Vineyard April 2021

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VINEYARD for viticulturists in Great Britain ™

APRIL 2021

Cheers to the women in wine!


Meet the people behind the wines Getting ready to bottle still wines Wines of the month from Matthew Jukes Controlling botrytis


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


Matthew Berryman 07710 765323

VINEYARD for viticulturists in Great Britain VINEYARD Kelsey Media, The Granary, Downs Court Yalding Hill, Yalding, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 6AL 01959 541444 EDITORIAL Editor: Jo Cowderoy GRAPHIC DESIGN Jo Legg Flair Creative Design ADVERTISEMENT SALES Jamie McGrorty 01303 233883 PHOTOGRAPHER Martin Apps MANAGEMENT CHIEF EXECUTIVE: Steve Wright CHIEF OPERATING Officer: Phil Weeden MANAGING DIRECTOR: Kevin McCormick PUBLISHER: Jamie McGrorty RETAIL DIRECTOR: Steve Brown RENEWALS AND PROJECTS MANAGER: Andy Cotton SENIOR SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING MANAGER: Nick McIntosh SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING DIRECTOR: Gill Lambert SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING MANAGER: Kate Chamberlain SENIOR PRINT PRINT PRODUCTION MANAGER: Georgina Harris PRINT PRODUCTION CONTROLLER: Kelly Orriss

NEWS 8 #BigEnglishWineEaster supporting hospitality

10 Nyetimber see sales of sparkling rosé soar in 2020

12 Wine tasting hub at Show

REGULARS 14 In conversation

Two young women are uncovering an untapped younger audience – and offering a light-hearted, fun introduction to some seriously good wines.

16 Matthew Jukes

Our industry is powered by hard-working, visionary women with world-class taste.

27 The agronomy diary

Make a plan for controlling diseases.

29 Meet the people

behind the wines

Profiling the careers of people working in UK vineyards and wineries.

36 The vine post

Vine importing in post-Brexit Britain.

38 The Grape Exchange –

UK’s first trading platform

Vineyard finds out what’s new with Vine Care UK and the UK’s first trading platform – ‘The Grape Exchange’.

DISTRIBUTION Distribution in Great Britain: Marketforce (UK) 3rd Floor, 161 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9AP Tel: 0330 390 6555

48 It's bottling time!

PRINTING Precision Colour Print

51 Practical tank design

Kelsey Media 2020 © 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

The steps winemakers take to ‘get it right’ before the wine goes into bottle.

Part 2 – red vinification.

52 Preparing wine for bottling White wine check-list

54 Representing you Wine competitions.

57 Machinery

Affordable and reliable weeding solutions.

Front cover image: Bolney Wine Estate © Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

 twitter facebook @VineyardMagGB VineyardMagGB


18 24 30 44

The Bolney experience Vineyard visits Bolney Wine Estate and meets Sam Linter the driving force behind this exceptional boutique family wine business.

Getting ahead of botrytis Vineyard finds out why understanding Botrytis cinerea and its modus operandi combined with early season control could save the crop. Cheers to the women in Great British wine! Championing our industry, inspiring and educating, there are many remarkable women growing great grapes, making fantastic wines and running businesses. Why have a website? During the lockdowns both businesses and consumers have had to take the plunge and dive online into a more digital world.

Jo C

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

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There were two opportunities in March to raise a glass and say cheers to the women in Great British wine, International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day – as many of the amazing women are also mothers. There are so many diverse roles in this fast-growing and exciting sector, from growing grapes, making wine, to tourism and business. There really is something for everyone. It is evident and recognised, however, that more can be done to reach the under-represented groups in our society. It is vital that we create a more diverse, inclusive, and therefore more robust, industry for the future. The recently formed WineGB Diversity & Inclusion committee aims to improve the access to employment and education – and welcome all sectors of society. Wine tourism will likely be buzzing this year, with all the amazing visitor experiences at beautiful vineyards across the country – just waiting for lockdown to end. Vineyards and wineries are desperate to open their cellar doors again and welcome guests. For visitors, whether part of a ‘staycation’ tourist activity or a visit to a local wine producer, wandering along vineyard trails and tasting delicious wines with friends and family – will be a long overdue treat. Although many vineyards have been innovative and held very successful online tastings – the real thing is just so ‘Instagrammable’. I would like to apologise to all the women that I could not include in this edition’s feature on the women in Great British wine - many of whom I know well – but there just wasn’t space and I hope you will forgive me! As I write Mother’s Day approaches and I am hoping that I am lucky enough to receive the lovely Bolney Wine Estate luxury sparkling wine and chocolate gift box that I spotted on my Editor Visit this month (hint to my daughters)!




From the editor

Celebrating our women in wine.

The Vineyard



Marden: (01622) 831423

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by email to

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Sad passing of Steven Spurrier Steven Spurrier of Bride Valley Vineyard and widely respected member the wine trade, has passed away. Steven will always be remembered for founding the Académie du Vin, the celebrated Judgement of Paris and in recent years, the Académie du Vin Library and, together with his wife Bella, the Bride Valley Vineyard in Dorset. His enthusiasm and love of wine will live on through Bride Valley, the Académie du Vin Library, the relaunched Académie du Vin in

Jacob Leadley, CEO and winemaker of Black Chalk, and WineGB have announced plans for this year’s Easter weekend initiative to support the English wine industry. Following last year’s inaugural – and inadvertent – “#theBIGenglishwinegoodfriday”, which saw producers take part in a flurry of social media activity encouraging consumers to purchase wines from their local vineyards, its successor, #BigEnglishWineEaster aims to broaden its reach across the wine trade and support those most in need. The focus of this year’s incarnation will be a social media takeover, with winemakers, the trade at large and wine lovers everywhere, encouraged to open a bottle of English wine and share a photo or video, with the hashtags #BigEnglishWineEaster and #BEWE, between 7pm and 8pm on Saturday 3 April. The campaign will preview from Monday 22 March with a series of online events and social media posts hosted by an army of English wine supporters. This year, producers will be invited to contribute a percentage of their sales over the weekend to two charities: The Drinks Trust and Hospitality Action. A raffle with contributions from English producers will raise further funds. Jacob Leadley is keen to get the wider U.K. wine industry involved this year; retailers and those restaurants able to operate will be invited to take part. Roger Jones of Little Bedwyn is already on board and will create a bespoke English produce takeaway menu paired with English wines for the Easter weekend. Commenting, he said: “I am delighted to be part of the #BigEnglishWineEaster – a wonderful way to support the GB wine



Canada and through the work of the many wine makers, wine writers and wine educators he championed. Simon Thorpe, CEO WineGB commented: “In 2009 Steven and his wife Bella established Bride Valley Vineyard in Dorset, and as valued members of WineGB contributed so much to our industry. Always dapper, interested, full of wit and opinion, Steven will be very sadly missed by those in the trade who have had the pleasure and joy to have known and been inspired by him over the years.”

#BigEnglishWineEaster supporting hospitality

industry. We have over the years seen a huge increase in interest and sales of English wines whilst we were running our Michelin Star restaurant and continue to see the same with our takeaway service. It is not only English Sparkling that is making waves but still wines are now coming through as well.” John Mobbs of Great British Wine, who has created the visuals for #BigEnglishWineEaster, will host an English wine tasting for around 40 consumers over the weekend, with profits donated to the charities. Commenting, Leadley said: “2020 was all about supporting English wineries who, as a result of the lockdown, were deprived of sales and tourism revenue. As 2020 progressed, many producers saw significant sales growth as British consumer

embraced their domestic wine industry. We feel there are other sectors of the U.K. drinks industry who now need our support, specifically the on-trade, which has been hardest hit by the pandemic. We hope to raise vital funds to help ensure the future of this essential sector of our industry.” Julia Trustram Eve, marketing manager of WineGB, added: “This is a fantastic initiative that brings together our wine community to not only celebrate our wonderful wines but also support those affected across both our own and associated industries, particularly those in the on-trade over the last year. We hope as many vineyards as possible will join this celebration on social media and encourage their customers, supporters and followers to do the same.”

Details of wineries participating in #BigEnglishWineEaster will be hosted on the WineGB and Great British Wine websites: and

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Nyetimber see sales of sparkling rosé soar in 2020 The demand for Nyetimber Rosé Multi-Vintage (MV) has exceeded all their expectations. On-trade and off-trade sales increased 34% year on year, with sales in national retail stores up 50% and in independent retailers up 20%. Online sales of Nyetimber Rosé MV in the period JuneDecember 2020 increased tenfold compared to the same period in 2019. As a result, when bottling of the 2020 harvest begins in April this year, Nyetimber plans to almost double the number of Rosé MV bottles when compared to the 2019 harvest. Head Winemaker, Cherie Spriggs commented: “This has exceeded our sales projections drastically, but I am thrilled. I have always believed that England has the potential to make fantastic sparkling rosé as it can capture all the elegance of red fruit flavours with a lightness and delicacy, whereas the rosés from Champagne tend to be richer and heavier. Despite last year being very frustrating for planet earth, at least we had a spectacular spring and summer, which was perfect for drinking sparkling rosé in gardens and on patios. Interestingly, the sales remained high into the winter months, showing that the rosé continued to capture the consumer’s palate.” Commenting on the year’s performance, Eric Heerema, CEO and Owner of Nyetimber, said: “Despite significant challenges presented by the pandemic, Nyetimber achieved many positive milestones in the continued growth and evolution of the brand and the business. We are particularly pleased that our sparkling rosé is fast becoming a standout iconic drink within the UK. Consumers clearly recognise the world class quality of our sparkling wines, and sales (both at home and abroad) continue to grow at a reassuring rate, which gives us confidence in the future.” In May, Nyetimber planted 195,000 vines covering 42 hectares at a new site in Kent. Along with the replanting of 10,000 vines covering 2.5 hectares at the estate’s main vineyard in West Sussex, this will enable Nyetimber to produce on average an additional 220,000 bottles per annum when the new vines reach maturity in 2023-24. Nyetimber now has eleven

> Cherie Spriggs vineyards covering 327 hectares across West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent. Nyetimber forecast their production to reach two million bottles by approximately 2025 as more of its vineyards bear fruit. It also expects to sell two million bottles a year by 2030 which would mark a significant uplift on current levels. Cherie Spriggs was named ‘Sparkling Winemaker of the Year’ at the International Wine Challenge 2018. She was the first woman as well as the first person outside the Champagne region of France to win this prestigious award.

Scholarships worth £55,000


The fine wine industry is considered to be at ‘ground zero’ when it comes to diversity with currently very few BAME/BIPOC Masters of Wine or Master Sommeliers. Liquid Icons and The Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation intend to make a difference by creating the opportunity for students from these communities to have access to all levels of wine education. Launched on 8 March, The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship Internship & Mentorship Programme will include two scholarships 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

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of earnings during their work placement internships. The Internship programme includes a set of diversified work experiences with some of the world’s top wine domaines. The Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation was set up to honour the legacy and memory of Gerard Basset OBE MW MS to address the wine industry’s most pressing issues through education, training & mentorship. The organisation comprises of industry-leading professionals as its Trustees: Nina Basset FIH, Romané Basset, Lewis Chester DipWSET, Ian Harris MBE DipWSET, and Jancis Robinson OBE MW. The application window for The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships opened on 8 March 2021, and all interested applicants should apply online at The closing deadline for applications is Friday 16 April 2021.

Best Green Initiative 2020 The Porto Protocol Foundation has been recognised by Drinks Business International with the award of Best Green Initiative 2020, at the Drinks Business 11th edition Green Awards. For Adrian Bridge, CEO and founder of Porto Protocol, this is “the recognition of the important work that is being done to help share information and best practices across the wine industry.” “The Porto Protocol has a wealth of information that can be studied by anyone and has recordings of the ‘Climate Talks’, which bring together experts from around the world. These ‘Climate Talks’ are rapidly becoming a 'monthly must see'. The Porto Protocol is delighted with this award and looks forward with renewed energy to tackling this important subject.”


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Wine tasting hub


Sponsored by Defined Wine Central to the many activities at the Vineyard & Winery Show, on 24 November 2021, will be the wine tasting hub – a 30m-long table displaying 100s of the UK's top wines. Proud sponsors are Defined Wine, and as a contract winery a fair few of the wines will have been made by the team at Defined Wine. Henry Sugden, owner of Defined Wine said: “We are really looking forward to sponsoring the wine tasting hub which will showcase the fantastic range and quality of wine being made in England and Wales now.” Defined Wine was set up in 2018, with 2020

being its second harvest. Based in Kent, Defined Wine makes both sparkling and still wines, but solely for its clients and does not own any vineyards or have its own brand, so there is no distraction. Allowing them to entirely focus on their clients. Defined Wine has an experienced team, with head winemaker, Nick Lane, who was at Cloudy Bay for 13 years and spent the last five years in Champagne. The Vineyard & Winery show will be a great opportunity to discuss winemaking options with Henry, Nick and the team at Defined Wine and find out more about the many services, from crate to case, that are offered.

Show seminar session Sponsored by Engage Agro Europe


Not to be missed at the Vineyard & Winery show on 24 of November will be a series of seminars across all topics. Vineyard magazine is proud to annouce Engage Agro Europe as the seminar series sponsor. Engage Agro Europe will also provide one of the three expert speakers for the viticulture session. Engage Agro Europe will be joined by Hutchinsons, a main sponsor of the show, and a third and final speaker, will be announced soon, will complete the plant health line up. There will also be an interactive panel session giving delegates the opportunity to discuss aspects of plant health and nutrition with the expert speakers. Engage Agro Europe are a crop nutrition company with a team of nine

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agronomists across Europe. They are focused on nutritional support which addresses growth limiting factors with regenerative nutrient technologies and a holistic approach to addressing biotic and abiotic stress to support agribusiness. Commenting on the seminar sponsorship, Mark Horner, Commercial Director said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to discuss with viticulturists the requirement for supporting vine health through optimal nutrition, something that has been growing evermore important year-by-year – and our portfolio of products has been developing over the past eight years to meet this need.”



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an dS

Becky Glover and Sara Thake, childhood friends, have always been big wine fans, and then they discovered English wine. Now these two young women are uncovering an untapped younger audience – and offering a lighthearted, fun introduction to some seriously good wines. Vineyard finds out why they are so excited to have set up their dream business – the specialist online retailer Elizabeth Rose. When did you discover English wine? Becky used to be the biggest Francophile, would not touch anything outside of France, whilst Sara was on a mission to taste everything she’d never heard of. But then Becky was tempted by Nyetimber – Looks like Champagne, made like Champagne, but from England? We both agreed it had to be tasted and both fell head over heels for it. When planning a girly holiday to Cornwall, Sara found Cornish Wine Tours. We started at Camel Valley and we were blown away by the beauty of the vineyard and the standard of the wines. We finished the tour at Trevibban, and they have this gorgeous Black Ram red, which is a deep, oaked, spicy red blend. We couldn’t believe what we were tasting. How did we not know about this before? So, we came home with a boot full of Cornish wine – very happy girls. Back in Cambridge we found it difficult to buy six or twelve different English wines from one place. So, Sara asked, “Gap in the market?” And before she knew it, Becky – being the powerhouse businesswoman that she is – had set us up as a limited company and was looking for website designers.


What is different about Elizabeth Rose?

The main focus of the business is to make English and Welsh wine more accessible. We could not believe what we had been missing out on and we want to share our love with others. We post a lot about individual wines on our social media pages, and we feel this makes them really approachable. On our website, we make everything as easy to find as possible and write, to the point, tasting notes – we really try to remove all things stuffy about wine so that more people feel like they can just give it a go. We also give the customer a chance to read about the vineyard to start their connection with the families that are making the wine.

ara Thake

In conversation...


y ec k

How did you get the name?

We have actually had the name forever. When we were at school, we used to come up with future business ventures – the entrepreneurial spirit was always there. Our business name was always Elizabeth Rose because it’s both our middle names – so, that was it – done. It’s perfect. It has English connotations and it’s personal to us.

Who are your main customers and target audience? Our target audience initially was people like us who have an interest in wine, but maybe haven’t yet discovered English and Welsh wine. We have such a loyal following on Instagram who have been there from the start. Some of whom have genuinely tasted the whole range and demand to be the first to know when new wines come in, which is amazing. Our audience on social media is mainly female 25-35, but this doesn’t necessarily reflect in our actual customer base. We are big on sustainability, so we want to grow our local following here in Cambridge and Essex as well as the wider audience.

How is the business going?

Our customer numbers and sales are increasing massively. We don’t think we can take full credit, as ‘the lockdowns’ have been good for us as an online store. We’ve managed to keep online engagement levels high. In February we ran a campaign which we called English Red Wine Month. We contacted all our red wine suppliers and said “Look, February’s historically rubbish. We’re not allowed to come and see you. Do you want to chat to us on Instagram Live and tell people about your beautiful red wines?” The response was incredible, and we were overbooked. We would have loved to feature everyone, but two or three times per week was as much as we could manage. It’s definitely something we’ll be repeating next year. Our red wine sales have gone through the roof this month and feedback has been amazing.

It’s all about social media

Social media has always been our main advertising tool. It’s a strange virtual world, but there is a real English and Welsh wine community on Instagram which is just fantastic to be a part of. There is nothing better than seeing someone post about how much they’re loving your wines – we consider all Elizabeth Rose Wines ‘our’ wines.

Can producers help you sell their wines? There are so many ways that producers can help drive sales. Firstly, samples are super important. We can’t drink all the stock; we would go out of business. Send us samples every now and then and we will be able to better feature the wines across the social media channels and on the website. Secondly vineyard visits. Wine tourism is really important to us, please invite us to come and visit and we will shout about why people should visit you. Thirdly, wine spec sheets and photographs as these are super useful and timesaving for us. And finally, joint events – use us to promote products, events and anything else exciting going on.

> Becky Glover

> Sara Thake

Decanter awards shortlist

We were really excited to be shortlisted for the Decanter retailer awards. We honestly thought we were too new and too small to get a look in. We know we work exceptionally hard to be the best in the industry, but to be recognised by Decanter is absolutely incredible.

Best selling wines?

So far, in 2021, the most popular wine is White Castle Regent – a Welsh red wine! It’s a stunning wine, and it got a huge amount of attention after Alan Titchmarsh featured it on his Sunday programme. Our all-time best seller is the Winbirri Signature – another red wine. We love this wine because it’s a bargain at about £15, it’s deep, with a touch of oak, and perfectly balanced.

How do you balance day jobs with family and this business? A lot of prioritising and to-do lists. It’s definitely not easy, but honestly, we make it work because we love it! Becky has a high-pressure role within her day job as a Finance Director, Sara has a young family and works as an insurance underwriter. It’s tough, but the amazing wine and fantastic small businesses we work with make us love it.

What is your vision?

We want English and Welsh wines to be celebrated and enjoyed as much as other wine regions in the World. We want people to visit the vineyards, meet the families and fall in love with their wines, just like we did. We want people to understand where their wine comes from, and to choose a local, small batch wine over a mass-produced wine from across the globe.

Favourite wine?

Gosh! That’s like choosing a favourite child! We honestly love everything we stock, and we enjoy different things at different times. Becky loves a deep red in the winter in front of the fire – The White Castle Harry is perfect for this. Whilst Sara would go for a lighter red – The Simpsons Rabbit Hole is a real favourite. In summer, Becky would always reach for a buttery Blanc de Blancs like the Trevibban, or a still Chardonnay like the Simpsons Roman Road. Sara prefers the tropical flavours in the Winbirri Bacchus or the gentle red berries of a Blanc de Noirs – a great example of this is the Ridgeview.

Do you have any spare time?

Not much, we mostly use it to work on Elizabeth Rose. Otherwise, we both really enjoy a bit of running. We find it clears your head and gives you more energy throughout the day, oddly. Sara is kept on her toes with her baby, and Becky has two dogs to keep her busy.

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Mat h e w

Wine and women

es Juk

Our industry is powered by hard-working, visionary women with world-class taste.  paper-plane Years ago, I remember hosting a tasting of Australian wines for The Wine Society at One Great George Street, in Westminster. These facts I remember, but the moment which most sticks in my mind about this event was one of the questions from the floor. A chap asked me why the majority of the wines which I was showing that day were made by women. I am never lost for words, but this stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t know why. It didn’t even occur to me and it never has done what gender the person is who makes the wines that I like. Sometimes I know, most of the time I don’t, but my job is to taste wine, write up and talk about the very finest – that is it. On this particular date, I had unknowingly picked a suite of wines made by some of the most seriously talented winemakers Down Under – the vast majority of whom happened to be women. On reflection, it was an incredibly big deal, indeed it was a turning point for me. Our esteemed editor, Jo Cowderoy, reminded me that this edition coincides with Women in Wine month. All of my editors and art directors in all of my jobs are women and my COO and Head of Production at Jukes Cordialities are also women. They are, by far, the finest candidates for their positions and all of the women for whom I have worked in my two decades writing about wine have guided my career with consummate expertise and unstinting encouragement. But I realise that the wine world is not an equitable industry even though I am certain that a mighty percentage of the

> Jo Cowderoy finest wines in the world, and many of those which appeal to my palate, are made by women. In addition to the three inspirational women responsible for the wines opposite these incredible people have shown me just how much energy, vision, dynamism, taste and drive we have in our business. What would our industry be like without Ingrid Bates at Dunleavy, Sandy Luck at Aldwick, Augusta Raimes at her eponymous estate, Kristin Syltevik at Oxney Organic Estate, Corinne Seely at Exton Park, Emma Rice at Hattingley Valley, Collette O’Leary at Henners and Urban Foxes

Wines, Sarah Midgley at Plumpton, Annie Lindo at Camel Valley, Ruth Simpson at Simpsons, Elise Lane at Laneberg Wine, Alison Nightingale at Albourne, Sarah Driver at Rathfinny, Lynsey Verrillo at Blackbook Winery, Caroline Stevens at Danebury, Jonica Fox at Fox & Fox and Tamara and Mardi Roberts at Ridgeview among many, many others! I, for one, would not have been able to find great English wines to write about every month for three years in this magazine, in fact, I might not have even lasted twelve months! In addition, I would not have any of my wine writing commissions without female editors putting their trust in me.

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2014 The Bolney Estate, Cuvée Noir Brut £24.99 £24.99 £25.75 £26.00 £26.99 £28.00 Sam Linter needs no introduction in this magazine because the MD/Head Winemaker at the family-run Bolney estate is a genuine pioneer in our industry. It is, however, worth underlining and highlighting that she has been leading the Bolney charge for no less than thirty years and this continued excellence is worthy of a heartfelt standing ovation. With a broad portfolio of strong wines everywhere you look, I have picked perhaps the least commercial number in the line-up and yet this is a wine that I think is

absolutely delicious and one we should all sing about because it is a food-matching star. Dark, berry-stuffed, peppery and fresher than many a Sparkling Shiraz, this is a crunchy, prickly number with a welcome savoury feel which balances the exuberant fruit. I can even taste a lick of tannin here and this brings added flair and daring. Pop the cork with beef in black bean sauce, rogan josh, chipotle chilli beef, seared venison with blackberries or a classic mixed grill, this wine is a veritable magician with tricky dishes.

2019 Oastbrook, Pinot Gris £19.00 £19.00 £24.00 I have never met America Brewer but her story is heart-warming (check out her website) and after studying at Plumpton College she is clearly a talent to follow. In the December 2019 issue of Vineyard, I wrote up the 2018 vintage of this wine and a year later this 2019 gets a nod, too. There are very few wines in the UK that step up to this level in consecutive vintages so congratulations to this visionary viti-specialist/owner of Oastbrook. Luxurious and layered and yet not fat or sweet-edged this is another wine with thrilling balance and while I love its classical stance there is still a quintessential English vibe deep down in the flavour of this accurate and immensely refreshing wine. I know I bang on about restaurants and food a lot in this column, but the gastronomic suitability of wine is all-important in our crowded market and in the world of white wine, this must be one of the most multitalented whites I can think of. Textural, lusty and refreshing, with no obvious oak or alcohol coupled with serious class and polish – this wine should be everywhere in the off-trade and on-trade, when the hospitality industry finally opens again. Congrats America you have done it again and I await the 2020 sample with anticipation.

MV Nyetimber, Cuvee Chérie, Demi-Sec £37.99 £37.99 £35.99 £39.99 reduced to £34.99 in a Mix Six deal £37.50 Cherie Spriggs is the ultimate professional and there is clearly a no-compromise rule at Nyetimber. Her wines shine in the glass and since she and her husband Brad Greatrix joined Nyetimber nearly fifteen years ago the wines have forged an elite reputation both here and overseas, too. I could pick any wine from Cherie’s portfolio for this column, but I decided to select the one which nearly bears her name. I say nearly because while Nyetimber has wisely decided to leave the acute accent off the word Cuvee (this is an English wine after all) that accent did not fall to the floor because it popped up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Chérie. True to form, Cherie (Spriggs) is too modest to allow this wine to be named after her, although this is a delightful nod, and the accented spelling of Chérie, as we all know, means ‘sweetheart’ while also hinting at a dosage-influenced wine. It also refers to Nyetimber’s own sweetheart and every single other sweetheart who receives this wine as a gift. Oh, and a tasting note? There is no need because this is the finest demi-sec in the country and it kicks into touch virtually every Champagne demi-sec I can think of, too, because the balance between silky fruit and bracing acidity is spot on!

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Photo: Chris Orange

The Bolney Wine Estate story began five decades ago when Sam’s parents first planted vines and were one of the early pioneers of English wine. Sam now heads up the family business and has through determination, grit and embracing opportunity grown the small vineyard into a multi-stream business with domestic and international wine sales, and a top-end visitor experience. “It’s been a long journey and taken a lot of hard work,” exclaims Sam, “but I have been lucky to gather a good team around me over the years. My ethos is to learn from mistakes – and we have made a lot. I work collaboratively with others in the industry


Only an hour from London a delightful vineyard destination awaits with experiences to match other wine regions of the world. Vineyard trails and tours, tastings of awardwinning wines, delicious local produce in the café, luxurious gift hampers, lively fayres and events – Vineyard visits Bolney Wine Estate and meets Sam Linter the driving force behind this exceptional boutique family wine business.


The Bolney experience

Jo Cowdero y

and observe what is going on around me – both in our industry and the wider world. At Bolney we continually aspire to improve, especially our wines, and are constantly benchmarking ourselves against those we think do better than us.”

Visitors come first

Tucked away down the pretty tree-lined Foxhole Lane, on the edge of the Sussex South Downs, Bolney Wine Estate is a hidden gem with something for everyone. Sam has been lucky to experience vineyard tourism in other countries in order to learn what works well and meets the needs of visitors. “Looking at what people enjoy

Photos: Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

doing and listening to our customers to find out what they want is important, as we have always tried to adopt a customer first approach. We have been prepared to evolve what we do and offer, as customer demands have changed. But above all we hope to break down barriers, so customers do not feel intimidated thinking we are the wine experts, and they are not.” Locals already know that the Eighteen Acre Café is the perfect place to meet friends for great food and wine. “I think there are various reasons why we have such a loyal local following;

we run fayres once or twice a year, we have our café, we get involved with local events and sponsorship too. It helps that we have been here nearly 50 years. We also run a wine club. But I think the key thing is that we are welcoming and friendly and remember people when they visit,” commented Sam. The Vineyard Shop is beautifully presented and very popular with both locals and visitors from further afield. It offers many delights including the Bolney range of award-winning wines, the Bolney Estate Gin and Rosso Vermouth, along

with artisan teas and coffees, and locally made Sussex produce, chocolates, charcuterie, and luxurious gift boxes and hampers.

Vines and wines

When asked what makes Bolney unique, Sam explains, “it is the site, every site is of course unique, but for us we embrace being in Sussex and what Sussex is – and our wonderful sandstone soils.” Bolney have also championed still wines more than sparkling and are especially >> renowned for still red wines. “We were

“We embrace being in Sussex and what Sussex is”



Photo: Chris Orange

<< experimental and started making red wines in the late 1990s. I challenged myself to create a quality Pinot Noir – when many considered it impossible. Over the years our winemaking has evolved to produce the national and international award-winning range we have today,” Sam added. The Eighteen Acre Café has stunning views out across the vines. The original vines planted by Sam’s parents, Rodney and Janet in 1972 have now been replaced, and Muller Thurgau has made way for Pinot Noir (both sparkling and Burgundy clones) Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Bacchus, Rondo and Dornfelder. Bolney Wine Estate now has 36 acres of vines, planted between 2001 and 2012. The Bolney wines are dry in style with a focus on the fruit characteristics. The sparkling wines are created from the classic Champagne varieties, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay – along with the rather unique Cuvée Noir red sparkling. The stills include Bolney’s flagship Pinot Noir, Bacchus, Pinot Gris and lesser-known, but exciting varieties as well.

Covid-19 challenges

With the closing of restaurants, pubs and bars during the pandemic, Bolney Wine Estate, like most vineyard businesses, saw sales disappear overnight explained Sam. “Also having to close down our café and tours was very hard. Fortunately, we had a good website running before the first lockdown and although it was

mainly focussed on our onsite activities, we were able to pivot very quicky to have an online retail sales focus – this has been a life saver for us. We also put more investment into digital advertising and SEO, which made a big difference. Just after the first lockdown we came up with the idea of doing digital wine tastings – like many other vineyards – and this has been very successful for us. It also meant I was able to give some work back to our tour guides.”

Leading on exports

As the production of wine in the UK increases and as it builds an international reputation, export is becoming an important route to market for many producers, including Bolney Wine Estate. “It is slow progress and needs a lot of investment in time and money but will be vital long term as our industry continues to grow. We mainly export to China, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium and the USA. We have always attended Prowein, the major wine trade event in Germany, as we were one of the group of vineyards to start the English wine stand, and this has helped us a lot. We have export agents to help us find new custom and also work with WSTA and DTI,” commented Sam.

Sam and the Bolney team

Sam is the chief executive and head winemaker. She is passionate, innovative, inspirational, hardworking, as are her team. Sam is still very hands on in all aspects of her

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business, and as a fully trained winemaker, she is happy to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in at harvest. “I have a great team and I think you often employ people that have the same ideals and passion as you. Sam is joined by winemaker and production Manager, Michael Hayward and Assistant Winemaker, Tom Sutton. “Their unique winemaking style sets Bolney apart, with our fruit driven and linear wines” she said. Sam is also really proud that there are three generations of the family involved in the business. “We think that all of our employees are a part of our extended family – we have a friendly and dedicated team. “In addition to our current team, we are hoping to have more customer facing staff once we are open again. We also plan to bring in even more expertise into the business, across production and operations. With our fabulous new winery, we now have the ability to make more wine under contract for other vineyards, that will be our next focus. “We have always been a business that is very inclusive and this year we will look at how our business can attractive a more diverse range of staff as our vision is to continue to grow our destination experience and customer numbers to our vineyard. We will also continue to grow our production and sales – but we will always remain a family premium boutique business,” added Sam. Despite her parents having a vineyard, Sam’s first choice of career was in fact hairdressing. >>

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> Sam Linter << “I went into hairdressing as I was told I had to go to university or do an apprenticeship. I really started at Bolney to help my Mum out when I had our second child and was looking for a part-time job. Dad was trying to do the winemaking at that time and run an agency business, so I thought why I don’t give it a go. I studied winemaking at Plumpton College, and it went from there. Although starting all that with a four-year-old – and a baby – was not the most sensible idea,” Sam confessed. Although Sam did not have any formal business training, she says she learnt the skills to run a successful business from anyone she could. “I like to fully understand things so ask

Photo: Chris Orange


a lot of questions. Collaborating with others in the industry also helped. A lot of trial and error – and when we could afford it, I also worked with a business consultant.” Sam feels that there is a very exciting future ahead for Bolney and the UK wine production industry. “There is more consistency in quality now throughout the industry, and people are really passionate about what they do. There are a lot of great wines – and the world is taking notice. We have so much more to achieve but we are definitely on the right path to continued success,” she added. As a director of WineGB Sam shares her knowledge and experience to help

the industry stating: “I want to do what I can to help the industry to continue to be successful and progress. I strongly believe in collaboration and how important it is to grow our industry.” With a huge grin Sam said she loves her job: “We grow grapes and turn them into a product which people enjoy drinking. How cool is that.”

Favourite wine?

A chance to drink other English or Welsh wines is always a treat for Sam, but choosing is difficult, “there are so many… Fox and Fox Inspiration for sparkling at the moment, and for a red Hush Heath’s The Red Miller 2018.”

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Getting ahead of botrytis It lurks in the shadows, invisible, biding its time until conditions are right – then pounces - infecting berries and causing bunch rot. Vineyard finds out why understanding Botrytis cinerea and its modus operandi combined with early season control could save the crop. When it comes to the control of botrytis bunch rot the timing of the interventions, whether cultural or otherwise are critical to avoiding disappointing losses of yield and quality at harvest. Botrytis bunch rot, or grey rot, is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea. Its spores over winter on the dormant wood, vineyard debris and weeds. It is an opportunist and mostly attacks senescing or damaged tissue and favours wet conditions. In vines, there are really two infection timings – the late infection is obvious, as the berries ripen and are infected where their skins are damaged. The early infection is less obvious and more insidious. Even though symptoms may not show until the fruit starts to ripen many berries will have


been infected months earlier and the disease has remained latent. Frustratingly a berry can appear disease-free, only to develop a rot even though the skin is intact. “The infection sets in during flowering, at cap-fall, this is often misunderstood, but is why control needs to start early. This latent infection is then ready to ‘pounce’ when sugar levels rise and the grape skins thin,” explained Rob Saunders, Agronomist with Hutchinsons.

Cultural practices

Cultural methods involve adjusting the vine’s immediate environment to make it less attractive to botrytis. “Humid, still, air promotes the disease, so make sure there are no overhanging trees or dead air pockets in the vineyard, keep

the canopy open and leaf strip when necessary to ensure air movement and rapid drying in the canopy,” added Rob Saunders. "There are many methods for controlling botrytis, but prevention is better than cure," explains Emma Bridge, Viticulturist ‘Vignette’ at Fox & Fox, in Sussex. “Build in preventative measures as part of your Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practice – but still give yourself the option of any tool in the toolbox as a last resort,” she added. Last year’s season impacts this year, “so if there is fruit left on the vines after harvest, take it off as soon as possible. Botrytis isn't a strong pathogen – but it's highly efficient once it gets stuck in. If you've got inoculum hanging around, it'll spread once it gets the chance, so

GRAPE GROWING limit its chances. Canopy management allows hygiene to do so much work for you. Air flow and ultra-violet light discourage fungal growth – so that won't just help your botrytis control, it will help with mildews too. I am far too lazy to want to do things badly if it will generate extra work late – so do it right first. I can be quite outstandingly boring on the significance of the V in VSP (Vertical Shoot Position). If your shoots are vertical, the air flow is better, the light penetration is better, the shoots get to the top wire sooner so you can get on with trimming and pushing development into the fruit. Also – your spray penetration and efficacy are improved, because your target zone is where you expect it to be,” explained Emma. Cultural practices are particularly important in the management of organic and biodynamic vineyards. Alex Valsecchi, Viticulture Consultant and Vineyard Manager at Albury Organic Vineyard, in Surrey, explains that she uses: “Leaf removal on the east side of the rows at fruit set, so that the exposure and air movement can help to dry out the flower caps but not too early as you don’t want to interrupt pollination. Later we may do some light leaf removal on the western side, especially if it is a damp season.” According to Joel Jorgensen, Viticulturist and Veraison MD: “As with all things fungal, botrytis control starts with good, calculated, canopy management throughout the season. Maximum sunlight penetration and moderate airflow goes a long way. Balanced plant nutrition pre-flowering, particularly boron, is important for enabling good fruit set – along with good weather of course – and thorough cap-fall. This minimises the amount of debris left inside the young bunches before bunch closure – which could get infected and cause bunch rot from the inside. A little trick for removing any stuck caps and debris is to run your sprayer fan (water in the tank, nozzles switched off) on max and target the air at the bunch zone, be careful with timing and pressure though as you don't want to damage your flowers or bruise the berries.” With many vineyards starting to trail some of the new fungus resistant vine varieties (PIWI), the next few years should provide some interesting results to compare the incidence of diseases, including botrytis. Will Mower, Vineyard Manager with Vine Works, has a few different PIWI varieties at their Bee Tree vineyard. “They do appear to have an inherent resistance to fungal diseases, and I have noticed that when other varieties around have some powdery mildew they remain clean and seem less susceptible. Without the damage from the powdery mildew they do not get botrytis. However, I think if there was bird or wasp damage, botrytis would occur,” he said.


GRAPE GROWING Monitoring and identification

As the botrytis spores remain latent until conditions are favourable, monitoring and identification is more challenging. Sustainable Wines of Great Britain, WineGB’s sustainability scheme, publishes regular bulletins with guidelines for its members. According to the recent bulletin on IPM, a way of identifying botrytis is to collect bunch residues, flower clusters and bunches, and seal samples in plastic bags. Leave these at room temperature (20°C) for 1 – 3 days, then look for the growth of grey-brown mould. The key sampling times are when shoots are 10 – 15 cm long, early flowering, veraison, two weeks before harvest and at harvest time. Alex Valsecchi checks her crop regularly: “I remove damaged berries or bunches, which can happen during trimming – or even by the pheasants – as the damaged tissue is where the flare-ups occur. Early signs are a change in berry colour, or a softening – then you know something is up.” Joel Jorgensen also advises: “Walk your crops as often as you can and consult your agronomist immediately if you spot any signs of primary infection. Remember that there is no recipe for disease control so be sure to adjust the spray programme as the season progresses.”

Biological control agents

Considered more sustainable than conventional products, biological control agents (BCA) are being increasingly used, and with good results reported. Rob Saunders recommends the use of BCAs, particularly close to harvest. “It’s best to use biocontrol agents such as Amylo-X and Botector, especially if the season is damp. Also Karma (Potassium Bicarbonate) can be considered as it is alkaline and shifts the pH on the surface of the tissue and the crystals interfere with fungal mycelial growth,” he said. Organic and biodynamic growers, such as Alex from Albury, use a multi-pronged approach combining cultural, biological control and more traditional products. Alex explains: “We mainly use Bacillus Subtilis for control of botrytis. Our first spray is when flowering is 50% to 80%

underway, the second spray pre-bunch closure, the third at veraison and the fourth just pre-harvest, as it has no harvest interval. In between these applications we use sulphur for powdery mildew, but it also provides some control of botrytis. Apart from a couple of extremely wet years, such as 2012, we hardly have any botrytis – except for the Seyval Blanc. It seems more prone to botrytis due to its tight bunches and thinner skins. We can also use potassium bicarbonate to help dry out the crop, if the berries are starting to get a bit - my technical term – squishy squashy!” Joel Jorgensen comments: “There are some great new products out there showing some promising results. One example of a product I'm keen to trial this year is based on Cerevisane, a purified extract of a Saccharomyces cerevisae (brewer's yeast). ‘Romeo’ mimics a disease attack on the plant and acts to strengthen the plant resistance – a bit like the flu jab. Another is a Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain where the principal modes of action are colonisation and competition on the plant surface against pathogens, release of antimicrobial metabolites and inducing systemic resistance in the plant.”

The spray programme

Starting early is the key, explains Joel Jorgenson: “I aim to get my first botrytis sprays on pre- bunch closure to ensure the bunches are protected from the inside. Targeted and well-timed leaf removal is essential for maximising penetration all the way to the rachis. Missing this spray will leave you on the back foot for the rest of the season. I then generally include a preventative every 14 days until harvest.” Agronomist, Rob Saunders said: “I recommend to growers to apply Switch early in flowering, but then use Scala during early berry development, as this can move through plant tissue and cleans up latent infection. This has been shown to measurably decrease laccase levels in juice (which is good as laccase is an undesirable enzyme produced by botrytis). Then I encourage growers to apply Teldor at bunch closure – as once the bunch is closed it’s too late to get coverage. The BCA’s come into their own between bunch closure and harvest”. Photos: Ian Pack



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Make a plan for controlling diseases





There has been some speculation about the availability of products containing mancozeb after the EU failed to pass the recommended withdrawal into law by the end of the Brexit transition period. The revocation at EU level came after 31 December so theoretically the UK authorities can then grant an automatic three-year extension to its approval. However, manufacturers had already stopped making mancozeb based products for the UK market prior to this and, at the time of writing at least, it remains to be seen whether the approval extension will remain in place within the UK – a decision that is in the hands of the UK regulator. With only very limited supplies of mancozeb-based products in the marketplace this season, growers should therefore plan for alternative strategies to control diseases such as Phomopsis and Downy Mildew. Both are generally wet weather diseases, although while Downy Mildew mostly favours wet and warm conditions, Phomopsis tends to be a bigger threat in damp, cooler conditions between bud break and flowering. Both must be tackled early to avoid disease getting a foothold on the plant and thereby compromising the canopy’s photosynthetic capacity through the season.

Keep a lid on Phomopsis

Up to now Phomopsis has been a less significant problem in the UK, although that may have been a consequence of many spray programmes incorporating mancozeb, so losing this important active could open the door to more prevalence of this disease in the future if growers are not careful. Mancozeb was one of just two active ingredients currently approved for Phomopsis control in grape vines, the other being kresoxim-methyl. But last year saw a new addition to the armoury in the form of a milled sulphur product called Thiopron, formulated with a unique wetter/sticker. The product performed well in trials in Italy and also offers some efficacy against Rust Mite, Grape Leaf Blister Mite and Powdery Mildew. Grape Leaf Blister Mite is regularly seen and low infestation rates are tolerable, but if left unchecked it will stunt extension growth and flower development early in the season. It favours periods of hot, dry weather, such as many regions experienced last spring, but experience shows it is relatively easy to control with a good sulphur programme.

per Coo

Mancozeb has been a cornerstone of Downy Mildew and Phomopsis control in vineyards, but growers will have to look to other options this season, as Hutchinsons’ Rob Saunders and Chris Cooper explain.

Fytosave is a new biofungicide option to consider for Downy and Powdery Mildew control, available for the first time last season. The product is an elicitor material that works by stimulating the plant’s natural systemic defences, and if used ahead of infection, it can make vines more resilient to disease attack. Options such as this are purely a protectant strategy though and will not be effective if applied after disease has already established. Cultural controls should of course remain central to any integrated disease control programme and effective canopy management is a key part of this. For foliar diseases, growers must strike a careful balance between maintaining sufficient canopy to optimise light interception and build yield potential, without compromising airflow and increasing disease risk. Dense canopies with poor airflow, dampness and high humidity, provide ideal conditions for many diseases to develop and spread. Another important cultural step is to optimise nutrition throughout the growing season to maximise plant health and make vines more resilient to pest and disease attack. Research has shown foliar nutrition products such as Zynergy (containing copper, zinc and sulphur) and phosphites such as Phorce can trigger the vines natural defence mechanism markedly reducing Downy Mildew infection.

Downy Mildew options

While the loss of mancozeb is a blow to Downy Mildew control, especially in more susceptible varieties like Chardonnay, there are several options available for controlling this disease, including, cymoxanil, amisulbrom, and ametoctradin + dimethomorph.

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Studying wine

> Tamsin Webster

> Suzanne Squire

The Plumpton College Wine Division was established over 30 years ago and has trained many of the wine industry professionals who are now working in the UK and globally. The UK alone offers a wealth of exciting career opportunities and Plumpton College provides the specialist degrees, apprenticeships and part-time courses for the sector. Starting this month, Vineyard will regularly feature current students to hear all about their experiences studying wine at Plumpton.

Tamsin Webster, MSc Viticulture & Oenology

Switching careers and going back to full-time study was always going to require hard work, trying to do so in the middle of a global pandemic made that tough on another level. However, I have found moving into the wine industry and starting my MSc a broad, thought-provoking and imaginative experience. Our cohort were lucky that in our first few months we were not in lockdown. This enabled us to harvest and make our first batch of skin-contact orange wine from the PIWI Johanniter grapes. We also were able take part in a series of sensory classes to identify the different potential floral and vegetal aromas in wine. We tasted base wines destined for brut and rosé sparkling wines as well as swirling, sniffing and tasting a range of wine faults such as cork-taint, oxidative and reductive wines and VA (volatile acidity). Despite joining lectures online, our cohort have bonded well, sharing our evening tipples and tasting notes, providing a WhatsApp support group close to assignment deadlines and generally keeping the morale high. We are a diverse group of wine enthusiasts and the broad backgrounds bring translatable thinking from their previous fields and this richness really adds to the materials and expertise delivered by the wine department faculty. The first semester is designed to establish the fundamentals; how grapes grow, their diseases and the challenges vines face, and the processes involved in winemaking. Acquainting myself with a Bunsen burner and learning the various tests and checks to ensure a palatable and safe wine was enlightening as much as it was a stretch – it is 30 years since my last chemistry lessons! Each week we meet ‘virtually’ a number of trailblazers in the field who are pushing the boundaries and innovating the industry from within and helping it adjust to climate change and more sustainable ways of working. Highlights have been a virtual tour of Umathum biodynamic vineyards in Austria and Charles Nespoulous walking us through the use of machine-learning software aiding viticulturalists identify early signs of disease so that they can use resources efficiently.

> Georgio Parrino With the promise of face-to-face lessons, we are all looking forward to getting our hands on the vines as we enter the growing season and to put our technical know-how to the test in the winery to finalise the 2020 vintage – and a little more tasting!

Suzanne Squire, BA (Hons) International Wine Business

After spending most of my working life in the aviation industry and fast approaching sixty years of age, I decided to fulfil an ambition of mine and take a degree – and happily came across the Plumpton College wine division. I started my first year in September 2020, the first term was completed in college with face-to-face lectures and trips to the working vineyard, seeing the winemaking process from start to finish in Plumpton’s own winery and many wine tastings. This was a great start to my experience as I was able to meet the other students’ and tutors. After Christmas, the course was moved online due to Covid-19, the tutors have all worked hard to make this as good an experience as possible in the circumstances, adapting their modules changing the teaching schedule until the college returns to face-to-face teaching. I have loved the experience so far and made the right decision to take the plunge and I do not think I could have made a better choice of degree. It encompasses different skills and I have enjoyed learning about the business side of the wine industry and the more practical side of growing grapes and tasting the product. For me it is the perfect balance.

Georgio Parrino, BSc (Hons) Viticulture & Oenology

I am really enjoy studying at Plumpton and in my second year we are now covering subjects in more detail, such as the complexity behind winemaking, chemistry, biology, botany and all the other topics needed to prepare us for the job market. This course provides the tools to understand the complexity behind viticulture needed to create the best environment for the vines – in order to grow the best possible quality grapes. During the pandemic the lecturers tried their best to make the online lessons interactive and interesting. We have also had guest lecturers from all around Europe, explaining the different regional techniques to make wine. Last week we had three guest lecturers from Mosel in Germany, Austria, and Hungary where we discussed the different stages of making sweet wines. This last year we all, both students and teachers, went through something that we could never have ever imagined, but considering the difficulties, my overall experience at Plumpton is very positive.


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i ns


Meet the people behind the wines

K rist i na St

Off The Line vineyard and winery in Sussex is the vision and passion of winemaker Kristina Studzinski and her partner Ann-Marie Tynan. Different and quirky, only red grapes are grown and the focus is on the production of rosé wine. Why change career?

Kristina and her civil partner, Ann-Marie both love wine and trips to the south of France, over the years, inspired them to change their London based lives. “We couldn't resist the excitement that winemaking offers – working with nature to produce a unique product that reflects the grapes, the place and the winemaker's choices,” remarked Kristina.

Studying winemaking

Studying for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) level 2 gave Kristina a feel for what it would be like to take her interest in wine and winemaking further. “I then heard about Plumpton College and met the head of the wine department, Chris Foss, at an open day. Encouraged by Chris, I decided to go for it and enrolled full-time on a Wine Production foundation degree (FdSc). I was in my late 40s and it felt like the right time to embark on a new path in life.” While at Plumpton, Kristina and Ann-Mare both worked together on vineyards in France. “We wanted to see if we - as a couple - had what it takes to achieve our goal. I learnt so much at Plumpton which was life changing,” added Kristina.

Life before wine…

In her former life, Kristina was a solicitor, mostly in the government legal service. “I worked on drafting legislation and advising ministers and civil servants on policy development in areas including age discrimination, education reforms, and implementing EU law. It was a fascinating role involving a mix of politics and law.”

particularly agriculture and the wine trade,” commented Kristina.

Tips for a career in wine

Kristina warns not to skimp on training, “and get as much practical hands-on experience as you can. Seek out producers who share your own outlook and ethos as they will offer better working experiences and enable you to achieve your ambitions. If you are thinking of establishing a vineyard, develop a clear business plan and sales strategy.”

Favourite wine?

“There are many that spring to mind. Most recently, my favourites would be Ashling Park's sparkling rosé made by Dermot Sugrue and Hattingley Valley's King's Cuvee 2014 made by Emma Rice.”

Spare time?

“I love playing tennis and am fortunate enough to be living close to some brilliant veteran women’s doubles players and a talented coach. As a sport, tennis has everything for me – hitting an ace is like smashing a vintage – everything coming together with skill and effort and an element of surprise.”

Off The Line

Off The Line is named after the old railway next to the site, called the Cuckoo Line, and is a small boutique vineyard and winery; different as it specialises in producing still rosé wines. “Off The Line is very much a two person business with both of us involved in the vineyard, winery and sales side. We strive to be sustainable in all that we do and manage our 13 hectare site with respect for nature. Our quirky branding reflects our desire to be a bit different and not follow the crowd,” explains Kristina.

Achieving diversity and inclusion

“I love being part of our industry which is full of many amazing people and characters. I do understand why some feel our industry can appear elitist though and this needs to change. The absence of people of BAME backgrounds is stark. I am optimistic that by increasing awareness of inequalities and reaching out to more potential new entrants and consumers this can be achieved. “Being more inclusive is not just the right thing to do but it makes businesses stronger and will give our industry wider appeal. It will take time and multiple strategies to bring about further change. Our industry is still evolving and is part of wider industries that we need to work with



Cheers to the women in Great British wine! Championing our industry, inspiring and educating, there are many remarkable women growing great grapes, making fantastic wines and running impressive businesses. These women are vital cogs in the wheel from ground to glass. Vineyard speaks to just a few of the very many strong successful women who love their jobs, are having fun, making a difference – and are role models encouraging more women into Great British wine. Many of the best wines produced in Great Britain, and around the world, are made by women winemakers, supported by women viticulturists and women driving the wine businesses – but there is always room for more! “It’s a fantastic, collaborative, industry full of great people and there are plenty of opportunities for women, be it in production, selling, marketing or business administration – or all of the above if you join a small producer! It can be hard work but it’s a lot of fun with lots to


celebrate along the way,” commented Tamara Roberts, CEO of Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex.

Diversity and Inclusion

Lynsey Verrillo co-founder of Blackbook Winery, a unique urban winery in London, leads most of the Blackbook activities outside of the winery including marketing, planning and finances. She also happily gets stuck in at harvest, “helping to shovel grapes, punch down tanks of Pinot Noir or rinse out barrels.” This

is all on top of a full-time day job, two young children and her role chairing the WineGB Diversity and Inclusion working group. The WineGB Diversity and Inclusion group aims to build foundations for an industry that is inclusive and can expand its reach to prospective employees, visitors and wine consumers in presently under-represented groups explains Lynsey. “We aim to improve access to educational and employment opportunities to under-represented groups, and to be inclusive and welcoming to all sectors of society interested in wine.” “My personal perspective is that many of us are not aware of the unconscious bias we may display on an everyday basis without intent, and the first step is to actively seek out voices from other communities and listen. I am aware of how wine remains an industry that seems inaccessible or unwelcoming to individuals who do not feel reflected in our marketing materials, social media, tasting notes or more. More recently, powerful stories have been shared by women who have experienced misogyny throughout their experience in wine. By listening we become more aware of our own actions that can be adjusted to ensure that all are treated equitably,” commented Lynsey. “Not only is there a moral imperative, but studies from Harvard, McKinsey and others have shown that diverse companies are likely to become stronger businesses. We also see the opportunity to expand the community of English and Welsh wine lovers, helping us grow overall market share both in the global wine market but also verses other alcohol categories. We need to better understand the emerging wine consumer and adapt to appeal to them or risk losing them to other brands and categories,” she added.

 Lynsey Verrillo


The rising stars  Maddi Nippard

Maddi Nippard is Production Operative at BevTech Ltd running the bottling lines and assisting in other winemaking services. “I accidentally fell into a career in wine as it was my mum who suggested I should look at the BSc Viticulture and Oenology degree at Plumpton. I have always had a passion for science, and I like getting my hands dirty, so I thought why not? It was definitely the best choice. One of my favourite parts of my job is to see so many different wineries and vineyards across the country with the mobile services we offer. I love seeing how different wineries work and learning useful tips.”

 Natalie Agyapong

Natalie Agyapong is just starting her career journey and currently studying wine at Plumpton College. “My family history got me first interested as my great-grandfather in Sierra Leone made wine out of grapes and various other fruits grown on his land. After my A-levels I saw an article on the Plumpton courses, and something just clicked. I am also inspired by Ntsiki Biyela, the first black female winemaker in South Africa – seeing her success, as a woman and minority, really helps motivate me.”

 Maddie Cannon

Maddie Cannon is the Technical Officer at Nyetimber carrying out the in-house agronomy across more than 300 ha, managing data collection, trials, research, and yield predictions. “It is very exciting to work in the ever-growing English sparkling wine sector and see the loyal following it has fostered. Having studied Crop Science at the University of Nottingham and subsequently working in horticultural research, I decided to make the decision to join the wine industry in 2018 - and what a great first vintage. 2018 was a fantastic season to get my first exposure to grape growing in the UK, I have been hooked by the work and the industry ever since. It’s hard not to love working on a vineyard in some of the most beautiful areas that the UK has to offer.”



The viticulturists  Lucy Winward presenting

Lucy Winward started at New Hall Vineyard as Vineyard Manager, but as it’s a small team she says her role is now very diverse and Operations Manager is a better fit. “I tend to be a conduit between the vineyard, winery and office teams, making sure all aspects of wine production come together as the journey from berry to bottle is a complex one. I also work with our contract winemaking clients, look after grape sales, wine sales and host tours and tastings. I fell into wine by chance, while caretaking a chateau in France with my partner – I can’t say our first attempt at winemaking was any good, but it was fun – and we were hooked. There is a tangible excitement about the future of this industry and wine tourism is a growing sector for those with a passion for hospitality and events.”

 Alex Valsecchi

Alex Valsecchi is the Vineyard Manager at Albury Organic Vineyard, as well as running her own consultancy business. “I didn't choose viticulture...viticulture chose me... as Italians we are born with wine in our veins. I specialised in Fruit Culture and Viticulture at the University of Milan and then moved to the UK to RHS Wisley Gardens where I was responsible for the vines collection. The RHS sponsored me to travel to New Zealand where I definitely lost my mind amongst the vines of Marlborough...and the rest is history. Viticulture in this country is a challenge, and this is what makes it exciting – we show the rest of the world that we can grow vines and make award winning wines. I also love working outside as I have my dogs with me – and the fresh air does everybody good.

 Frances Trappey


Frances Trappey is the Viticulturist at VineScapes. “I help clients with all aspect of the business, from planting decisions and logistics, to vineyard management, winemaking decisions and production planning. I also provide clients with on-the-job training and support. I didn’t start in viticulture. I did a degree in marketing a few years after the economic crash in 2007, so the outlook was slightly bleak for people my age and I decided that if I was going to work that hard, it may as well be doing something I loved. I switched direction and did an MSc in Viticulture and Oenology whilst getting practical experience at several vineyards. I’m now lucky to work with an amazing team of experts who are able to support me, and I am excited to be part of an industry on the rise. Whilst every day presents something different and challenging, I get to be outside in the fresh air and I still get my hands dirty every now and then.”

 Sue Osgood

Sue Osgood is Vineyard Manager with Vine Care UK, managing and advising many of the vineyards in the south east. “I’m not sure I entirely chose a career in viticulture. I started at Denbies as a harvest worker, as a stop gap to finding another job in catering. I fell in love with the job and never looked back. I went to college and worked my way up to the position of manager. I love being able to meet vineyard owners with dreams of producing world-class wines and helping them to achieve it. I enjoy the physical nature of the job even through the winter when you are shaping the vines for the coming year – and I love driving tractors.”


The winemakers  Zoë Driver

 Emma Rice

Emma Rice is Director and Head Winemaker at Hattingley Valley Wines Ltd. “I have responsibility for all aspects of production, for us and our contract winemaking clients. I have been involved in the wine trade since I left school at 18. Various jobs in retail, importing, sales and marketing, led to becoming editor for Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book. It was reading about Plumpton College in that book that made me determined to study winemaking. I went to Plumpton College at the age of 29 to do the BSc in Viticulture & Oenology and whilst there I worked at Nyetimber. That led to working in California, followed by time in Tasmania, before

establishing Hattingley with Simon Robinson. There is still so much to learn about our terroir and winemaking boundaries here in the UK. I always said we’d never make still wine at Hattingley, yet in 2019 I was quite happy to eat my words and I love that we have the freedom to innovate. I am never bored and in normal times I would be travelling to our export markets all over the world. I have a great job; it can be physically tough in the winery or vineyard but there is nothing quite as satisfying or exhilarating as being part of the harvest crew in a buzzing winery.”

 Sarah Midgley

Sarah Midgley is the Winemaker and Winemaking Instructor at Plumpton College in East Sussex. “I studied biochemistry but wanted to combine both my creative and science interests, and a friend suggested that winemaking was a good mix of both, so I went to New Zealand to study Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University. I then spent several years following the vintages round the world including Camel Valley Vineyard in Cornwall. It’s a really rewarding industry and I feel lucky to be part of it. I also get a huge sense of well-being carrying buckets of yeast round the winery wearing wellies - I love that I get paid to do something so satisfying. I get very excited seeing our students go out into the industry and start making great wines.”

 Micaela English

Micaela English is the Assistant Winemaker, as well as the Vineyard Manager at Hidden Spring vineyard East Sussex. “I had a bit of an epiphany in 2009, when I was in New Zealand. Having visited some incredible wineries there, I felt very drawn to the idea of making wine. I realised I could come home and study a degree in winemaking at Plumpton college – I never looked back. After completing my degree, I travelled to some fantastic wine regions to work in wineries at harvest time, to really get a sense of how different regions make their wine. I started in Southern Rhone and then went on to Napa Valley, where I met my husband. Then together we worked in Barossa, Marlborough and Provence, before settling into the English wine industry – it was a truly incredible time in my life. I love my job at Hidden Spring – it's a hands on, boots to the ground, role. One of my favourite moments is to walk through the vineyard on a warm sunny day and see the vineyard flowering. This little corner of the world is producing some outstanding quality wines.”

Photo: Christopher Lanaway Photography

Zoë Driver is the Assistant Winemaker at Black Chalk Wine, in Hampshire, and was the UK’s first winemaking apprentice. “I fell into wine during my world travels when I arrived in Australia completely out of money. I got a job working at Domaine Chandon and helped during their massive 2015 harvest – and although it was completely and utterly out of my comfort zone, I thrived. Since then, I’ve never looked back. I was lucky to be offered a winemaking apprenticeship, aged 23, at Hattingley Valley Wines – a two-year programme that encompassed on-the-job training as well as education, including WSET and Plumpton College courses. I also spent time making wine in Champagne in 2018. In 2019 I took up the post of Assistant Winemaker at Black Chalk Wine and am also now nearing the completion of my MSc in Viticulture and Oenology, that I have been studying part-time whilst working. I love how we are not stifled by limiting rules and regulations in this industry; we can be innovative and creative, and I can’t wait to see what new and exciting things producers come up with. It’s brilliant that we are competing on the world stage and more than holding our own. I love how every day is different; the job is so varied it never gets boring. I also love that it is so hands on and physical – blood, sweat and tears go into your work – and you pour your heart and soul into your creations; to then taste the end product and see people enjoying it is so amazing.”



Women in wine business  Helenka Brown

Photo: Jenny Newman Photography

Helenka Brown is the owner of Hanwell Wine Estate, near Nottingham. “As the owner of a small, growing business most jobs start by being done by me - until they get too big – but I’m now excited to have new team members to take on those roles. Hanwell is a destination vineyard. We aspire to be known for quality Nottinghamshire Sparkling Wine, as well as inspiring educational and entertaining wine experiences. In the 1970s, my family planted Eglantine Vineyard in Nottinghamshire and were perceived as pushing the boundaries of viticulture too far – even holding the title of “Most Northerly Commercial Vineyard in the World”. My Dad, Tony Skuriat then went on to win International Awards for ‘North Star’, a dessert wine. This industry allows us to delight customers with new wine tastes and experiences – I just love it. It’s a burgeoning industry, with all sorts of opportunities for those who have the interest and enthusiasm to get involved – in fact go to our website, we’re hiring now. I still love pruning the vines, there’s a huge amount of satisfaction to be had and it fills me with anticipation and excitement every single spring.

 Tamara Roberts

Tamara Roberts is the CEO of Ridgeview Wine Estate, in Sussex. “I focus on the strategy for the future of the business and plan with my team how we are going to get there – and the future is looking great. Sustainability is becoming a key driver for the industry, also there is a huge potential for wine tourism, and there is growth across all areas of winemaking, and innovation in this area. My own business vision is to have a strong ethical, sustainable and nurturing culture behind the brand, focusing on quality, as well as attracting a diverse consumer base to our wines. I have a great job - I rarely do the same thing each day and my focus is on developing my team, which I love – it’s the people that drive the business at the end of the day.

 Alice Maltby


Alice Maltby is one of the partners of Little Wold Vineyard, in Yorkshire. “I am in charge of our branding, sales, marketing, social media, wedding events, and I do the majority of our business development. We focus on tourism and aim to be one of the ‘go to’ places in Yorkshire for outstanding wine and wine experiences, and we hope our facilities, and stunning location will enable us to really stand out from the crowd. This industry is a really exciting place to be working right now, everyone who is involved is shaping the future of our relatively young industry. We are not tied down to ‘traditions’, so are able to develop our own way – the sky is the limit – what's not to be excited about? Every day is different for me – I can go from working on my laptop to driving the tractor to hosting a tasting.


For viticulturists in Great Britain In association with FOR GENERAL ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT ONE OF THE TEAM:

 Joana Albogas

Joana Albogas is the Digital Marketing Officer for WineGB, the national body – a crucial role in the overall generic marketing plan for its members within the industry. “In today’s digital world, social media is one of the most powerful and effective ways to reach out to customers, build relationships and develop a really engaged community. At WineGB we want everyone to feel welcome and to know there is a place for them within the wine world – whether as a visitor, wine enthusiast, certified geek or professional. I enjoy bringing in ideas from analogous fields and I look at what great brands, big and small, from different industries are doing. My job has allowed WineGB to explore a different style of communication and leading it has been the most rewarding experience. I also love the industry; how passionate and personable it is.”

Booking enquiries Sarah Calcutt 07827 642396 Jamie McGrorty 01303 233883

24th November 2021

Kent Event Centre, Detling, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3JF

 America Brewer

America Brewer is the co-owner of Oastbrook Estate in Sussex. “I love the variety and the constant experiences – one moment I’m driving a tractor, the next on a vineyard tour, making wine, selling wine – there is never a dull day. I’m always trying to innovate. English Wine was such an exciting new area and we already had the perfect location to plant at Oastbrook – and I then became captivated with viticulture while studying at Plumpton College.”

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Wi l l M ow


The vine post Vine importing in post-Brexit Britain.

Although we have left the European Union, our dependency on some of its services, products and people have not diminished. With another big planting season coming up, Britain’s Vineyard Establishment companies are holding their breath. Since Britain left the EU, new restrictions have been placed on vine imports from Europe. New processes for the import of vines from European nurseries mean that vine importers, like Vine-Works Ltd, need to adhere to an evolving landscape of restrictions, complications and new government policies with an added complexity of time sensitive Phytosanitary Certificates and UK plant passports.

Why buy vines from Europe?

Be in no doubt, the reason major producers and Vineyard Establishment businesses use European vines is quality and availability. Vine quality is paramount to the success of a vineyard. Correct grafting procedures, good vine heritage and nursery reputation define how we choose our vine producers. Selecting the right nursery allows Vine-Works to stand behind its work and address any quality issues with our suppliers. This vine quality comes from Europe and will do so until the climate in Britain warms enough to establish more nurseries in this country. Poor graft unions and unregulated nursery practice is by far the most prominent reason for vine


failure. Good nursery phytosanitary procedures help to limit the spread of ‘Trunk Disease’ but often those conditions will not present for many years, if at all.

Can we still buy vines from Europe?

Yes, we can but its far more complicated than it used to be. This is the procedure we have experienced to secure vines this year. ◆ Register for an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number: This number will be associated with your business and will be used when you move goods between Great Britain and anywhere else in the world. ◆ Appoint a customs agent to operate within the Customs Handling or Import and Export Freight systems: You can get by without one of these agents, but they will save you time and potential catastrophe by getting a company who knows the law and legislation inside out. ◆ Check your nursery has the correct licences and certificates for export to the UK: The nurseries we use don’t just export to Britain. Canada is a big importer of vines and although the new import processes are taking us time to gets to grips with, our vine suppliers have been following strict export procedures for years. ◆ Register your business as a vine importer on the Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates (PEACH) system: The PEACH systems allow for vine imports to be checked before they cross the border. DEFRA, who manage this system, will check the validity of the consignments before approving them. ◆ Ask your nursery for a phytosanitary certificate – two week expiry: When you have confirmed your vine order, the nursery in Europe will need to get their local plant health authority inspector to approve the quality and health of the vines. Once done so, the nursery will issue the vine importer with a phytosanitary certificate and details of the vine order weight and dimensions. This information is then entered on to the PEACH system for approval. ◆ Get the vine across the border: If the vine consignment has been approved by DEFRA, you can take delivery to your APHA, (Animal & Plant Health Agency) ‘registered destination’ cold store, pending inspection. Vines arrive from the nursery in a dormant state, which it is crucial to maintain until it reaches your cold store. Any delays at port could result in these vines emerging prematurely, which would be a disaster. This process has become laborious, time consuming, complex and needs to be executed perfectly. But it’s all worth it to bring in the best quality vines we can for our plantings. The good news is, we are not the only importer of vines and we have been working together with WineGB, DEFRA and Vineyard Establishment colleagues to ensure this new import process will not hinder Britain’s growth as a wine producing country. Just to give ourselves one less thing to worry about, Vine-Works will take delivery of our own planting machine this Spring. Happily, our German contractor will be planting with us to cover the country a little quicker. If you’re looking to import vines in 2022, Vine-Works is now a registered UK Vine Importer and authorised to issue plant passports.

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The Grape Exchange – UK’s first trading platform Vine Care UK is a long-established leading provider of vineyard services to many of the nation’s vinegrowers and is well ahead of the curve when it comes to anticipating the future needs of the industry. Vineyard finds out what’s new with Vine Care UK and the UK’s first trading platform – ‘The Grape Exchange’.

Vine Care UK was set up in 2011 by Paul Woodrow-Hill who has over 30 years’ experience in viticulture, as well as a BSc in Wine Science. The business provides everything from vineyard planning and establishment, supplies of vines, equipment, labour – to complete management packages. Paul is now launching a new business, The Grape Exchange, that will act as a formal broker for fruit and bulk wine. “This is a service to meet a rising demand as in the past handshakes and verbal agreements have left many unstuck,” commented Paul.

The Grape Exchange

Paul has teamed up with Steve Burnett, Vineyard Manager for Vine Care UK, and formed The Grape Exchange, a new service to match grape growers with buyers across the UK. Steve’s background lies firmly in wine. He gained experience in vineyard and winery management, as well as the commercial aspect of wine sales and marketing, across Europe. The Grape Exchange “will ensure that vineyards have buyers for their crop and winemakers can access the fruit they need – at mutually agreeable prices,” explains Steve. “The Grape Exchange will take away the stress of having to find a buyer or seller, as we

> Steve Burnett


do all the legwork for our clients. We will use our years of market experience in the industry, along with our knowledge of contracts, to represent our clients and negotiate for the best prices on their behalf. Growers will receive a fair price for their harvest and winemakers will not be overcharged or tied into contracts,” he added. The Grape Exchange will also provide a platform for buyers and sellers of bulk wine explains Steve. “Sellers tell us how much they have to sell, and their reserve price and buyers tell us how much they require and their budget. Again, we use all of our experience and contacts to negotiate a mutually agreeable price. We can even organise the transport of wine if required. I very much look forward to working with existing and new clients on this exciting new service,” he said.

A flexible approach to vineyard management

Vine Care UK is very aware that when it comes to vineyard management services that one size does not fit all. “Some vineyards require a complete package, incorporating all aspects of vineyard management, including the supply of vineyard tractors and machinery,” explains >> Paul. “This we can provide but we’re also

> Paul Woodrow-Hill


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OUR VINES ARE: • ENTAV INRA® licenced for the best agronomical, oenological and sanitary guarantees. • Mycorrhized in the nursery for better development in your vineyard. • And above all : made with passion by our qualified team!


Vine Care UK and Nursey Tourette : 10 years of collaboration!


W NE From 2020, our vines are awarded with the label

40 A P R I L 2 0 2 1 | V I N E YA R D

100% French origin and selection for even higher quality standards!

<< happy to offer a scaled down service to suit our customers. This is simply done on an affordable hourly rate so customers can choose the number of visits, and adjust through the year to suit their needs,” Paul added. The management service from Vine Care UK involves regular visits to check for early signs of disease, nutrient deficiency or any threat from pests. Paul explains: “Plant protection products can be recommended based on our observations. We will also advise the timing of upcoming tasks, and if needed, labour provided to complete those tasks. A full written report accompanies every visit. Every vineyard that uses our management service is guaranteed harvest labour – so there are no more concerns in finding that critical harvest crew.” Vine Care UK are keen to keep up with the latest technology to provide the best service to customers. “We have recently invested in a new sprayer, and it’s pleasing to see how the latest models have new additional features, which our clients can benefit from,” said Paul. There is always a lot of discussion about how to best manage the under-vine strip. “Repeated herbicide applications can be damaging to the soil, but so can cultivation so at Vine Care UK we are trialling suitable cover crops that aren’t overly competitive and can be kept short by mowing between the vines. We’ve added to our machinery a Fischer mower which cuts cover crop growth between the vines and therefore negates the need for either herbicides or under vine cultivation. This leaves the soil organisms undisturbed as well as improving soil structure and mineralisation," said Paul.

Vineyard labour

Paul is supported by business partner Mihaela Chitu, who has considerable experience working in vineyards in Spain, Portugal and the UK. Mihaela is also responsible for Vine Care’s labour service. “I am very aware of the need for experienced vineyard workers, and I’m pleased to say that around 300 of our workers have now qualified for either settled or pre-settled status in the UK, enabling them to continue working legally for us now we have left the EU. I am confident that this is more than enough to provide labour through the summer months to all of our current customers and more. “For harvest we also have access to seasonal workers from other licenced labour providers. The labour is available but on-site accommodation is a huge problem – we can supply the workers if vineyards can provide suitable lodgings,” Mihaela added. Paul concurs with Mihaela: “As usual the biggest challenge is finding affordable accommodation for our seasonal workers and static caravans are really the only option. I would urge vineyards to seriously consider having one or two static caravans where they could accommodate the additional numbers of seasonal workers required for harvest. Nearly all the apple growers have long since recognized this need and have caravans in place for this reason. If you’re worried about having access to labour at harvest – then the solution is to provide suitable accommodation.”

The Vineyard Store

The Vineyard Store is the materials and equipment division of Vine Care UK’s business. It stocks a wide range of ‘everything >>

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<< vineyard’ including vines, trellising posts, wire, secateurs and other accessories. The Vineyard Store website is currently being revamped to make it easier for customers to find products, see prices and shop online more effectively. “Whether you’re wondering which type of post suits your soil type, or which clones or rootstocks perform best in the UK the Vineyard Store team have the knowledge and industry insight to advise you,” commented Paul. “Exciting things are happening at The Vineyard Store. We’re delighted that we’ve found new premises; a much larger space than our previous premises which means we can hold more stock – it also happens to be right next door to Majestic Wines which is an added bonus. “We have also teamed up with Linus to offer a strong, smart-looking post, well suited to UK vineyards. There are a number of features that we really like about it. Its profile and strengthened core make it incredibly strong. It comes with internal hooks which are well suited to machine harvesting and keeping wires in position, even on steep and undulating ground. Also, the zinc and aluminium Galfan coating make it very resistant to corrosion and highly suited to the UK market. The Linus post is very competitively priced, with

typical savings in excess of £350 per acre for the posts alone. “In addition to the Linus posts, The Vineyard Store is now a distributor of Felco and Gripple products and we’re looking to add more popular vineyard accessories to our range soon,” added Paul.

The team

Sue Osgood, well-known and respected viticulturalist has just joined the management team at Vine Care UK. “With over 30 years’ experience working with vineyards in the UK, including Denbies Wine Estate and Bolney Wine Estate, Sue brings with her an almost unrivalled source of knowledge and know-how when it comes to growing vines and operating vineyard equipment. We are delighted to have Sue on board knowing that she will complement the existing team and add another level to our vineyard management expertise,” commented Paul. The Vine Care UK’s twelve vineyard supervisors ensure the smooth running of services to clients and organise the workforce on a day-to-day basis and many of the team have over 10 years’ experience in vineyards. “Working with our Vine Care management team of Steve Burnett and Sue Osgood, the supervisors are dedicated, reliable and conscientious making sure all vineyard tasks are carried out properly and efficiently,” explained Paul. “We are part of the Stronger Together business partner against modern slavery and ensuring fairness to workers. We care about our workers which is why they return year after year,” he added.

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Why have a website? During the lockdowns both businesses and consumers have had to take the plunge and dive online into a more digital world. Many vineyard businesses have found this to be a harmonious and rewarding transition and are achieving good direct to consumer sales, but some may not have fared so well. Vineyard asks what is an effective website and why is it a must for a successful wine business going forward? A website is often the first exposure that a consumer has to your products and brand, if it doesn’t quickly provide what they are looking for then potential customers are likely to look elsewhere. So, it is vital that your website presents well, provides answers, meets the needs of the person visiting and communicates your brand and products. Ned Awty grew up at Oatley Vineyard in Somerset, and after 20 years in corporate R&D and marketing he has now set up his own strategy and marketing consultancy. “With so much access to information it is vital to understand who your target customers are and what they are looking for, if you want them to engage. Simplicity of message is key, and

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creating something simple that communicates your products, your brand and your values is more difficult that it sounds. The first question I ask is always ‘why?’ – Usually the next four questions are also ‘why?' This helps to distil the essence of why anyone should buy your brand and products and helps form the structure of a communication plan to engage with potential customers. “If increasing direct to consumer sales is your goal then the website needs to form part of a holistic strategy that integrates with your other marketing touchpoints and sales channels. Perhaps you use Instagram and have a good following, in which case the website will probably be the sales portal that sits behind

your social media, so the website should be designed to make buying wine as easy as possible. Or maybe your sales channels are already well developed and the website is about communicating your brand values and image, this will look very different to a sales platform. Or maybe you need to do both, which is why your communication plan and simple, relevant messaging is so important,” Ned said. Elisabeth Else, e-commerce website specialist, explains that: “Direct to consumer sales are very important, but you still want local restaurants serving your wines to generate fresh new local interest. We’ve worked with one producer who said: ‘I’ve planted all the land I can, so the only way to increase profit is to sell more direct to

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES consumer.’ Their results are phenomenal. “A good Wine Club is so important, as it can provide an income that can be forecasted. I think that many producers will have seen a growth in online revenue due to Covid-19, regardless of how poor their website is. Many people simply don’t realise how much better they could be doing with a more up-to-date website and a smarter growth strategy.” Nick Wenman, Albury Organic Vineyard, in Surrey and WineGB director explains that: “A good website for direct-to-consumer sales is important for commercial sustainability, especially during these challenging times. Maximising direct-to-consumer sales can double the gross margin, especially for small producers, like us, the difference between making a profit and not making a profit. Our website has been crucial during lockdown. Our trade sales to local pubs and restaurants have suffered but our online sales increased 186% from January to December 2020. The aim now is to retain these sales and also to bring back sales at the vineyard and via the trade, as soon as we can.” Jonica Fox, of Fox & Fox, East Sussex, explains that: “For us the main purpose of the website is to promote sales, whether via our site, our via our stockists. If a customer wants to buy wine, they can do so, quickly and easily. We have a chat box on the website, so that we can answer any customer queries. The other function of our website is to build customer confidence and awareness of our brand. It is designed to allow

visitors to find out more about our vineyard story and our wines, if they want to. Our social media strategy, which we do in-house, supports the website but it is rather like mainstream advertising and to quote Lord Leverhulme ‘50% works and 50% is wasted, but we don’t know which half!’”

Professional or DIY?

Having spent a lot of money establishing a vineyard, it’s understandable that new producers don’t feel they have much left over for a website. However, Elisabeth Else explains that: “There are three things you need to be successful; grow good grapes, make good wine and sell it. The website is an essential tool in the selling armoury. “If you are thinking about building a website yourself, there are two things you need to think about. Is it a good use of your time? You need to be honest as it’s very easy to undervalue time when you work for yourself. The second question is whether you are going to want the upheaval of changing everything once you are already transacting, this is obviously a much bigger thing to do than starting down the right path. “To be quite honest, if people really don’t have the money, it’s a perfectly reasonable idea to build themselves a site and replace it when they can. What I don’t understand is people spending a fortune on sites that don’t deliver sales. The question that should be asked is not the cost, but the time to repay that cost. One vineyard client reported 350% uplift in sales in the run up to Christmas with their new website; while some of that is due to the trading conditions, it’s still a great performance and it won’t take them long to generate significant return on the website investment.” In Jonica’s view, it is important to “decide how much time you are able to commit to updating a website, especially if it includes e-commerce and blogs. Keeping the website updated is a discipline, you have to make sure it looks good and functions well - and importantly it delivers what is promised. Our orders are delivered by courier within a

couple of days – and we don’t charge for delivery, the price on the website is the price paid.”

The software

Elisabeth recommends: “Really decent e-commerce software; we are now working almost exclusively with Commerce7, a tool developed in Canada specifically for wine producers and widely used in other wine regions. Not only does Commerce7 handle online selling, and tour and tasting bookings, it also has what I believe is the most sophisticated Wine Club management system available. The clever thing is not just having the individual components, but the fact that they are all in the same place means that you have a CRM – a single source of information on customer behaviour and spending that doesn’t rely on merging spreadsheets or anything like that. The options it gives for growing and retaining customers are phenomenal.” The legal environment can change, so it is important to keep up-to-date and ensure that the regulations are adhered to. Along with the general legal requirements for a website, any collection of data must comply with GDPR and data consent must be obtained before contacting customers. Elisabeth Else also advises to: “Check legal requirements around secure checkout and age validation.” Simon Woodhead added: “We will need to make some changes to our website to incorporate two stage verification for payments in order to make it legally compliant by the end of this year.”

Top tips

“Work with someone who understands selling online, design isn’t everything and sometimes 'showy' design actually frustrates sales. That beautiful video that looks amazing the first time someone comes to your website is just annoying the second or third time and obviously it’s those repeat visitors who make you money. Good photography is absolutely essential and needs to be included in your budget,” commented Elisabeth Else. Nick Wenman’s tip is: “Make it easy for the consumer to buy in just a few clicks – think how easy it is to shop on Amazon. Make it easy for them to sign up to newsletters. Collect these emails and use a system such as MailChimp to send promotions or special offers that direct people to the website. Also direct people to the website via social media.”

Measuring success

According to Elisabeth Else: “It’s actually quite simple, the revenue from a website is equal to the number of visitors multiplied by the conversion rate (the percentage of visitors who actually buy) and by the average order value. Someone with a successful website will be continuously improving each of those three components.”

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Cloud accounting allows you to keep track of your finances with a system that is accessed through the internet and stored on a secure server. This means you can access your business data in real time, whenever or wherever you want, on a computer, laptop, tablet or even a mobile device. Your data is secure and automatically backed up for you. It gives you the freedom to keep your finances organised, monitor your cash flow and keep track of profitability in a safe and secure environment. Cloud accounting allows: ◆ Financial control: Real time overview of your current financial position and cash flow. ◆ Time saved: Reduction in the time you spend on accounts processing eg the information on your bank statements can be automatically downloaded into your accounts. ◆ Multi-user access: Helping you collaborate with your colleagues and accountants. ◆ Automatic updates: Updates from software providers mean you are always using the most current programme available. ◆ Secure: Automatic back up of your accounts, so there is no need to worry about losing important information. ◆ Flexible add-ons: Vineyard specific add-ons allow you to link other digital platforms directly with your accounts. The more well-known cloud software providers are Xero (, QuickBooks ( and Sage (

App options

We have seen a massive development in add on applications, known as ‘apps’, that link with cloud accounting software. There is a vast choice of apps. This can be overwhelming for business owners. So which apps should you choose to streamline your business administration, and do they work for the wine industry? Some of the core apps, which offer businesses day-to-day efficiency improvements, include: ◆ Customer point of sale payments integrated into the accounts; ◆ Core automated management and collection of customer debts; ◆ CRM customer database management; ◆ Automated uploading of supplier invoices rather than manually processing invoices;


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Benefits of moving to the cloud

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Cloud accounting has become a common way of maintaining accounting records for many businesses. We are seeing more vineyards and wineries taking advantage of the opportunities and efficiencies it brings.


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◆ Stock management; ◆ Payroll apps for running the staff payroll. Some examples of the more popular apps include iZettle, Chaser and Dext. In addition to the core apps listed above, there are the specialist vineyard and winery sector specific apps which allow you to manage your inventory, production and sales. These include Vintrace and Vinsight. These are sophisticated products used more extensively in the southern hemisphere, with a more limited take up in the UK so far.

Maximising the benefits

The integration of the apps with the accounting software is crucial. ‘App stacks’ are a collection of apps that a specific business can use to maximise the benefits from their cloud solution. Expert advice may be needed for the implementation and training of the less common apps, as these may require specialist knowledge. While cloud software and apps can help make your vineyard run smoothly, it is not a requirement to implement all the apps within the app stack on day one! They can be rolled out over a period of time. There are a wide range of apps available and the numbers are growing quickly. A cloud specialist can help you select the most suitable apps for your business and assist with implementation and training. This will ensure that you and your business gain the maximum benefits from your new cloud accounting solution.


The difference between a good and a bad arable farmer is 24 hours. I was once told that early in my consultancy career and it’s a comment that’s stuck with me for the 25 years since. The farmer who gets up at 5am to go spraying because conditions are perfect and is determined not to miss a moment of the window won’t have same disease problems or weed burden that someone who acts 24 hours later will. It’s precisely the sort of approach that’s vital in viticulture – and I’m sure everyone in the sector will identify with the sentiment. An attention to detail – sometimes bordering on obsessiveness – is one of the personal traits that grape growers and winemakers need to be successful. They might well recognise it in themselves. They might also recognise many of the other attributes they possess. There is one question, however, that takes a lot of selfawareness and can be very tough to answer honestly. That question is: Why am I doing this? Really understanding your objectives should be the starting point of a business but, for a host of understandable reasons, it’s a thought process that often gets sidelined. Whole enterprises can become established, without the owners ever distilling an answer to that most fundamental question. As the British wine sector becomes more mature – and we enter a period of rapid transformation sparked by a host of factors including Brexit and changing consumer trends – now is a good time to think about this. Perhaps, having launched a vineyard 3-5 years ago, it’s now at the point of producing meaningful quantities of grapes but where is the endeavour headed? Are you keen to produce limited volumes of

very high quality wine? Or perhaps a larger volume targeted at a more mass market? It’s becoming an ever-more crowded market place so you need to understand your position. This will inevitably involve some research. What is your end game, as an individual? What is your character? Are you someone who wants to stay involved with the business you founded for your whole lifetime, perhaps periodically or constantly expanding? Or are you someone who is good at and enjoys founding a business – then perhaps selling it and benefiting from the capital value created? Appreciating what you’re trying to do will help crystallise a business plan that will help you achieve these goals. It’s not always easy – you have to be clinically objective. Some people in viticulture are forensically focused on commercial goals. Others view it as a passion project. Both approaches are, of course, entirely legitimate but you need to be rigorous in establishing which camp you are in (or more likely, where on the spectrum between the two you sit). If you decide you are not intending to stay in the business for the long term, that decision will in turn bring choices. Do you perhaps lease or sell it? And if so, what are the implications, particularly in terms of tax? Contrary to some predictions, there were no rises in Capital Gains Tax in the Chancellor’s March budget so, if you are intending to sell a viticulture business in the next few years, now might be a good window of opportunity to act. With a big area planted to vines in the last few years, the possibility of an over-supply of grapes is on the horizon, which will prompt some in this position to sell sooner rather than later. If you have acquired land and spent time establishing vines that are reaching maturing,

Ber r y ma ew n tth

Ask the question

right now two plus two can equal five. In other words, there is, potentially, a premium in terms of sale value to be had from bringing an already-productive business to the market. This might not always be the case. Allied to analysing your objectives, other hard questions loom: What am I good at? And indeed: What am I not so good at? Are your skills predominantly agronomic? Or linked to winemaking? Or are they centred around taking a product to market? Getting a handle on this can help you recognise where you might benefit from forming partnerships – whether formal or informal. If you are a great grape grower, but not so hot on retail and marketing, can you join forces with someone who has that knowledge? It doesn’t necessarily have to be another grower – it could be drawing on the services of an adviser. Viticulturists need to have many attributes these days (personal resilience and a willingness to embrace technology are certainly among them) but no one’s good at everything. There is, however, good news; while establishing a vineyard is a long-term process, you are able to make changes to how you run and structure your business relatively quickly. Opportunities abound, but they can sometimes pass quickly. As that arable farmer I mentioned at the start of this article will know well, sometimes even just 24 hours can make all the difference.


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It's bottling time! It’s that time of year again when winemakers lose sleep worrying about getting their beautifully crafted wines into bottle without ‘stuffing up’ the quality – and praying that there won’t be any re-fermentation or other issues. Vineyard finds out the steps winemakers take to ‘get it right’ before the wine goes into bottle, to ensure that wines reach the customer in the best possible condition. Preparing for still wine bottling is a significant task in the winery, aside from blending there are critical checks on stability, dissolved gases, filterability and sulphite levels – as well ensuring the correct dry goods are ordered. Some tests or analyses are done in house, others are sent away to the laboratory, but all are part of the overall quality control plan. “Why do we do these tests – well it’s much easier and cheaper to check and rectify any issues when the wine is not in bottle. "Tartrate crystals or hazes in the wine are not acceptable and can lead to expensive product recalls – and loss of reputation,” explains Josh


Donaghay-Spire, Head Winemaker at Chapel Down Wines, speaking with other winemakers at the recent WineGB webinar on preparing for still wine bottling. “Getting a pre-bottling analysis is, in my view, well worth the cost. This is the last chance the winemaker has to influence the quality of the wine – as once in bottle it’s too late,” added David Cowderoy, Consultant Winemaker and Director of BevTech Ltd.


Protein, colloidal stability and tartrate stability are all necessary pre-bottling checks. Most winemakers check protein stability using a difference in turbidity before and after a heat

test. Typically, 70°C for 30 minutes, followed by refrigeration, but other parameters are used. “Subtracting the second reading from the first gives the delta NTU (Nephelometer Turbidity Units) and indicates the protein stability – the winemaker’s interpretation and decision will depend on where the wine is likely to be stored and sold. For example, a wine travelling overseas and experiencing temperature changes, will behave differently to a wine being sold locally,” commented Josh. “It’s important to use the same bentonite mix in the trials as the final additions. And if you plan to use CMC (carboxymethyl cellulose) the wine will need to be protein stable,” added David. “The rules are

changing for CMC and it can now only be used for whites,” added Sam Lindo, Winemaker at Camel Valley. When it comes to filtration at bottling, the wine has to be able to pass through the sterile filter and not cause blockages. “Filtration at bottling is not to remove anything at this stage but as a safeguard, to stop microbes getting into the bottle,” explained David. Testing for tartrate stability is required to ensure the wine is stable and avoid crystals being deposited when in bottle. “This can be done by traditional cold stabilisation, CMC, metatartaric, KPA (Potassium polyaspartate), electrodialysis – by whatever method, it must be

done,” commented Josh. “The cold test involves taking a sample, putting it in a freezer or water bath for a set period of time, and then looking for crystals. Or you can use the conductivity method for a quicker answer – we use an automated set up called CheckStab, which also indicates likely stability over time,” added Josh. “A quick and easy test I do, is the freeze-thaw test – it’s a severe test, but if it passes, it’s a pretty good indicator that your wine is stable,” commented David.

Dissolved gas levels

Dissolved oxygen (DO) is picked up from ullage space, transfers, operations and bottling. “It is important to consider DO pick up and I am surprised by how few wineries have a DO meter,” commented David. “DO pick up during bottling can vary hugely, a good line will limit pick up to around 0.1 mg/l, a mediocre line around 1.0 mg/l, but I have seen poor quality bottling lines result in a DO pick up of 5.0 mg/l. A key step in limiting this is the ability to fill the bottles with CO2.” CO2 produced during fermentation will leave the wine near saturation point. “Depending on the style of wine, this may be unacceptably high – no one likes fizzy red,” said Josh. “We test using a Carbodoseur. If levels are too high when bottling at 20°C, the CO2 will start to come out and cause foaming and problems in the filler. If needed, we reduce the dissolved CO2 levels by sparging with nitrogen – which has the added advantage of reducing dissolved oxygen also,” commented Josh. David adds: “I’ve seen a lot of red wines where the dissolved CO2 is too high and it has a really negative impact on the sensory profile – the tannins taste harsher, the acidity tastes higher, less fruit flavour, and simply de-gassing it makes a massive difference.” From Sam’s point of view: “Dissolved CO2 at around 1,000 mg/l makes for an easier life when bottling.”

Free and total SO2 levels

The reason for adding SO2 to a wine is to achieve microbial stability and protect against oxidation.

“A level of 0.6 mg/l molecular is the minimum and 0.8mg/l is the optimum. There are charts available to be able to check this, as levels will depend on pH,” explained David. “DO impacts SO2 levels, as 1 mg/l of dissolved oxygen can consume 4mg/l of free SO2. So, knowing the likely pick up at bottling influences the amount of SO2 added when preparing for bottling. Oxygen is also picked up after bottling, depending on the closure used,” he added. Making adjustment to SO2 levels should be done in good time explains Josh: “As it will reach a new equilibrium – don’t leave it to the morning of bottling and expect it to be there as free. A few days beforehand check the levels, adjust, check again – then check on the day as well. It’s not a difficult test to do – either by aspiration or with ripper. If you send samples off to a lab, package them carefully with some inert gas, otherwise the readings will be meaningless. The wine has to be legal for sale as there are maximum limits, and the level has to be below this and be aware of how the wine will evolve over time.”

Hydrogen sulphide

“If you think you have a problem, it is only going to get worse in bottle, so it is best to check beforehand. With good control of fermentation, the use of appropriate yeast strains and yeast nutrition, problems should be avoided – but I still always screen,” advises Josh. If using copper Sam warns: “That it is a blunt instrument and can cause reduction issues down the line and I prefer to use some aeration at the end of ferment.”

Residual sugar

“It’s important to know the level of residual sugar (RS) post-fermentation, and again when doing the blend and making sweetening addition decisions - then to double check again before bottling,” explains Josh. “The RS levels might affect decisions around stability, for example, as it changes the risk matrix, especially with a lower sulphite regime, and with lower alcohol levels,” he added. David sees problems occurring with the origin of the sugar which is often must >> concentrate or süss reserve. “If süss reserve

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WINEMAKING << is added just before bottling it can lead to instability problems. Sometimes RCGM (rectified concentrated grape must) is not filtered well and can lead to filterability problems,” he said.


Wines that are not properly filtered can cause blockages of the sterile membrane, resulting in costly downtime, and possibly replacements of expensive membranes. Filters can block for various reasons, so, Josh says: “The easiest thing to do is check the filterability index of the wine before bottling – it’s not hard to do.” David advises: “A 0.4 μm nominal depth filter ahead of the 0.45 μm sterile membrane filter, to avoid problems.”

Sterility at bottling

At the end of previous bottling, it is essential that all wine is flushed out, with plenty of water, from the bottling line and filters, or there will be microbial contamination. Then steam before bottling – it is the only sure way of sanitising equipment. If using cleaning chemicals, they have to be in contact with all the intricate parts and complex areas such as nozzles. "We use ATP swabs to check for any residues. It’s also important to do an integrity test on the filter membrane, as it needs to pass this to ensure sterility – it amazes me how many people do not do this,” explained David. “We also send the bottled wine for postbottling analysis as sterility needs to be achieved for the PDO scheme,” added Josh.

The day of bottling


"Even after much preparation it can still go horribly wrong,” exclaimed Sam. The temperature of the wine, and also the winery or bottling hall should be around 20°C, to ensure smooth running of the line, avoid condensation on the bottles – particularly if labelling when bottling. The bottling line needs to be set up correctly for the size and shape of bottle, and the closures that are to be used. There needs to be enough staff in place, the dry goods checked – to avoid the frustration of running out of closures or boxes. Pallets of empty bottles can have the odd broken bottle, and breakages can occur during handling, and on the bottling line. The procedures for dealing with broken glass is high on the list for inspectors from supermarkets or any customer. “The first thing to do is have a robust glass breakage procedure. The staff need to be trained so that they know how to handle broken glass. Broken glass can also be found amongst the empty bottles on the pallet, and for this reason we prefer the bottles to be rinsed inside – in fact, it’s all part of a HACCP plan,” commented David. These winemakers were contributing to a recent WineGB webinar on preparation for still wine bottling. The WineGB webinar recording is available to its members on the WineGB website.



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Practical tank design


Height: diameter

As fermentation starts, the CO2 produced will lift the skins to the surface to form the ‘cap’. If the tanks are too tall and thin, this cap becomes compacted and it is impossible to get even or efficient extraction. A ratio of 1:1 is the optimum in terms of efficiency versus price.

Pump over systems

If done with aeration, little is required other than a racking point that will not block, such as a ball valve or flap valve. Seeds or skin fragments can be caught in a sieve to avoid blocking the pump. However, to pump-over without air requires an internal screen over the racking point.

Irrigation systems

Done by hand, this can be very effective but manually demanding as some winemaking regimes call for this four times per day. Automatic irrigation systems simplify this, but poor design can result in shadows and areas of the cap that are not irrigated. Also, gentle trickling of liquid through the cap can lead to preferential drainage channels developing, leaving large blocks of the cap untreated. To avoid this some sort of physical disruption is needed.

Punch down

Physical manipulation by punching down is very effective, provided the cap is not too thick. Thanks to greater force, automated punch down with a pneumatic system can work with thicker caps. The tank needs to be filled to just the right level, so that the system works properly.



Classic red wine fermentation requires careful planning to ensure that the extraction of colour and tannins from the skins is possible under the precise conditions the winemaker requires. A compromise in tank design will make quality optimisation impossible. It is also important to keep in mind what is going on in the process – extraction can only happen if liquid is in contact with the skins and that liquid does not become saturated with solutes. Here are various key points to keep in mind.



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Seed removal

Sometimes required for avoidance of ‘green tannins’, this can be easily achieved with an open pump-over and sieve, provided the total drain is at least 50mm diameter, with a ball valve. For a closed pump-over, this requires a conical bottom tank and a large 100mm ball valve to eject the seeds separately.

Temperature control

In the UK, red fermentations will require heating more than they will cooling. Any jackets or cooling panels must run the entire height of the tank to be suitable for both tasks or a secondary heating system from the bottom of the tank must be fitted. However, for large fermentation tanks, great care needs to be taken that the cap does not heat up too much during fermentation, which can happen as thermal exchange in the cap is very poor.

Marc extraction

The floor and door design needs consideration to simplify this process. The door must open outwards, at the very bottom of the tank and be large enough to extract the marc. The height of the door above the floor also needs to be sufficient so that a bulk bin or pump will fit underneath.

‘Exotic’ fermenters

There exist many innovative designs of red fermenters: roto, auto, horizontal. These all address the issues of red wine vinification but with a considerably greater capital outlay. In a region where they can be turned over several times during the harvest, they make perfect sense, but this is rarely the case in the UK.


A tank for red wine vinification is an expensive luxury. The design should therefore always be such that the tank can be used for storage. Seasoned red wine makers will have their own preferences and practices. If new to the process, it is as well to seek their advice. Of course, if you ask five winemakers you will get at least six opinions!

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Preparing wine for bottling


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White wine check-list Preparing wine for bottling can be stressful and the chart from Laffort is a very helpful infographic to assist the winemaker in the stages of preparation as some of the stabilisation and treatments to your wine can take a period of time to undertake. The chart for white wines can be utilised for both still wine but also sparkling base wine preparation. A critical point to remember if you decide to make a blend from two different stabilised wines you will then need to undertake a stabilisation protocol on the blended wine. One of the key differences when stabilising red and rosé wines is colour matter stabilisation, rosé and red make up a smaller percentage of English and Welsh wines total volume but are growing in recognition and acclaim. Tannins greatly assist in stabilising colour compounds by polymerizing with anthocyanins and stabilising the structures, with tannin concentration having a significant factor on this mechanism. Tannins also have an antioxidant effect binding oxygen and preventing the potential damage to these pigments. SO2 and pH also play their part in this process of colour stability with significant changes destabilising colour stability. Also note proteins are quite reactive with compound additions in wine so if you are taking a more hands off approach to protein stability (as you want to retain them as they may enhance foam formation) take into consideration the result a higher protein count may have on any other stabilising additions. You might also consider some enzymatic additions, Extralyse for example will help with filtering and clarification as it degrades yeast cells (do not use in the secondary formation process though as it may lead to gushing) or Lafazym Arom, which releases and enhances terpene aroma compounds. It is encouraged to have made any enzyme additions well before any protein stablisation steps as enzymes are fundamentally a protein and will be removed by bentonite.


4 to 6 weeks prior to bottling Finishing tannins (dissolve at 10% in wine)



We recommend complete the final blend prior to initiating any stabilisation process

PROTEIN STABILITY 4 to 6 weeks prior to bottling


Microbial load determinationFinishing tannins Protein instability determination OENOLEES® MP or MAN (CI < 50)

(dissolve at 10% in wine) MI CR OBIOLOGIC AL STABILIT Y #1 Complete assessment

(Yeasts, Acetic Bacteria, Lactic Mic ro bi al l o ad det er m i nat i o n Bacteria)



Heat test 30 min. at 80°C Pro t eito n ithe nst abi l i t y det er m i n a t i on (Refer detailed protocol) If NTU > 2: unstable wine

Complete assessment (Yeasts, Acetic Bacteria, Lactic Bacteria)

Heat test 30 min. at 80°C (Refer to the detailed protocol)



If ∆NTU > 2: unstable wine



Crysta t 6 days

If presence

Treatment options to reduce the microbial load: TREATMENT SO2 Enzyme Treatm e n t o pt i oaddition n s t o re d u c e t h e m i c ro b i a l lo a d : LYSOZYM SO Fining Enzyme addition Physical treatments LY S OZ Y M 2

Fi n i n g

Bentonite dose determination. TREATMENT Bentonite treatment: same bentonite in lab and in cellar. Be n t o n i t e d o s e d e t e rm i n a ti on. Importance of product Be n t o n i t e t re a t m e n t : s a m e b e ntoni te preparation i n la b a n d i n c eand lla r. Im po rtimplementation. a n c e o f pro d u c t pre p a r a ti on

W w

a n d i m ple m e n t a t i o n .



P hy s i c a l t re a t m e n t s


LAFFORT® expert’s advice + 20 mL/hL SILIGEL & 20 mL/hL gelatine


for a fast sedimentation

Double check microbiological stability

Double check the stabilisation status prior to racking or filtration


Double check Double check the of the filtration is essential to prevent the retention of protective colloids which might ca F I LT R AT I O N The quality microbiological stability stabilisation status prior to

The information shown above reflects the current state of our knowledge. It is given without co racking or release filtration It does not the user from legal complia

We complete the final Werecommend recommend completion ofblend the final blend prior to

prior to initiating any stabilisation process WHITE WINE initiating any stabilisation process CHECK-LIST to 6 weeks prior topaper-plane bottling 1 to 2 weeks prior to bottling   407805 081677

F EP BR RI LU A2 R A 0 Y2 1 2 |0 V 2 I1 N| EFinishing VYIANREDtannins YA R D (dissolve at 10% in wine)


Stabivin® SP or Œnogom® Ins SO2 and ascorbic acid ( potassium sorbate (D

We recommend complete the final blend prior to initiating any stabilisation process


lete the final blend stabilisation process


4 to 6 weeks prior to bottling

1 to 2 weeks prior to b

OENOLEES® MP or MANNOFEEL® D day D day (CI < 50)

Finishing tannins to 2 weeks to bottling 1 to 2 1weeks prior toprior bottling (dissolve at 10% in wine)

We recommend the final ® ® blend OENOLEES MP complete or MANNOFEEL ® any stabilisation process ® prior to initiating OENOLEES MP M orICMANNOFEEL Rthe O BIO LO Gblend I C A L STA B I LI T Y We recommend final (CI#1 <complete 50) (CI <stabilisation 50) prior to initiating any process

eeks prior to bottling

M i c ro bi a l l oa d d eter mina tion 1 to 2 weeks prior to bottling Protein ins tability determ ination

6 weeks prior to bottling





® Stabivin® SP or Œnogom (D -2) ® Instant (D -2) Stabivin®Instant SP or OEnogom ascorbic SO2Nand SO2 and acid (D -1) PROTEI S TAB I LI TY acid (D -1) #2ascorbic #3 potassium sorbate (D -1) F potassium sorbate (D -1)

1 to 2 weeks prior to bottling


D day D day

OTTL I NG Stabivin SP or Œnogom Instant (DB-2) ® RTA R IC STA BILITY #3 OENOLEESTA MP or MANNOFEEL® F #4 ® ® TARTARIC Stabivin SPSOor2 and BOTTLING ascorbic acid(D(D-2)-1) Œnogom Instant (CI or < 50) MANNOFEEL® F #3 OENOLEES® MP #4 and ascorbic acid (D -1) SO potassium sorbate (D -1) STABILITY NTU <25 CI< 20 (CI < 50) Ta r t a r i c i n s t a bi li t y Co m pl e te w i n e a n a ly s i s ®


Complete assessment Heat test potassium sorbate (D -1) T° > 15°C 30 min. at 80°C (Yeasts, Acetic Bacteria, Lactic Bacteria) d et er m i n a t i o n and Tartaric instability determination(Refer to the detailed NTU <protocol) 5 CI< 20 TARTARIC STABI LI TY Checking Free SO , CO , etc., #3





Tartaric instability Ta r tar ic instability determination

ab il ity determinatio n

sta b i li t y d et e r m i n a t i o n

ta s ti n g Complete ( DCrystallisation + 4 ) wine

2 2 F T° > 15°C #4 If ∆NTU > 2: unstable wine Complete analysis andFChecking tasting #4 Free SO , CO , etc.,


d eter mination


Ta rt a ric in st a b i d e t e rmin a t io

test BOTTLI NG 6 days at -4°C B OTTLI NG analysis

DIT Test 4 hrs at -4°C +4 g/L cream of tar

and tasting (D+4)

If presence of crystals or DIT > 5% or > NTU < 5 analysis CI< 20and tasting Complete Complete wine a na lys is NTU < 5 CI< 20 Com plete wine analysis T° > 15°C and tasting ( D +4)

T° > 15°C

and tas ting (D+ 4 )

Checking , CO2, etc., 2 Checking FreeTREATMENT SOFree , CO2SO , etc., Crystallisation DIT Test Checkstab 2 TREATMENT Complete analysis and tasting TO A TO A TREATMENT THE KEYS test 4 hrs at -4°C 4 min. at -4°C Complete analysis and tasting THE KEYS LAFFORT® expert’s Checkstab Crystallisation DIT Test Bentoni te dose determ i natiSUCCESSFUL on. BOTTLING SUCCES SF UL BOTTL ING 6Tre days at -4°C +4 g/L cream of tartar + 10 g/L THK a ttest m e n t opt ions t o red uce t he at -4°C We recommend to remove Carbon 4 hrs at -4°C Bentoni4temin. treatm ent : sam e bentoni te Heat test Heat test wine prior to any tartaric stabilisat m-4°C i c robia lCrystallisation l oa +4 d : g/L cream DIT Test Checkstab of tartar + 10 g/L THK 6 days at i n lab and i n c ellar. Crystallisation DIT Test Checkstab 1 stable batch + 1 stable batch 30 min. 80°C If presence of crystals or DIT > 5% or > 40 µS = unstable wine 30 min. at at 80°C THE KEYS TO A 1 st a b l e b a t ch + 1 s t a b l e b a t ch ≠A 1 st able T HE K E Y S TO SO2 test 4 hrs at -4°C 4 min. at -4°C ≠ 1 stable blend. test 4 hrs at -4°C 4 min. at -4°C • Physica l p ro ce Im p ortance of product prep arati on to the detailedprotocol) protocol) the detailed b l e n d . BOTTLING at at -4°C +4 g/L cream + 10 THK If presence of acrystals or DIT > 5% orof>tartar 40 μS = g/L unstable E n z yme d6d6days it ion CE S S FU BOTTLING andTHK i mwine p lem entatiSUCCESSFUL on. S U CUse days -4°C +4 g/L cream of tartar + 10 g/L • I n h ib it o ry me t CMC on Lprotein stable NTU > 2: unstable wine

U > 2: unstable wine

LYS OZYM If presence of crystals or DIT > 5% or > 40 µS = unstable wine U se C1 M C le o nb atch p ro t+ewines. st aleb bl eatch w i n≠ e1sstab . l e P O LY TART RY s tab 1i ns tab If presence of crystals or DIT > 5% or > 40 µS = unstable wine 1 stabl e batch + 1 stabl e b a t ch ≠ 1CEL s t a bSTAB le ® F ining LAFFORT b len d . TREATMENT IMPLEMENTATION bl end.OF CMC and metatartaric acid O NESTAB ® P hy s i ca l t re a t ment s C M CMICROCOL® a n d m e t aALPHA t a rform t a r i ac haze a ci don f owines r m a treated haze MANNO STAB ® Us e CM C o n pro tein s tab le win es . TREATMENT LAFFORT expert’s advice TREATMENT o n w i n e s tUse re a tCMC e d with won i t hlysosyme. ly s o s ystable m e . w i ne s . .TREATMENT protein TREATMENT TREATMENT CM Cadvice an d m etatartaric acida fo rm awith haze We recommend to remove Carbon Dioxide in the CMC forms haze ® ni t e expert’s adviceLAFFORT® expert’s with m m monitoring: a ha ze turb index C M C ofnowin r m es sCMC atreated h aand zetannins. wetatartaric i t hlys t aons ym nFilterability i ne.saci . d for e d o s e d e te r m i n a t i o n .wine prior to any tartaricLAFFORT stabilisation treatment. ® LAFFORT + 20 mL/hL SILIGEL & 20 mL/hL gelatine on wines treated with lys os yme . We recommend to removeexpert’s Carbon Dioxideadvice in the do s e deter m i n ation . Importance of mixing t e atme nt : sa me b e n t o n i t e CM C fo rm s a h aze with tan n in s . used on a wine prior to any tartaric stabilisation treatment. for a fast sedimentation Metatartaric acid We recommend to remove Carbon Dioxide in the M e t a t a r t a r i c a ci d u se d o n a co l d wi ne a b a n d i n c e l l a r. • Phy s i c a l p ro c es s es ion tm ent : same benton ite CMC form s a h azecreates with tanni ns . wine prior to any tartaric stabilisation treatment. a reversible cre a tMeetatartaric s a re ve r sacid i bcold l eushwine a ze ed o n. a co ld wi ne Double check stabil be ao n ind ucellar. P hyho sicdasl pro ces ses f dp ro c t p re p a ra t i o n • I n hi bi t o r y m• et haze. creates a revers ib le h aze. p l e m e n t apreparatio tio n . Metatartaric acid used on a cold wi ne • Inh ib itor y mprocesses ethods Double check the stabilisation status • Physical ofi mproduct n • Physical processes ISTC50 measure: P OLY TA RT RY L® Double check microbiological stability creates a reversibl POLYTA RT RY L® mp lementati on. D I T: D e g r e e o f Ta r t a r i cISTC50 I nes ht aaze. b3µS i li ty • Inhibitory methods prior to racking or filtration <4 • Inhibitory methods DI T: De gr DIT: e e ofDegree Ta r ta rof i c Tartaric I n s ta b≤i li ty = stable wine C E L S TA B® CE L STA B® Instability ® CI : Cl o g g i n g I n d e x N OF CI : Clog gi n g I n de x POLYTARTRYL IMPLEMENTATION OF POLYTARTRYL® CI:ee Clogging Index TA of B®theONE STA DIT:colloids De gr of Tartaric I n satab i l iinstabillity ty TheES quality filtration is essential to prevent the retention of protective which might cause new in th ® B® FILTRATIO N ON ALPHA MICROCOL® ALPHA CELSTAB® CELSTAB MA NNOSTAB® CI: Clog ging Index M A N N OS TA B® IMPLEMENTATION OF ® above reflects the current state of our knowledge. It is given without commitment or guarantee The information shown ONESTAB® ONESTAB MICROCOL® ALPHA It does not release the user from legal compliance and safety advice giv MANNOSTAB® MANNOSTAB® RT® expert’s advice Filterability index monitoring: turbidity < 5 and CI < 20 e L SILIGEL & 20 mL/hL gelatine Filterability index monitoring:Importance turbidity of< mixing 5 and the CI <tank 20

T® expert’s advice er a fast sedimentation

LIGEL & 20 mL/hL gelatine

Filterability turbidity < 5 and CI < 20 Importance of mixingindex the monitoring: tank

Importance of mixing the tank Double check stabilisation eck the stabilisation status Filterability index monitoring: < 5 and CI < 20 Checkstab: Double ISTC50 checkmeasure: stabilisationturbidity to racking or filtration ISTC50 ≤ 3µS = stable wine < 40 µS = stable wine Double check stabilisation Importance of mixing the tank s

fast sedimentation

ISTC50 measure: Checkstab: k the stabilisation status the retention of protective colloids which mightISTC50 cause ameasure: new instabillity in the wine.Checkstab: Below 15°C, wine flow decreases ISTC50 ≤ 3µS = stable wine < 40 µS = stable racking or filtration ISTC50 ≤ 3µS = stable wine <wine 40 µS = stable wine Double check stabilisation

/ - 1°C = 2% flow rate loss

ent state of our knowledge. It is given without commitment or guarantee since the conditions of use are beyond our control. Itretention does not release the user fromalegal and adviceBelow given. ehecolloids which might cause newcompliance instabillity in the instabillity wine. 15°C, wine flow decreases - 1°C = 2% lossrate loss of protective colloids which might cause a safety new in the wine. Below 15°C, wine flow/decreases / - flow 1°C = rate 2% flow

ISTC50 measure:


te.state our knowledge. ItISTC50 is given3μS without commitment or guarantee the of use are our control. =orstable wine since 40 μSsince = stable wine It is of given without commitment guarantee the< conditions of conditions use are beyond ourbeyond control. tser does not release the user from legal compliance and safety advice given. from legal compliance and safety advice given.

FILTRATION The quality of the filtration is essential to prevent the retention of protective colloids which might cause a new instabillity in the wine. Below 15°C, wine flow decreases / - 1°C = 2% flow rate loss

The information shown above reflects the current state of our knowledge. It is given without commitment or guarantee since the conditions of use are beyond our control. It does not release the user from legal compliance and safety advice given.

A P R I L 2 0 2 1 | V I N E YA R D


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

Wine competitions: what to look for before entering There is no doubt that the reputation of our home-grown wines has been largely elevated over the last few years thanks to the increasing number of English sparkling wines beating Champagnes and other top wines in blind tastings and competitions. For small and large, English and Welsh, wine producers alike, entering wines in competitions is a tried and tested marketing and benchmarking tool. However, with such a wide range of award scheme options out there today, to get the most marketing value and ROI from your entries, it is important to carefully consider precisely what each competition has to offer. Do the consumers care? For many consumers, dipping their toe into the world of English and Welsh wine for the first time can seem a bit intimidating. Not only is there now so much choice, but often wines

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

are produced with unfamiliar varietals and can be a significant investment for some. Trophies and medals, particularly golds and silvers, certainly make wines stand out on a crowded shelf and can provide some with a much-needed boost of confidence when it comes to purchasing from a brand they’ve not come across before. While all competitions provide worthy wines with medals and trophies, for those passionate about home-grown wines, the WineGB Award results table becomes a go-to guide for those looking for new inspiration and ideas. It is an essential resource which consumers can tap into to find the best wines currently available. How will the competition organisers promote your wines? A lot of wine competitions today are organised and managed by magazine publishers. While this provides them with one guaranteed platform for promotion, it also means that titles rarely promote the winners

and results from other ‘rival’ publication award schemes. Our awards are heavily promoted in WineGB’s communications programme and as a membership organisation we find the PR opportunities to be more favourable across both consumer and trade publications. Will the competition organisers offer on-going support? For many, once the competition is over, organisers efforts’ are focused on planning for next year’s event. As well as showcasing the medal winners in an extensive press and social media campaign, the trophy winners of the WineGB Awards will also be highlighted at the annual WineGB Trade and Press Tasting, held in September, on a dedicated tasting table. Throughout the year too, the press team at WineGB will often point journalist and trade enquiries towards those wines which we know have performed well in our annual awards, so there are tangible benefits long after the competition has come to a close.

If you would like more information on the 2021 WineGB Awards, or for entry forms, please contact: Entries open to WineGB members only


What is happening on social media? In today’s digital era, before entering any awards, it would be wise to check out how healthy the competition’s social media presence is. How many followers do they have? Are they active on the platforms you are most focused on? How did they promote the previous years’ award winners? How did they engage with producers sharing news of their award-winning wines? With support from WineGB’s social media officer, Joana Albogas, the WineGB social channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, consistently reach a sizable audience full of your ideal clients, through which the WineGB Awards will of course be thoroughly mentioned and showcased. Who is judging the wine? As you start to research competitions, you will begin to notice that each has a slightly different audience, with judges usually selected to fit this demographic. This means that if you never plan to sell your wines on-trade, for instance, there is little point in entering a competition focused solely on restauranteurs, where the panel of judges comprises mostly Master Sommeliers. Recognising that WineGB members come in all shapes and sizes, with a vast range of different business models and routes to market, we have always endeavoured to ensure that the WineGB Awards’ judging

panel comprises a wide range of professionals respected widely by the public consumer, on-trade and off-trade alike. Due to be held in early June, this year there will be six judges led by our magnificent co-chairs Susie Barrie MW and Oz Clarke. When are the results released? We all know that selling wine in January is an uphill struggle, so the timing of the award results must also fit tidily and logically into the sales calendar. As in previous years, the medal results from the 2021 WineGB Awards will be revealed on 24 June, which will not only coincide perfectly with English Wine Week and mid-summer but, hopefully too, the end of lockdown. What are the benefits for small producers? If you only produce in small volumes and are not looking to significantly boost your sales, attract trade customers, or grow your brand overseas, wine competitions still remain one of the most efficient and honest ways to receive credible feedback about your product in the wider marketplace. While global competitions will allow you to see where your wines stand on a world-scale, the WineGB Awards is vital for producers looking to determine where they stand within our niche market. The judges too, go to enormous lengths

Welsh Wine Week and English Wine Week Due to be held from Friday 4th - Sunday 13th June Welsh Wine Week, which is supported by the Welsh Government’s Drinks Cluster will be a veritable toast to the growing number of vineyards across Wales. Further information will be available from For 2021, English Wine Week is moving to be a truly Midsummer event – taking place from 19 to 27 June. Current government guidance would suggest that cellar doors will be open by this time, while we will have to watch this space, it is hopeful that this will be a great boost to highlight the many vineyards open to visitors as well as the wide and ready availability of English wines. As in previous years, the annual campaign will be a chance to link vineyards, retail outlets and influencers across the country to celebrate and promote English wines, with many offering an opportunity to purchase; with wines from all over England delivered to wine lovers’ doors. The more outlets and vineyards that take part the greater the collective impact it will create. It will help your sales, boost your marketing efforts and, with extensive press and social media coverage, has the potential to raise your profile locally, regionally and even nationally. If trade are reading this page too, we would love for you to get involved and take advantage of our ready-made marketing resources and ideas.

For more information and to complete an expression of interest form, please head to:

UPCOMING WINEGB WEBINARS 1 April: 6pm Vineyard Floor Management 8 April: 6pm Pest and disease management: Planning the spray programme 15 April: 6pm Preparation for Tirage of Sparkling Wine All webinar recordings are available exclusively to WineGB members afterwards

to provide feedback for wines which have perhaps fallen below expectations, which can be an invaluable asset for those looking to improve their standing among peers.

Watch it back International Women's Day

Recordings of our Instagram Live interviews are now ready to view on the WineGB YouTube channel and website. We had such a great line up of women – some of whom are also featured in this month’s edition of Vineyard magazine.

WineGB Wine Tourism Conference

The highly successful industry conference that took place earlier in March raised some key insights into how to create world class visitor experiences here in the UK. The online conference also highlighted the fantastic tourism initiatives already underway and provided vital information for any vineyard either already operating or seeking to open their cellar doors. Recordings of the conference are now available to purchase. Please contact


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SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE WEEDING SOLUTIONS Mechanical weeding couldn’t be simpler choose the correct frame for your tractor, discuss what result you want to achieve and pick the tools to suit. Thanks to the universal multi-tool coupler all tools will fit all frames. Contact Kirkland UK to discuss our extensive range of machinery to help you in your vineyard.


Helping you keep your vineyard tidy for the tourists.

Avon •




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Your specialist tractor and machinery dealership




Affordable and reliable weeding solutions Kirkland UK are the UK importers for Orizzonti, ideal for any vineyard looking for a wide variety of robust and reliable pruning and cultivating equipment including trimmers, leaf removers and pre-pruners, shredders and flails, inter-row cultivators, subsoilers, pruning sweeps and mounted forklifts. We understand that choosing the right mechanical weeder can be daunting with so many options, that’s why we’re here to discuss and make it simpler. Ranging from a simple single sided mechanically sprung controlled tool, to a double sided hydraulic sensor controlled with an independent oil tank to supply enough flow to run up to four motorised tools (two to each side) there is a suitable frame for any set up. The universal joint, to which the different tool heads fit, is again simple meaning just one bolt and main pin to swap from one tool to another – changing over takes under a minute. All hydraulic pipes come as standard with quick couplings to help with the ease of changing tools over too. With over 20 tool heads to choose from that fit on the frames you can tailor the machine to your needs, your soil type and ultimately your desired finished result undervine. The frames are easy to maintain which helps to keep the cost down of running these machines. Vineyard manager of Nuttals Farm, Paolo Addis is extremely happy with his Orizzonti weeder: “We decided on our Orizzonti weeder because it’s a strong machine, adaptable (forward or rear mounting) with a very good range of attachments. We are currently using it for undervine weeding and are very happy as it works well and does the job. We plan to use it for undervine mowing, pruning, raking and trunk shoot removal. The features that stood out with the Orizzonti range are the machine arms which are controllable from the cockpit and the reversibility.” The Orizzonti range is also known for its other standout features including its low centre of gravity, being built strong in the right places while retaining a weight low enough to be well balanced on the tractor, and it is low in maintenance. Scott Worsley, partner of Kirkland UK explains the benefits of the Orizzonti vine trimmers: “The Orizzonti range is very well built, the vine trimmers for instance are the only ones on the market which are on a v-shaped mounting

system allowing for normal visibility through the centre of the vine trimmer’s arms. The great thing about these vine trimmers too is that they can be totally configured to meet the vineyard’s individual specifications. For instance, Simpsons Wine Estate invested in a double sided front mounted trimmer and have opted for knives on the side and rotatory blades on top.” As UK importers, Kirkland are always on the lookout for innovative machinery to bring to the UK vineyard market. “Year by year Orizzonti is constantly researching and developing equipment to meet the market’s ever-growing needs,” said Riccardo Raneri, head of Orizzonti’s foreign sales. He is thrilled to see the growth of the specialist vineyard equipment in the UK and said: “We have a high standard of quality control to ensure our machines live up to the consumer’s needs. We are excited to see the expansion of Orizzonti machinery being led in the UK by the Kirkland team, who are true specialists in orchard and vineyard machinery.” Based just outside Maidstone, Kent, Kirkland UK has a full range of demonstration equipment available for all their specialist machinery exclusively for viticulture including Antonio Carraro compact tractors, sprayers, mowers and chemical-free cultivation equipment and Tobroco-Giant wheeled loaders and telehandlers.

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@ 0% 3 3+3

From 1st March - 30th April 2021

Richard Smith 07483 035922

Jeremy Cloude 07710 870153

Single tractor purchases only, subject to terms & conditions,

Vitifruit Equipment Sales and Hire







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Wild flower maintenance

Many new designs of mower are being used to preserve and enhance the beauty and biodiversity of fauna and flora in vineyards. These mowers are more sympathetic than traditional flail and rotary mowers which smash and mince up anything in their path including insects, animals and ground nesting birds. Alongside the benefits to the environment from using these new designs it is also a pleasant experience for visitors to see the wild flowers when visiting the vineyard restaurant or shop. Cutter bar mowers are gentle on the plants and insects but are also more economical on power meaning that smaller lighter tractors can be used. Flail collecting mowers with unloading hoppers completely remove unwanted vegetation, cuttings or thatch and are made in sizes to suit vine row widths and vineyard tractors; it is also possible to mow and simultaneously deposit the cuttings under the vines in a row to form a mulch. One can also strim or mow in between the vines at a commercial speed without damaging the trunks or plastic tubes by using the ultra sensitive setting on the Boisselet sensor bar at the front, side or rear of the tractor.

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