canes to watching them grow through the season – all the way through to watching the berries develop and tasting the flavours. I love the process in the winery, too – turning juice to wine – and then capturing it in the bottle at the perfect time. Once you start tasting the fruit, plans begin to percolate, but you never really know what you’re going to get and that’s rather magical. The taste of the juice transforms dramatically through fermentation but also develops during ageing - whether that be in oak, terracotta, steel or concrete. We tend to do very little to our wines after fermentation but what we do is taste, and judging the perfect timing for bottling is an art that I’m loving learning.” And his favourite time and wine? “Harvest. It’s the toughest time but also the time that the ideas start sparking as you taste the fruit. My favourite Westwell wine is Pelegrim. It’s the most Westwell-ian of the wines we make – it reflects what the site is capable of; a rich and full wine with a fruitforward profile,” states Adrian. Adrian has been selling his Ortega in 20 litre keg via Uncharted since 2018. Unchartered is an independent London-Based wine merchant which focuses on small producers which work sustainably and ethically. Its goal is to “find the future classics, from all corners of the world. We work predominantly with restaurants and independent wine shops and are at the forefront of the wine-on-tap revolution.”

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30 M A R C H 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

The Westwell vineyard is owned by the Taylor family. Wine enthusiast, Rod, loved sparkling wine. Along with his wife Rosemary, he bought the already planted vineyard and installed the Pikes as the custodians of the vines and winemaking. Rod died a few months after they took over so Adrian Pike now liaises regularly with Rod’s son Russell.


Adrian Pike sums up: “Our philosophy is simple: plant well, respect the soil and make great, honest wines from brilliant fruit. “We will continue to experiment – from skin contacts, wild ferments, amphora aged wines, pet nats, collaborations with brewers and more – continuing to minimise intervention at every step. “We are a small, family founded, family run estate winery dedicated to making delicious, drinkable wines that express the individuality of our Kent terroir. People are the foundation of Westwell. We value an inclusive workplace in which respect, determination and integrity are our driving principles. “We are committed to creating authentic wines which tell the story of our land. We strive to make wines with as little intervention as possible, letting the fruit speak for itself. Small scale production means we can be present at every stage – from grape to glass. “Westwell claims to be the first English vineyard to make an amphora aged wine and the first to successfully keg wine. We have continued to experiment – from making Piquette, using waste grape pressings and less traditional styles including pet nats and skin contact wines.”

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Five tips for establishing new vineyards





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As the vine planting season approaches, Hutchinsons Rob Saunders and Chris Cooper offer some advice to those growing vines for the first time. The past five years have seen a 70% increase in the UK vineyard area, with some 1.4m vines planted in 2021, according to Wine GB. Careful site selection, choosing clones and rootstocks suited to the location, microclimate (including growing degree days), soil type and target market are fundamental decisions that drive success. While such choices have already been made, there are several other important areas to focus on.

1. Soil preparation

Vines are generally very resilient and should establish well providing soil is in good condition and sufficient moisture has been retained, however, compaction, poor drainage and low pH can make plants struggle, so underlying issues must be rectified before planting. If not done already, soil testing before primary cultivations (i.e. ploughing) is worthwhile to identify potential structural or nutritional issues. Roots are quite long, so vines need a good depth of reasonable tilth to go into. A good crumb structure also helps in readiness for sowing grass mixtures in alleyways. Most vine planting is done by contractors with specialist machines, so check their requirements for seedbed preparation.

2. Weed control

In most situations, the ground is sprayed off with glyphosate before ploughing, however a further weed flush is likely as temperatures rise, so consider a follow-up treatment in early April if necessary. Grow tubes around vines allow herbicides to be applied safely post-planting and protect vines from rabbit damage. Make sure a functioning herbicide sprayer is ready, as weeds can take hold quickly in warm soils and compete with new vines for light, water and nutrients. Biodegradable membranes laid down straight after planting offer effective non-chemical weed suppression, although some occasional hand


roguing (e.g. thistles) may be needed. Membranes help conserve moisture and warm soil too. Indeed, vines may acclimatise better than those in grow tubes, which can create large temperature swings that sometimes damage young plants inside - frost and heat damage can be greater inside grow tubes. If grow tubes are not used, rabbits must be kept out in other ways.

3. Nutrition

Whether land has previously grown fruit, arable crops or grassland, it is worth testing soil to understand nutrient status. Phosphate, potassium and magnesium are central to root development, canopy production and strong establishment, and the popular SO4 rootstock is particularly susceptible to Mg deficiency. Generally, maintain P & K Indices around 3, although fertiliser recommendations should be based on soil testing and RB209 guidance. Depending on fertiliser timing and quantities required, products like potassium sulphate may be preferred over potassium chloride, but speak to your Hutchinsons agronomist for advice. Any trace element deficiencies (e.g. boron), are best addressed with foliar applications later in the season, rather than soil amendments.

4. Planting

New vine plants are kept in coldstore until planting, which usually occurs from mid-April to

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mid-May. Ensure roots are kept damp to avoid them drying out before planting. Once planted, canes and tubes should be installed promptly to protect and support plants. If using a weed membrane, it may be necessary to manually cut the material to ensure vines poke through. Mechanised planting is accurate and fast, so keep track of what is going where, either with labels on end posts, identifying the clone, rootstock and date planted, or using electronic mapping (e.g. What3Words).

5. Alleyways

Sowing alleyways can be done in spring when vines are planted, or the following autumn. Select a low vigour grass mix, along with broadleaves like vetch and trefoil – advice is available in the Hutchinsons seed catalogue ( Avoid those containing white clover intended for grazed pastures as this can come to dominate the sward. Spring sowing does run the risk of prolonged dry spells impairing establishment, and of swards being damaged by crews installing trelliswork, but root systems can be quite resilient, so it should protect the soil and reduce the chances of weeds taking hold between rows. Autumn sowing gives time for grass to establish without being travelled on, but if alleyways are left bare over summer, keep a check on weeds to avoid problems developing.

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Meet the buyer Wine Society’s English wine buyer: Matthew Horsley Do you stock/list English and/ or Welsh Wines?

Broadly, what do you think of English/Welsh wines?

Yes. At the time of writing we’re selling wines from: Three Choirs, Chapel Down, Simpsons, Stopham, Nyetimber, Ridgeview, Langham, Breaky Bottom, Black Chalk, Blackbook, Dillions and The Grange. But often feature more.

Very exciting. The increase in quality over the last few years alone has been great to see. Traditional method sparkling wines continue to be our trump card, with a greater diversity of styles from across counties providing an extra level of excitement and complexity. But it’s the still wines, especially chardonnay and pinot noir, which have impressed me most recently, and rosé is a real ace in the hole which I don’t think we’re exploiting enough.

What are you looking for when considering new wines to list? At The Wine Society we have a quality first buying approach. If it doesn’t meet our rigorous quality requirement then we won’t stock it. No matter the price.

What do you expect a supplier/producer to supply to you in advance? Samples and technical information on the wine are givens, but also a willingness to work together, ability to be flexible and creative and an understanding of our business model and our position in the market.


What are English and Welsh producers doing well? Adapting. The last few years have thrown some serious challenges our way but producers have adapted fast in order to keep cashflow going. Investing in D2C, whether that’s cellar door or online, has been essential for many and in turn I believe it’s got people excited about local wines. I feel we’ve also done well to start early on sustainability and this is something we should continue to champion.

Do you have a minimum drop for a listing?

Conversely, what aren’t they doing well. What should they be considering/thinking/doing?

We do not have a minimum quantity but we do have circa 180k members to keep happy so quantities needed are relative to price. In terms of number of listings from a producer in order to be viable we have the ability to pick and choose the best wines (for us) from a producer. Again, if we don’t think it’s good enough we won’t take it.

Pricing is still often unrealistic, especially for still wines. The £15 - £20 bracket is heavily congested with fine wines from around the world and is a difficult nut to crack. And whilst there are some seriously impressive still wines in the £20+ category I do find the use of oak on many heavy handed, like we’re trying to make Meursault in Chablis. Focus on freshness, drinkability and regionality.

What trends do you discern in wine sales and is there anything that English and Welsh viticulturists and vinifers should be addressing, going forward? The obvious worry is climate change, especially off the back of an incredibly difficult 2021 vintage. Being ready and able to adapt will become even more essential going forward. We should keep ringing the sustainability bell, especially with current debates around bottle weights, deep-sea shipping and carbon footprint. In terms of product, English sparkling is no longer a curiosity, it’s a genuine option for consumers looking for high quality traditional method sparkling wines. Keep focusing on quality but be realistic with your target price-range. I believe rosé to be a real area of opportunity, especially in tougher vintages.

Is there anything you would like to say to English and Welsh winemakers and producers? Stay positive, keep working together and continue to promote and produce wines which reflect our unique climate and terroir.

Your background

Joined The Wine Society back in 2013 and am now responsible for the buying of England, Greece and Hungary. I passed my Diploma back in 2017 and am currently in the second year of my Master of Wine studies.

How did you become a wine buyer?

Worked my way up through The Wine Society working in Member Services, Tastings and Events and have been in the Buying Department since 2017.

What style, type, country’s wine, do you personally enjoy?

I love wines of purity, freshness and that reflect a region’s unique terroir/ winemaking history. Working with Greece has been a joy over the last few years and its rise to prominence has been great to see. I truly believe that xinomavro is a Fine Wine of the future. Outside my own regions I’m a lover of sherry, German Riesling, Rioja and coolclimate pinot and chardonnay.

A brief synopsis/history of your company The Wine Society was founded in 1874 and is a co-operative owned by its membership, of which we currently have over 180,000 ‘active’ members. Our co-operative model means we don’t have to keep external shareholders happy, allowing us to re-invest profits into the company to help maintain lower prices and high service levels, whilst also having the freedom to scour the globe and buy wines based on quality. Our founding principle was to offer wines ‘hitherto unknown’ so it’s always exciting to be able to secure parcels of exciting wines for our membership.

What is the profile of your customers? We have an incredibly broad membership from all walks of life, but all of whom are united by a love and passion of wine.

Which country, style of wine, are best sellers? France still very much dominates our sales, followed by Italy and Spain, but smaller regions such as Greece and Austria are becoming more popular.

> Matthew Horsley


HARVEST CONTRACTOR 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.

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Providing a range of Agricultural Services from soil analysis through to supply, delivery and application of products pH and Soil Sampling Make informed decisions knowing your soils health to meet crop requirements and benefit from maximised yield potential Agricultural Compost Release major nutrients inc. N, P & K, Mg, Ca, S and Rel Fe. Improving your soils structure and fertility, reducing the need for fertilisers Agricultrual Lime Restore your soils pH to supply essential nutrients Res and benefit from the crops ability to produce an increased crop output Fertilisers Replace nutrients to restore soil fertility and increase productivity

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Tying down is an essential task that takes place heading into Spring. As most vines are pruned to a “Guyot or cane system” there are shoots from the previous year that have matured into “canes” from which this year’s shoots will grow. The canes go from a vertical shoot position (VSP) to horizontal, ready for this year’s shoots to reach for the sky! Ideally, tying down takes place as the canes become supple thanks to rising soil temperatures which cause sap to flow upwards into the canes from the roots. If tying down is attempted too early, the canes are brittle and can easily snap – a disaster for your yields. Likewise, after budburst the act of tying down can rub off newly forming shoots, once again impacting yields. Unfortunately, going too late is unavoidable when sacrificial canes must be tied down (in the event of a frost). Therefore, timing your tying down is crucial. There are many variations of pruning methods, including but not limited to, Guyot style pruning. Within the Guyot style one might encounter the following: ◆ Single Guyot – one cane for tying down ◆ Double Guyot – two canes for tying down

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◆ Single Guyot with one/two sacrificial canes (sacrificial canes left untied and vertical) ◆ Double Guyot with one/two sacrificial canes (sacrificial canes left untied and vertical) The reason you may leave “sacrificial” canes is to mitigate against frosts. Tying down your intended canes to the fruiting wire brings them closer to the ground and nearer to cold air that could damage or kill the buds from which you are hoping to yield fruit in the new growing season. Should a frost occur, the sacrificial canes can become your fruiting canes as they are less likely to have been damaged by a frost, having remained vertical with buds up out of harm's way. If there is no frost, the sacrificial canes are removed (sacrificed) - cruel, but a kindness to the vine and the back pocket in the end. Various supplies are available for this task: Max Tapener guns, Ligatex guns, Raffia, and our preferred hardware: paper-coated twist ties. The reason we like to use these is that they are effective and affordable, it requires very little training to use them and it keeps life simple. The philosophical being massively important in viticulture, KISS (Keeping It Short and Simple), is one that can make life as a

vineyard manager more than tolerable. When actually cane-in-hand, tying down, it is good practice to keep the buds approximately one or two fist widths apart. To achieve this near the vine trunk, canes can be made even more flexible by gently cracking the wood before attempting to bend it. This will help you turn corners more sharply from the vertical to the horizontal and save space on the wire. If you are looking to maximise the number of buds per metre of fruiting wire, one might employ the “Pendelbogen'' method, arching your canes over a second fruiting wire installed slightly above your first fruiting wire. This method often suits high vigour varieties and can also be used to combat the “End-point principle” (more on this another time). Finally, it is normal to twist the cane for tying down (Pendelbogen or conventional) around the fruiting wire. We recommend you twist the cane around the wire just once. The reason being, it is easier to remove these canes at pruning in the following year, another KISS-ing moment and money in the bank!

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> Chapel Down Discovery series

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There has been liquid innovation, drinker education and many success stories across the whole sector. But in terms of labelling and packaging has everything been too safe, too pastoral, too classic? Have our wines become much of a muchness drawing on traditional wine language, have any boundaries been broken, and are we still a long way from witnessing the development of an English wine language per se? A quick tour round the Hawkins Bros website, specialist English wine merchants, gives one a great overview of what is available in 2022. It’s a good place to start when analysing labelling and packaging of English wines. My initial thoughts that national producers have ‘safe’ designs is borne out based on a cursory glance. But it makes sense to look at those producers

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In terms of labelling and packaging has everything been too safe, too pastoral, too classic? Before I launch into my topic, an admission: I’ve spent the past three decades working in beers, wines and spirits. Not just wines, not just English and Welsh wines, but across a whole range of alcohol categories. I’ve done the tastings, I’ve toured the vineyards (first one was Denbies) but I’ve spent as much time in Speyside and far-flung craft breweries, as I have in Kent and Sussex. This means I still look at our wines like an outsider. I can still remember when I first drank Bacchus; back then I never expected the decades of explosive innovation and growth which we now see – only two weeks ago I drove past Sheveling Wine Estate in Southern Yorkshire. I’m still waiting for an ice wine from Scotland though!

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Standing out in the wine market



who are investing in design and developing their own visual language. My first port of call has to be Chapel Down which has a history of winning awards for its branding and packaging. I’m particularly impressed by the Discovery Series designed by Denomination. There are an initial four still wines: a Pinot Noir Rosé, a Pinot Blanc, an Orange Bacchus and an Albariño. Part of a five-year innovation project from Chapel Down’s head winemaker, Josh Donaghay-Spire, the Discovery Series seeks to showcase the versatility of grape varieties and winemaking practices in England, rivalling those of its international counterparts. This is an excellent example of new varietals being introduced to an English wine brand.

> The Uncommon What is required of the label is reassurance of quality, and I would argue that the design should be ultra premium given the intended drinker profile. The labels are the epitome of elegance and refinement, giving a strong impression of high quality wine which allows the person meeting these varietals on UK soil, perhaps for the first time, to have confidence in the range. The restrained, pared back labels definitely prove the design adage that ‘less is more’. Pioneering wines with an overly contemporary or outlandish look often fail. My view is that a great label should make you want to open the bottle and drink – the labels of Chapel Down Discovery Series have me reaching for the corkscrew.

Regional differences in wine label design

If one looks at France or Italy (not just in sparkling), there is a clear difference region

by region in the wine language, and this can often be seen at appellation level. My sense was that this doesn’t happen on these shores. Reviewing English & Welsh wines and making a comparison county by county it’s honestly quite difficult to see the difference between Cornwall and Kent. As someone who has visited many corners of each county, the topography and landscape of each county could not be more different – yet label designs are surprisingly similar. I do think there is a real opportunity now that the homegrown industry is maturing for more regionality to be incorporated into the brand expressions developed in each county. Even the gift boxes which could be a celebration of our unparalleled countryside tend to be drab affairs with a nod to Champagne design conventions, and not a hint of Englishness. Notwithstanding I think true originality in brand design and pack format is beginning

to emerge based on unbridled creativity and use of colour. For me there are two stand outs which are forging their own path in terms of design and packaging. The first is Harlot, made in the Charmat method, which totally subverts the Prosecco language, and provides a whole new take on English wine. This is the kind of brand which could bring a whole new set of drinkers into the category. Second is The Uncommon which I first came across on the now defunct Farmdrop website. I have always championed single-serve formats, and I have a particular affinity with the can having worked on the commercial strategy for the wine can format many moons ago. But The Uncommon has taken the format to a whole new level in terms of impact and imagery. It is totally recognisable on the shelf and indeed in any context; the brand is continuing to evolve in the most imaginative way. Even the carry pack << is sophisticated … and cool, not stuffy.

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PACKAGING << Format is beginning to evolve in even more unexpected ways as circular economy supply models emerge in the UK wine scene. I’m particularly impressed by Sustainable Wine Solutions (Borough Wines as was) and everything they have to offer. They are certainly setting the bar very high when it comes to reuse and “non-bottle” solutions. VinoTap™ breaks the mould, and is something I believe we will see more of as both legislation and consumer behaviour evolve. My feeling is that there is more to come from English and Welsh wines in terms of labelling, packaging and delivery. Firstly we should cast our minds forward and define what the innovation spectrum for English and Welsh wines should be. English and Welsh wines can’t be too far ahead of the curve, nor can they afford to be too far behind. The biggest new trend is No/Lo and mindful drinks – how on earth does English and Welsh wine fit in? I’m really not sure that fine estate-bottled wines should take that route. But I would be delighted to be proved wrong. Should English and Welsh wines sidestep that trend and look to ride the next one – what should happen next? There is so much potential in our fine and undervalued origin. It is time to step up and change gears. Without doubt the biggest story of this decade will be sustainability and net zero – that is where English and Welsh wines can win and will win hands down. But what does that mean in reality? Isn't every wine brand all natural and ‘giving back to nature already?’ Well no. Net Zero is a competitive advantage, and it's measurable. It can be achieved on so many levels. And then there's biodiversity and how local viticulture that can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on natural capital. It’s worth noting that twelve producers received Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB) certification in summer 2020. This is a tremendous achievement. Additionally there is the influence of The Sustainable Wine Roundtable, based in London. Their mission is to make sustainability mainstream in the wine industry – not restricted to England, but many of the members are based here.

But do British brand owners truly reflect their values in their label designs and packaging?


On the whole I would say that vineyards and brand owners are failing to reflect their uniqueness and viticultural heritage in the way they present themselves to the drinking

M A R C H 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

> Redhill Farm Estate public and trade. There is plenty of beautiful photography on websites, but this is not translating to the copywriting and imagery on the bottled product. Copywriting on wine labels is as important as any visual element, and I don’t see genuine differentiation from brand to brand. If we look at nascent brands in the UK food industry, they are firing on all cylinders when it comes to emotive copy. In contrast to the above, it would be appropriate to single out Kent vineyard and red specialist, Redhill Farm Estate who are working on a new range which supports Kentbased charities with an affinity to the vineyard. Owner, Henry Boorman, is of the firm belief that sustainability should not just be focused on carbon footprint and the climate crisis. This new range supports a whole range of sustainability causes. He is acutely aware of the extensive commitments required by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and wanted to reflect that in this range. The label illustrations are being created by

local artist Katie Thomas-Mitson and feature aspects of local nature such as a butterfly, a fox and a pheasant living on the vineyard. Each wine supports a local charity focusing on a different issue. This is most definitely the decade of giving back to nature. The brand which does the most, and communicates that the best, will perform strongest. The English wine industry can bring millions of drinkers into the category who are desperate to do the right thing, and they will no doubt adore English and Welsh wines and pass their love of these wines on to a whole new generation of planetary protectors. It's time to say goodbye to 19th century wine label norms and for the wines of this island to create a dynamic visual language which draws on the beauty of our counties, beloved by visitors all around the world. Every bottle can sing, every word can count, and brands can capture the beauty of their origin which catapults English and Welsh wine to where it deserves to be.

Paul Foulkes-Arellano is founder of Circuthon Consulting, a management consultancy for the circular economy, offering consulting and coaching to aid business leaders to transition to a circular economy model. The sector focus is food, beers, wines and spirits.








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Years ago, you knew the land market would get busy as soon as you saw daffodils and lambs, but nowadays it’s a more year-round affair. There’s also far more land bought and sold off-market than in previous times, especially when it comes to viticulture ground – but the arrival of spring still represents a busy time in the calendar for conveyancing. While the market for viticulture land is still an evolving one, certain trends are becoming apparent. One current trend is distinct differentiation between the best and the rest. Of course, there are typical prerequisites such as the requirement for chalky, free-draining, south-facing ground, less than 300ft above sea level, but other factors are ensuring certain land commands a premium. Areas with a proven track record in wine production that are seen as “fashionable” – such as Sussex, Surrey and Kent – look set to command higher prices. ‘Picturesque-ness’ is important, too, and in terms of London investors so is access, as people might not want to spend four hours getting to their newly acquired patch of countryside. On top of agronomic practicalities and scenic considerations, there’s planning. Vineyards – or land suitable to be turned into them – that have the potential for future expansion unopposed by the local planning authority are understandably preferable. There are a whole range of factors – everything from access and land designations to the existing buildings and local precedent – that will determine a planning authority’s likelihood to green-light any expansion. You don’t want to have invested a lot of money, only to find your

future plans stymied by unenthusiastic planning officers. Such considerations have meant the best ‘bare’ land suitable for planting vines is changing hands at over £25,000/acre (£62,000/ha). That’s considerably more than arable acres, which typically trade for between £7,500 (£19,000/ha) and £15,000/acre (£37,000/ha) in the south east. This two-tiered market has long been evident in France, according to Alexander Hall, a former investment banker who now runs a vineyard real estate business based in Bordeaux. The global explosion in production of relatively inexpensive ‘generic’ wines over the last 20-plus years has left many French vineyards unviable, pushing prices down in some areas. “At one end of the scale you can hardly give land away, but sometimes even just 20 minutes away, eye-watering sums are being paid,” says Alexander. Figures from government body SAFER for 2020 transactions across the whole of France show average values equivalent to about £52,000/acre (£129,000/ha), with a 257% increase between 1991 and 2020. “Small slithers of land in the most soughtafter regions which have iconic brands and are producing super-premium wines are changing hands for huge sums.” While such prices can’t be justified purely on a commercial operating level, some people almost view it like buying a work of art. “They’re investing in an asset which is incredibly rare and has almost only ever gone up in value, whatever else is happening in the world.” Regardless of their motivations, aspiring purchasers should always take time to understand the intricacies of what they are

Ber r y ma ew n tth

Land prices set to widen between best and rest

acquiring, advises Alexander. “Don’t buy the dream – buy the business.” This is sound advice to anyone looking to buy viticulture land in the south east of England, too. We’re seeing acres snapped up by winemakers keen to expand, farmers looking to diversify and wealthy individuals wishing to enter the sector, buy a beautiful slice of the countryside or those who simply see land as a sound investment. If you’re looking for a safe, long-term investment, it makes sense to buy the best you can afford, even if it looks expensive now. It’s the same with agricultural land – value will always be underpinned by its scarcity. As in any market, the actual prices paid are, of course, dependent on who wants it and how much they want it. Values rocket if two people are both desperate for the same patch. It’s also likely that as the demand for land on which to plant vines increases, there simply won’t be enough land on the freehold market to satisfy this, so rented ground will fill the gap and the practice of leasing land is likely to become increasingly widespread. As the industry becomes ever-more commercially minded, those focused solely on profit inevitably will ask: Why buy land for £14,000/acre or more, when I could lease it for £300/acre/annum? Given that a vineyard operator may have to invest up to £20,000/acre establishing and managing the vines up to full production, leasing may potentially be the only route for those without access to large amounts of capital. Meanwhile, it’s clear that, in terms of freehold values, the gap between the best and the rest – as had happened with agricultural land – will widen.


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Flagging up powdery

roy e d

Powdery mildew is a common and widespread fungal disease of vines and if left untreated on susceptible varieties it can have a devastating economic impact – with significant crop losses, reduced fruit quality and off-flavours in wine. Jo Cowderoy finds out how understanding the disease, using appropriate cultural methods, monitoring and the effective use of plant protection products can reduce its severity. Powdery mildew is caused by the fungus Erysiphe necator, also known as oidium, and is believed to have originated in North America. It infects all green tissue on the grapevine including leaves, shoots and berries and has a pale ash grey powdery appearance. It can distort the growth of rapidly expanding leaves. Left unchecked, in favourable conditions, it can produce millions of spores and spread rapidly. Unfortunately, as with other fungal diseases, there is increasing incidences of fungicide resistance, where some products are no longer as effective. Powdery mildew infection severity in a season is driven by the level of inoculum carried from the previous season, the weather conditions and good early season control. Sheltered areas of the vineyard and shaded canopies can provide conditions that favour the development of the disease.

Economic impact

Damage to leaves by powdery mildew reduces photosynthesis and therefore the production of sugars for the plant to grow and function – impacting the crop yield and quality. In fact, the vines can be affected for several seasons following infection and have reduced nutritional reserves. Even a minor infection on the berries can give off flavours in wine, so there is a risk of rejection by the winery. Infected buds can have reduced viability and infection of inflorescences can reduce berry development, resulting in significant loss of yield. The skin of diseased berries is affected and can split allowing for secondary infections such as Botrytis. All these factors contribute to considerable economic losses.

Life cycle


Life cycle diagrams of powdery mildew in grapevines can be found easily in textbooks and on the internet and there are both sexual and asexual reproductive stages. “It is important to understand the life cycle of powdery mildew as this gives a better chance to target the critical stages of infection and disease development,” explained Alex Valsecchi, Vineyard Manager, Albury Organic Vineyard. “Apart from the active part of the disease cycle, we know that spores overwinter on wood and debris around the vineyard so as part of the cultural practise the first control is probably done at pruning by choosing healthy canes. Removing prunings is good practice to reduce disease spreading, especially in an organic or biodynamic vineyard where we are limited on the pesticides we can use. So, removing prunings, chipping them in order to compost them (reaching temperatures of around 65°C will kill spores) and then bringing them back on the vineyard mixed into compost

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application is perhaps out best option. In a worst-case scenario, we can burn badly infected material. Matt Strugnell, Vineyard Manager, Ridgeview Wine Estate, “removes infected shoots as soon as they are spotted. I try and select canes that have no visible signs of infection, that is no blotches or scarring, when pruning. I always remove canes from the vineyard – I used to burn prunings in the belief it would help but now I have a mulcher that collects them, and I take them away from the vineyard. Early spraying the following season is important.” Added Matt. As well as overwintering spores in wood and debris, powdery mildew can survive in dormant buds which have been infected in the previous season. These buds then produce diseased and deformed shoots known as ‘flag shoots’, the following spring – and these can produce spores which infect the surrounding green tissue where the fungus multiplies. Spore numbers can increase dramatically if not effectively controlled.


Vitis species differ in their susceptibility to powdery mildew, and it is generally considered that Vitis vinifera is particularly prone to infection – with one of the most susceptible varieties being Chardonnay. Hybrids are deemed to be less susceptible. “Having worked with many hybrid varieties in Canada I must say their resistance to mildew in general allows a more relaxed and routine approach to spraying programmes. As a generalisation the hybrids may require at least half the frequency of treatments compared to vinifera,” commented Jonathan Rodwell, Vineyard Manager, Vinescapes. Piwis, are interspecific hybrids and the result of crossings between Vitis vinifera and other species of the genus Vitis. Piwi is short for Pilzwiderstandsfähig, a German term meaning disease-tolerant or fungal resistant. The aim of the breeding programmes is to develop varieties that meet future challenges in the vineyard – such as lowering the impact on the environment by reducing spray use and vineyard operations, as well as making quality wine. Piwi wines are already widespread in Germany and becoming increasingly popular in other countries, including the UK. There are apparently even plantings in experimental vineyards in Champagne – as they are varieties considered suitable for sparkling wine. “European species have not evolved with American pests so, as such, simply hold no resistance, whereas the wild American vines do,” explained Sam Doncaster, a British-born viticulturist who spends much of his time working on vine breeding programmes in Germany and Switzerland. “In modern vine breeding there are probably several other Vitis species that hold a useful degree of resistance to varying fungal infections,” Sam added. <<


POWDERY MILDEW << Piwi varieties have many advantages, including reduced use of pesticide sprays which is not only more sustainable environmentally but has substantial cost savings on products, energy, and labour; there is less soil compaction favouring soil health. They are higher yielding and earlier ripening. “These have been around for a few years, but the significance is really hitting home now. Supposing you exchange about 40% of your V. vinifera with a Piwi that only requires 20% or 30% of previous chemical usage, then you get to halve your overall chemical use. Don’t forget the EU decree to ‘halve your chemical applications by 2030’ in viticulture,” commented Sam.

Cultural methods

Understanding powdery mildew and the conditions it favours enables the grower to employ cultural methods as well as Integrated Pest Management. According to the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecosystem approach to crop production and protection that combines different management strategies and practices to grow healthy crops and minimize the use of pesticides. In the SWGB IPM bulletin, it suggests that for some key pests, like powdery mildew, it is often better to protect from the disease than to eradicate it once it is established, with a preventative programme. For powdery mildew, it is best to focus on areas with a history of the disease or predisposing conditions – susceptible varieties, with vigorous, dense canopies in low lying, sheltered, shady, damp areas of the vineyard. The bulletin continues to emphasise the importance of monitoring and keeping eyes open for specific symptoms using systems like Sectormentor for recording. Also, WineGB South East publishes a guide to recognising grapevine symptoms – a useful addition to every vineyard tractor cab. Chris Cooper, Fruit Agronomist with Hutchinsons and Retained Wine GB Technical Support, warns against: “Planting in shady damp areas that take a long time to dry out.” He recommends: “Growing highly tolerant cultivars, making sure the canopy management is sufficient to allow good air-movement and natural sunlight (UV) exposure, and trying not to allow

Photo: Matt Strugnell


the disease to establish. “If there is a history of the disease in the vineyard or it gets established rogue out ‘flag shoots’ early in the season, use a robust spray programme and minimum 600lt/ha water volume, strip out very infected leaves, and target spray mostly on the bunches,” continued Chris. “Don’t excessively feed with nitrogen but be guided by leaf analysis and select rootstock/scion vigour to suit the site, so thinner soils more vigour – whereas fertile soils less vigour. Obviously, this can’t be changed post planting,” he added “Canopy management means vertically directed shoots, for a well aerated canopy,” explained Jonathan Rodwell. “Coupled with leaf pulling in the fruit zone, this will promote air flow, light penetration and spray penetration,” he continued. “If high disease pressure has been experienced then all preventative measures need to be considered. Post-harvest and pre-bud break copperbased sprays are not necessarily common practice but where canes and dormant buds are well bathed in solution this can help significantly to reduce initial inoculums. Unfortunately, the practice of entering a vineyard with soil tillage at budburst can help to stir up overwintering spores and raise inoculum levels,” added Jonathan. The aim is to create an environment less favourable for powdery mildew – which includes a reduction of the humidity level as much as possible. “My top tips are to maintain an open canopy, crown thin and shoot removal, where necessary, to improve air movement and light penetration,” said Alex Valsecchi. “Also vine trimming to maintain a controlled canopy - again to reduce shading and moisture trapping. We usually start leaf removal at flowering time with the eastern side and continue through the western side before pea size in a lighter way to start with, depending on the season, and a little more as the ripening progresses,” added Alex. Matt Strugnell agreed: “Keep shade to a minimum – another reason for good canopy management, along with leaf stripping, well-timed tucking in, and trimming.”

To ensure there is minimal overwintering inoculum, Chris Cooper recommends, “good in-season cultural control of disease – and if it has got established burn the prunings. Most vineyards are all metal post and trellis these days so the over-wintering spores can no longer over winter in the wooden posts, hence pulverising prunings should be sufficient in the majority of vineyards,” he added.


Jonathan Rodwell comments that monitoring for powdery is not a visual control. “If you rely on this, you will probably be too late,” he explained. “It has to be considered in terms of a preventative programme with a close eye on rainfall, humidity and temperature,” he added. Weather stations can be a useful tool as they collect data and can link to disease modelling or decision support systems to help the vineyard manager make decisions about crop protection and disease management. “Soil Moisture Sense doesn’t have expertise in diseases but does automatically link data to a system called RIMpro that has many disease models for vines and other fruit crops – in fact there are 20 different models for vines alone,” said Peter White of Soil Moisture Sense. “The weather stations can be designed with many different sensors, measuring temperature, humidity, leaf wetness and more. The positioning of weather stations is often dictated by the need to monitor for frost, but the lower areas of the vineyard will probably also be the areas that are cooler with higher humidity, and likely more favourable for powdery mildew,” he added. “It is quite hard to monitor powdery mildew (compared to downy mildew) because there are several factors, in addition to weather conditions, that can affect it, such as variety, inoculum from last year, the plants vigour, foliage management, so we link to decision support tools (DSTs) explained Melissa Comellas, from Sencrop and a vineyard owner. “The decision support tools available in the UK for vines, which can all be accessed through the Sencrop application are – RIMpro and Sectormentor,” Melissa added. “We do have a weather station,” explained Alex Valsecchi, “and we monitor weather parameters like temperature, humidity and leaf wetness but we do not have an alert system for pest and disease, we just keep our eyes open throughout periods of warm and dry weather alternated by precipitations. We regularly walk the crop especially in the areas of the vineyard we know are more prone to powdery. Usually, powdery develops in the top eastern corner of one of our Chardonnay blocks, and generally on the eastern side of the rows where the sun doesn’t shine until later in the day, so the leaves stay wet for longer. It is also one of the warmer spots and sheltered from the wind, so it is the perfect spot for powdery - and Chardonnay is very prone to it!” Alex added. “I don’t really use technology for powdery monitoring other than keeping an eye on temperature and humidity. I crop walk regularly especially during periods of overcast warm weather. I usually spot it in the shadier parts of the canopy - a distorted shoot is a good sign. In my experience the period when the vines are most vulnerable is from pea size berries through to veraison,” commented Matt Strugnell.

Plant protection

Chris Cooper, Agronomist, recommends: “Mostly Thiopron and Unicorn at the start of the season and with known problem cultivars or sites. I suggest shortening the spray intervals if the infection is seen – adjust depending on the scouting reports. Use Justice, Vivando, Cosine from early flowering to veraison and just beyond, after that it depends on the control achieved. On non problem sites still Thiopron and Unicorn then let the strobilurins (Stroby, Nativo) and SDHI products (Sercadis, Filan) take the strain through flowering and beyond – using Justice if the conditions are very conducive to infection. Fortunately, I tend not to have major powdery << mildew issues these days.

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POWDERY MILDEW << “There are alternatives to the usual fungicides for powdery mildew, and biological control products such as Amylo X, Romeo, Fytosave and Taegro, but in my experience they have given very inconsistent control where used – but we do resort to Potassium Bicarb (Karma) occasionally,” Chris added. “In my experience spray programmes need to start early,” explained Jonathan Rodwell, “possibly at the 3-4 leaf stage, especially with susceptible varieties like Chardonnay. The timing of spray application needs to be flexible and reactive to seasonal pressure and conditions, such as humidity. In organic systems under high disease pressure, treatments can be frequent. With systemic sprays, do respect minimum intervals but be wary of the stated extended coverage – as fast-growing shoots and foliage and poor canopy management will erode protection capability,” Jonathan added. “My spray strategy is quite simple – spray more frequently during periods of rapid growth and low light levels but be flexible and increase intervals if the sun is shining brightly, if there is low humidity and clear blue skies,” commented Matt Strugnell. “However, regular preventative spraying is essential especially if growing cultivars that are more susceptible, such as Chardonnay. Trying to eradicate powdery mildew is very difficult, stressful and time consuming. If a small infection is identified, then I act immediately - as I have seen it spread at an alarming rate,” Matt added. “In organic viticulture we use Sulphur as the main preventative spray, this is used from pre-budburst throughout the growing season. If powdery appears we use Potassium Bicarbonate (Karma) as it is a good cleaner, we also use bio-fungicides like Romeo or ProS, which both seem to have some control,” explained Alex Valsecchi. “Both on the organic and conventional disease pressure controls we see quite a number of products – more so on the continent than in the UK – where we have a more limited choice. Alternative products, if allowed, such as citrus oil, salt solutions and sodium bicarbonate should not be overlooked as additional tools of prevention. Additionally, not all sulphur-


based products are equal, and persistency of effect can be variable. “In colder climates we use wettable or aqueous sulphur solutions but that does not mean that if the temperatures are favourable, that dusting sulphur cannot be highly effective,” added Alex. “It’s important to focus on fundamentals for disease control,” explained Jonathon Rodwell, “which in many studies have been found to be the stumbling blocks – such as correct calibration of sprayers, correct coverage of canopy and inflorescences or grape bunches. It’s vital to use spray indicator papers! The correct volumes need to be applied at the correct concentrations and a well-planned preventative programme sufficient to cope with high disease pressure,” he added.

The future

As well as breeding resistance into vines, to offer environmentally sound and cost-effective disease management methods, there are other technologies on the way. “I don’t have experience of the UV technology, but the information I have seen looks very promising,” commented Chris Cooper. “Technologies looking into drones or mechanised vehicles that will identify early disease establishment based on leaf chlorophyll sound promising as this will allow localised spraying or dosing to prevent the disease. Resistant cultivars using CRISPR gene technology and growing in tunnels are the more likely mid-term routes in the UK,” he added. “On the monitoring front we are seeing much better coordination of local weather conditions being fed into disease models that also incorporate humidity and even aerial spore counts,” commented Jonathan Rodwell. “On the control side there is now some interesting equipment coming out of France and Italy for using UV and ozonated water. When this equipment is coupled with autonomous vehicles our capabilities for disease control should increase; traditionally in wet conditions and with high disease pressure, conventional tractor entry into the vineyards has been compromised,” Jonathan added.


Favourite modules

> Calvin Pearson This month, meet our second-year students, Calvin and Madeleine who are studying BSc in Viticulture and Oenology. We have asked them to tell us about their favourite modules across the first two years of the degree course.

Calvin Pearson

I am originally from Colchester, Essex and have lived in London most of my adult life, finding my passion for wine via managing restaurants, wine bars and pubs for the last decade or so. My favourite module during my time at Plumpton College has been the Wine Production and Analysis in year 2. I really enjoy learning in-depth topics and how the chemistry in wine can allow a winemaker to make various choices throughout vinification to create a certain style and rectify problems! Recently, we had a guest lecturer from François Frères cooperage, which I found very insightful. The fact that barrel ageing has been a key winemaking technique for a couple of millennia fascinates me.

Lastly, we also get to taste a few wines blindly during lectures and discuss properties and winemaking techniques that may have been used to produce them. What other courses allow you to drink a glass of wine while learning? It's great!

Madeleine Stark

I'm from Reno, Nevada, in the United States. I came to the UK in 2020 to attend Plumpton College as a full-time student. My background is in wine service and sales, and my goal was to learn more about production. My favourite class is the Winery Engineering and Operations module that we start in the second year. Getting to work in the winery itself is exactly the type of hands-on experience I was looking for when I chose this course. The classroom learning is excellent for understanding the theory behind everything that takes place in the winery but getting to work and learn under the supervision of our head winemaker, Deepika Koushik, is fantastic. Every session is different, and we get to experience all the day to day tasks that keep the

> Madeleine Stark winery running throughout the year. We had the opportunity to take a wine from harvest to bottling and through every step in-between. Understanding and assisting with all the different decisions a winemaker must make at every stage of the process has been an invaluable experience that I can't wait to utilise in my future career.

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

Diversity and inclusion WineGB held its first successful and well-attended virtual D&I Conference last month. Speakers included Scott Carruthers (Moët Hennessy), Leyla Okhai (Diverse Minds), Kirsten MacLeod (DE&I consultant), Sam Linter (Bolney Wine Estate), Lynsey Verrillo (Blackbook Winery), Ruth Simpson (Simpsons Wine Estate), Warwick Smith (Renegade) and Elisha Rai (Folc Wine). The speakers discussed their own experiences and offered practical advice to encourage businesses to review their recruitment, marketing and communications practices.

The WineGB D&I Working Group has produced a marketing and recruitment guide as well as a dedicated Facebook group to further promote and increase equality and inclusion within the English and Welsh wine industry. This is available to WineGB members via: To access the recording and related materials, please email Joana Albogas on


WineGB at the London Wine Fair and ProWein. WineGB will have a presence at both trade shows taking place in June and May respectively. Email Julia Trustram Eve for more information:



Photo: Tom Gold

11 March 2022 Pruning Competition This event is being organised by WineGB trade member Vine-Works and will take place at Yotes Court Vineyard in Kent. For more details, please email Phoebe French on 30 April 2022 WineGB Travel Show This event will promote and raise the profile of the burgeoning UK wine tourism sector to the travel trade and media. For more details, please email Julia Trustram Eve on

> Hush Heath Estate

20 April 2022 WineGB Business & Marketing Conference This event will feature expert speakers exploring how the

industry should build towards economic sustainability. For more details, please email Simon Thorpe MW on

On social… This year, WineGB will be resuming its successful International Women’s Day campaign and shining a spotlight on the female voices and talent within the UK wine industry. As in 2021, this will take the form of eight, 30-minute discussion interviews live on WineGB’s Instagram channel. The videos will later be uploaded onto YouTube. The campaign will run from 7 March to 13 March and those due to be interviewed will include Zoë Driver (Black Chalk), Susie Barrie MW (wine writer and broadcaster), Elisha Rai (Folc Wine), Ann Hill (Worshipful Company of Vintners) and Aleesha Hansel (wine communicator).

Photo: Tom Gold Photography

> Susie Barrie MW

> Zoë Driver

Your WineGB membership entitles you to a 10% discount from packaging supplier and WineGB Gold Patron WBC. Email Phoebe French (Phoebe@winegb. for information on how to claim your discount.


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2022 starts with Landini’s new products A Made-in-Italy heart and an eye to the future. From Lamma in Birmingham to FIMA in Zaragoza, passing through Fieragricola in Verona: these will be some of the main events that will set the stage, in the first half of 2022, for Landini’s new tractors, with a Made-in-Italy heart and an eye to the future.


To be shown in 2022 is the Stage V-emission compliant Landini Trekker4, equipped with a passive regeneration DPF, a DOC oxidation catalyst and, only for models with over 56 kW of power, the SCR selective emission reduction catalyst and the 10.5-litre AdBlue tank. The 4-085, 4-095, 4-105, 4-110 and 4-120 models offer power outputs ranging from a minimum of 75hp to a maximum of 112hp. The same dimensions and height as the Stage IIIB family make the Trekker4 suitable for working in orchards (F version) and mountains (M version). Its style follows the new and appreciated family feeling adopted for the new Landini products. The most important innovation concerns the platform, which is completely suspended from the wagon and engine compartment. This solution provides total insulation from heat and vibrations, with a clear improvement in comfort.


Front and side visibility and ergonomics have been improved, thanks to the optimised driver’s seat and the completely redesigned side control console. As an option, the new six post cab, available with a category 2 filtration system, air conditioning and radio, protects the operator from dust, noise and atmospheric agents all year round. The 16 + 8 speed transmission operates through a synchro reverse shuttle (a plus compared to the competition) and can be configured with overdrive, to increase the top speed up to 15 km/h, or alternatively with the creeper, which allows a minimum speed of 300 metres per hour. Tracks are available in steel or rubber. In the F version with a track width of 1,100mm, the semi-lubricated steel tracks range from 310mm to 360mm in width, while in the M version with a track width of 1,300mm, the same tracks are available in 400 or 450mm. The rubber soles are 400mm wide for both versions, with track widths of 1,132mm in the F model and 1,300mm in the M model. The tanks, one at the rear and one at the side, are connected to each other and have a total capacity of 85 litres, thus allowing maximum working autonomy during the day in the field.

The Trekker4 has a dual pump hydraulic circuit, with a 28.5 l/min pump for steering and a 42 l/min pump for managing hitches and spool valves. Three hydraulic rear spool valves can be added to the basic equipment, but two more can be added as an option for a total of five, with optional six front quick couplers and flow regulator. The rear hitch, further enhanced with respect to the previous version and enriched with the optional ELS, has a maximum load capacity of 3,150kg in the standard configuration and 4,500kg when equipped with two additional hydraulic cylinders.


Landini REX4, the benchmark range of specialist tractors, now features Stage V compliant engines thanks to the innovative system that uses a passive regeneration DPF, DOC oxidation catalyst and, for models over 75hp, SCR (selective catalyst reduction) catalytic converter and AdBlue tank with practical quickaccess and quick-top-up system. REX4 includes versatile and efficient tractors, available in the platform version in the F, GE, GB and GT configurations and in the cab version in the V, S, F and GT configurations. The REX 4-080, 4-090, 4-100, 4-110, 4-120 models offer power outputs ranging from

75hp to 112hp. The Deutz four cylinder, 16-valve, 2.9 litre, turbo intercooler engines with common rail electronic injection provide excellent performance in terms of torque reserve, greater responsiveness and lower fuel consumption. The engine memo switch stores and swiftly recalls the most suitable engine speed to accelerate work. Special attention was paid to engine maintenance, with dedicated solutions that expanded maintenance intervals from 500 hours to 1,000 hours. Among the various transmission configurations, of note is the new Robo-Shift 48 + 16 version with electro-hydraulic reverse shuttle and fully robotic H-M-L speed and gear shifting under load, controlled by an ergonomic and intuitive multifunction joystick. Landini REX4 is a highly versatile tractor, thanks to its open-centre hydraulic circuit, equipped with a 30 l/min pump for steering and 58 l/min for utility management. A third pump operating in tandem is also available, achieving a total flow rate of 94 l/min at the utilities, delivering 55 l/min at as little as 1,500 engine rpm.


The new Stage V compliant engine is also a distinctive feature of the REX3 series. This series is characterised by the design of the bonnet, which reflects the new look of the Landini family. The strength of the REX3 is its compact size, (ideal for working in vineyards, orchards, for horticulture and greenhouse operations): 1,950mm wheelbase, 213mm minimum ground clearance, external width ranging from 1,350mm to 1,617mm, minimum height above ground of steering wheel on the platform version is 1,256mm. Landini REX3 is available in platform, low-profile cab and standard cab versions. The standard cab, dedicated to the F version, offers all the best comforts in the belief that a comfortable working environment, in every season, is conducive to greater productivity. Other features include a convenient monitor rail and the use of automotive-derived materials.

Its four pillar construction and rear-hinged doors ensure easy access and perfect all-round visibility. The range offers two Kohler four cylinder, 16-valve 2.5 litre Stage V compliant engines with 68hp and 75hp. Powerful and efficient, both models reach a maximum torque of 315 Nm at 1500rpm. Fast, accurate engine speed management is guaranteed by the engine memo switch. Operational autonomy throughout the day is ensured by the 50 litre diesel tank. The transmission uses a mechanical reverse shuttle with control on the steering wheel and offers 16 + 16 speeds with a creeper. Dual speed pto, front hitch and pto, split quick connections and supports for mid-mounted (single or double) and front implements are also available as options.


Landini Mistral2, takes over and updates the name of the highly renowned series of Landini compact tractors. The 1.9 litre, three cylinder, turbo aftercooled Kohler engine offers best-inclass maximum torque (180Nm and 200Nm) at 1200rpm. The two models, 2-055 and 2-060, are not only suitable for typical specialised farming applications, but also for urban council work, such as turf management and maintenance of public parks. It is available in the Standard configuration (platform or cab), and GE (ground effect) configuration, platform only. Mistral2 is the best specialist tractor in its segment in terms of compact size, with a 1,790mm wheelbase, a minimum width of 1,260mm, a weight of 1,780kg for the cab version and a maximum allowed weight of 3,050kg. The rear tyres, available in 20” and 24”, allow the GE version to maintain the bonnet heights from the ground at 1,131mm and 1,206mm respectively (on the standard version these sizes are 1,230mm and 1,301mm).

Landini 5-085

Landini 5-085, the ideal tractor in the multiutility segment, can be fitted with an optional L15 front loader with dedicated ergonomic joystick for enhanced versatility. It offers excellent handling and ease of use thanks to the 2,171mm wheelbase and the rear final drives can accommodate 34” wheels. These features, combined with a maximum allowed weight of 5,800kg, make Landini 5-085 the ideal companion for any farming activities. The precise, easy-to-use mechanically controlled rear hitch combined with the ELS (Ergonomic Lift System) lifts up to 3,900kg. An optional electronic hitch with remote controls on the fenders is also available. The pto is available at one, two or four speeds and a 1,600kg capacity hitch can be selected with its relative pto for the front. Landini 5-085 is equipped with a Stage V certified 3.4 litre, four cylinder and eight valve FPT Turbo intercooler engine with common rail electronic injection, that makes the most of the 75hp available to provide excellent traction and best-in-class torque at 375 Nm at as little as 1,400rpm, a performance you would expect from higher powered tractors.

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Equipment for Vineyards

Battle Mowers Ltd ALLETT


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

■ ■ ■ ■

Cultivators Vine Trimmers Soil Aerators Hedge Cutters

PARTS AVAILABLE FOR HAYTER, TORO, MOUNTFIELD, STIGA, LAWNFLITE, CUB CADET Phone for further information Unit 15-19 Vinehall Business Park, Vinehall Road, Mountfield, East Sussex TN32 5JW

Purchase direct from the UK Importer:

01424 773096

t: 01892 890364 • e: Lamberhurst Engineering Ltd • Priory Farm Parsonage Lane • Lamberhurst • Kent TN3 8DS




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RICHARD SMITH 07483 035922


New Corvus dealers for the South East Kirkland UK has been announced Corvus dealers for the South East. Built with powerful engines, the Corvus UTV’s are ideal for orchards, farms and vineyards. Scott Worsley, Partner of Kirkland UK is excited to bring this new brand to the South East: “We found Corvus UTV’s to be the perfect addition to our range of machinery solutions for our customers. These popular UTV’s are ideal 4x4 vehicles thanks to their powerful, robust design with generous storage and load capacity making them high performers in any weather condition, which is exactly what the South East needs.” Managing director at BOSS off-road vehicles, Phil Everett is thrilled to have Kirkland UK on board. “We had been looking for a partner for Corvus in the South East of England and after talking to Scott for five minutes it was obvious that Kirkland UK would be a natural fit with us.

We share the same passion for success and rapid growth and an impatience to achieve. They are an extremely customer focused organisation and hungry to grow the business and explore diverse opportunities to achieve this. Together with their, already, well established customer base in the region it was a very easy decision to partner

with them for this area.” Corvus UTV’s can transport up to 450kg in the cargo box and with an amazing 309mm ground clearance they allow you to overcome any obstacle and terrain. For more information on these impressive vehicles contact Kirkland UK on 01622 843013 today.

Managing disease on compact sites Hobbyists are moving into viticulture to set up and run compact vineyards, creating demand for both specialist advice and new scales of disease management. “Compact vineyards are too small for conventional tractor-mounted boom spraying of the kind usually employed on larger estates,” says William Mower of Vine-Works, which establishes and manages vineyards, also advising operators on a continuing basis. “That means knapsack sprayers will provide the bulk of vine treatment for such sites, which range typically between 500 and 1,000 plants,” he adds. “We plant up around 35 vineyards a year and are seeing a steady rise in those wishing to take up viticulture as a pastime, rather than as a profitable business venture.” While knapsack spray treatment may seem a chore most estate managers can well do without, hobbyists will view such micro management differently. That said, the disease and pest threats are every bit as real on the bespoke scale as they are on the rolling hillsides of the big players.

“Pesticide bans have limited the scope of treatments available to managers to tackle perennial pests such as the spotted wing drosophila (fruit fly), which lays its eggs on developing grapes,” William explains. “An agronomist is vital in advising operators on their options,” he says, “but sulphur can prove effective against fungal attack from powdery mildew and plenty of brands are out there, such as Kumulus.” Absence of a whole spread of chemicals means more work for the knapsack operator though. “Organic and biodynamic treatments [advice available from Sustainable Wines of Great Britain] involve more passes because they are less effective, though less harsh, than banned chemicals,” William adds. The key challenge for managers is the high degree of disease impacting vines during the growing season, from April time through to October harvesting. “Spraying programmes conform to a 14-day cycle throughout the season, ending at harvest,” William explains, “depending on the varieties grown, as

some are more susceptible to disease than others. “Preventable spraying can begin before flowering and fruit-set to give some protection later in the season,” he adds. Qualified sprayer operators are vital to conform to strengthening safety standards. Sussex-based Vine-Works enjoys close links with nearby Plumpton College, which runs Safe Use of Pesticides training courses to ensure those safeguarding vine health are also shielding themselves and wildlife. Knapsack sprayer specialists Hozelock-Exel manufacture and supply the Berthoud Vermorel range, widely applied across Europe, which includes telescopic lances designed to fully penetrate lush vine foliage and ergonomically designed safety harnesses to help make spraying a comfortable experience that avoids undue stress on the body. www.berthoud/fr/en –


See you on 2 March at Farm Expo, Kent Showground, Detling.

Avon Works, Cranbrook, TN17 2PT • 01580 712200 • •

Vitifruit Equipment Sales and Hire







/vitifruitequipment M A R C H 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D


 01732 866567

vid Sayell & a D

c ha Ri

rd Witt


Sauerburger subsoiler Lifting the soil compaction zone is easy with this 1.5 m wide twin leg subsoiler. Both legs are specially shaped to minimise draught and maximise soil loosening. Normally the legs are positioned to lift the ruts and compaction caused by the tractor tyres however it's easy to reposition the legs to lift closer to the vines or if the legs are swapped left to right, to lift the soil in the alley center. The depth of work is adjustable thanks to the multiple pin holes on the rear roller support arms. Discs are positioned in front of the legs to cut slits in the grass in order to minimise ripping, with the whole soil surface being kept level by the hugging down effect of the rear roller. It's one of many tools available for hire and sale from Vitifruit Equipment who are adding to their range by manufacturing toppers, flail mowers, prunings collectors, a new range of harvest trailers and anti-frost heaters running on low emission fuel. 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

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01252 279 830

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