Vineyard April 2022

Page 1

VINEYARD VINE VIN EY YAR ARD For Growers & Winemakers in Great Britain ™

APRIL 2022

Hidden springs eternal

INSIDE A viticulturist's diary Are weeds welcome? Bolney Wine Estate sold Matthew Jukes has found some unexpected heroes


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

Matthew Berryman 07710 765323



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

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

VINEYARD for viticulturists in Great Britain

NEWS 8 VINEYARD Kelsey Media, The Granary, Downs Court Yalding Hill, Yalding, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 6AL 01959 541444

How climate change will impact England's vineyards

12 Association of

Wine Educator awards recommends English wines

EDITORIAL Editor: Christian Davis

20 Bolney Wine Estate sold to

GRAPHIC DESIGN Jo Legg Flair Creative Design


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

Freixenet Copestick

24 In conversation...

The retiring head of the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, Ian Harris gives a valedictory message: Education, education, education.

26 Matthew Jukes Unexpected heroes.

28 Meet the buyer

Marks & Spencer English wine buyer: Nativ Dror.


The agronomy diary

A natural boost to plant functions.

41 The vine post

The influence of vineyard soils.


Yeast nutrition and organic supplementation

54 Representing you Regional roadshows.



Versatility, performance and technology.

Features 30 Research

Wine Intelligence’s COO, Richard Halstead, gives a heads up on global wine trends and what they mean for English and Welsh wines.

Front cover image: Hidden Springs © Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

globe-asia twitter facebook @VineyardMagGB VineyardMagGB

CONTENTS Features Hidden springs eternal


From campsite to vineyard, from IT to winemaking, Hidden Spring and its owners have travelled a long way in a short time.

A viticulturist's diary


Sam Doncaster recounts what he is doing at Rebschule Freytag, in Germany's Pfalz region and ventures his opinion about the sort of cutting edge practices he is dealing with.

Are weeds welcome?


Sharing space with other plants such as weeds – impacts the vine both positively and negatively as can weed control methods.

Demonstration of under-vine cultivation


Growers gather to see scientifically-proven mechanical weeding solutions in action.

n Davis



a st i

Talking terroir

The Vineyard

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

It’s our people that make the difference. TURRIFF




Wisbech: (01945) 461177













Ledbury: (01531) 631131

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

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


From the editor

How times change and things move on. It was interesting and almost jaw dropping when a winemaker here in England almost apologetically used the contentious French term ‘terroir’, in describing the differences between the southern counties, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Essex and then even the difference between north and south Kent. Nick Lane, Defined Wines’ head winemaker, is a Kiwi and he has worked at New Zealand’s legendary Sauvignon Blanc wine brand, Cloudy Bay and subsequently at Moët, both owned by LVMH. So there is no doubt that he knows what he is talking about and would not use the term ‘terroir’, loosely. Contentiously, Lane said: “I never thought I’d use the term ‘terroir’ here but there is soil, climate and intervention of human beings.” He added: “Decisions (are based on) human’s third component.”* Well, Wikipedia describes Terroir as: A French term used to describe the environmental factors that affect a crop's phenotype, including unique environment contexts, farming practices and a crop's specific growth habitat. Collectively, these contextual characteristics are said to have a character; terroir also refers to this character.” Another simpler description: ‘The combination of factors including soil, climate, and sunlight that gives wine grapes their distinctive character.’ And another: ‘The complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate. The characteristic taste and flavour imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced.” Notice; No mention of human intervention. This is where the strict, possibly pedantic French interpretation differs from the more modern, arguably New World interpretation, where the belief is that while the quality of the fruit from the vineyard is paramount; it’s exact place of origin less so but, crucially, what goes on in the winery ultimately defines the wine’s style. One key difference in mindset is the Old World, generally speaking, makes wines from vines in a specific, often small location. Whereas in the so-called New World, they will ship grape juice across country such as in the likes of New South Wales and South Australia, maybe even from Margaret River, to ensure consistency with brands such as Jacob’s Creek. Personally, I sit on the fence having never actually made wine. But pragmatically, I cannot see how the winemaker/vinifier does not affect the wine, 9.5 times out of 10, to its benefit. Anyway, it’s very interesting. Terroir has come to England and Wales. It just shows how our winemakers have learned as their vines have matured. It also gives people like me something to write and pontificate about. By the way Lane as an aside, commented on how well Pinot Gris has performed in England, especially in the tough 2021 vintage. A ‘hot tip’ from an expert outsider?


Marden: (01622) 831423

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

09/10/2020 10:24

Send your thoughts and comments

by email to






How climate change will impact England's vineyards England is well-positioned to reap the short term benefits of climate change. Warmer, drier, summers have already opened new doors for the winemaking industry in southern England, where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are grown in increasing quantities, according to an online wine company report. Honest Grapes, an online wine company, goes on to say colder regions such as Finland and north Germany will soon become new contenders in the fine wine industry. Honest Grapes, which claims to be a 'quality online market place for wine enthusiasts, wine professionals, and friends’, recently stated: “As these grape varieties become more challenging to grow in other countries, we may enter a new era for English sparkling wine.” “Pinot Noir is grown across the world, primarily in cooler sites and, with a shift in climate, the grape's predilection for quite narrow climate


parameters now increasingly makes England ideal for its production. From 2040 onwards, suggest the findings, we can expect the grape to thrive in England. “In addition, Chardonnay vineyards in the UK will be some of the least affected throughout the 21st century. Courtesy of warmer temperatures, England will grow European grapes with relative ease.” Dr Greg Dunn, curriculum manager of Plumpton Wine Division said: "It is true that global warming does open up many exciting opportunities for what we can grow in the UK and what wines we can make. We are now at the stage where we can make excellent sparkling wine and are beginning to explore making very good still white wines and very good still red wines. He added: “Whilst it is important for us as an industry to take advantage of the opportunities that climate change is presenting, we also need to be aware that climate change is, on balance, one

of the biggest challenges affecting populations and natural ecosystems. “For instance, the increase in temperature and the likelihood of more summer storms will mean that soils are more vulnerable to degradation and erosion. Taken together, all of these things suggest that the continued high level education and training of professionals in wineries, wine businesses and vineyards is doubly important for the UK." The report suggests there will also be knock-on effects in traditional southern European winemaking countries, where warmer winters, unpredictable rainfall patterns, and sudden frosts will become a feature in the years to come. Regions like France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal are already struggling with spring frosts, water deficits, and overripe grapes. As a result, more wine producers are experimenting with grape varieties, harvesting times, or migrating to new regions.

Want counter-pressure quality?





Compared to 100ppb in other filling technology, preserves beer longer

4 parts CO2 per volume at 10º Celsius enhancing flavour

PER MINUTE Consistently fills 55 cans per minute detecting missing or damaged cans

Quality you can taste Whether you are looking to upgrade your canning line or thinking about getting into canning for the first time, the CODI CCL-45 gives you the perfect fill, every time. Contact Core now to find out more. GET IN TOUCH T: +44 (0)1327 342589 E:


The climate challenge The biggest challenge for English and Welsh wine producers is managing the effects of our climate. Defined Wine’s New Zealand head winemaker, Nick Lane, was speaking at a virtual tasting of some of Defined’s clients’ wines on 2 March. He said: “The biggest challenge is the climate. 2021 was very difficult. It was a challenging, cold spring, with warm patches. August was terrible. Luckily, we had a nice September, warmer than August. September saved us.” The ex-Cloudy Bay, Moët, winemaker, describing the English and Welsh wine sector as “flourishing’,

> Nick Lane

said: “I never thought I’d use the term ‘terroir’ here but there is soil, climate and intervention of human beings.” Contentiously, Nick gave his definition of terroir as: “Soil, climate and the intervention of human beings. Decisions (are based on) human’s third component.”* He went on to say the climate overall is getting warmer but even in such a bad year as 2021, Defined still managed to get in good quality, clean, fruit from well organised, well run producers. “Because there was a lot of coolness, we did get cancellations due to a lack of ripeness. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear,” he quipped. He also mentioned in passing that Pinot Gris seemed to have performed very well in the variable English climate - a hot tip from an expert outsider. He said: “We are getting more and more still white and rosè. Reds are slower to come along but the potential is there, especially with sparkling. It proves that things are warming up.” Master of wine, Richard Bampfield asked about the growing interest in Essex, Nick Lane extending his answer to include the whole of East Anglia, replied: “You get more warmth, so more potential ripeness and therefore more still wine. Generally, everything is a bit riper. Getting grapes right is the biggest challenge. So, East Anglia is more towards still wine. “Essex, East Anglia is a big place, so it is not all the

same…East Anglia is warmer so there are still wine clones, higher ripeness with more clay and sand soils. There is a different mindset also younger vines. “Even northern Kent, such as around Faversham, Rochester, Chatham and Sittingbourne, is pretty warm – the warmest part of Kent, different from southern Kent. “Whereas the mindset in the southern counties, Hampshire, Sussex and southern Kent is for sparkling wine, more towards tolerance of lower ripeness in the viticulture,” said Lane. He finished on a note of caution: “It is too simplistic to talk about southern counties being cool. There is also even an east-west variation. Nevertheless, in the southern counties Pinot Meunier does not seem to do too well. Also, it all depends on how the wind blows. A northerly wind does not favour the more northern counties, while a south-westerly does not favour the southern counties,” said Defined’s head winemaker. Defined Wines processes approximately 615 tonnes of fruit a year from all over England, none from Wales. It has 26 clients and eight own brands. * Terroir – dictionary definition: – The complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate. – The characteristic taste and flavour imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced.

Aldi launches nationwide competition for new suppliers


Aldi is continuing its commitment to British suppliers with the announcement of ‘Grow With Aldi’, a nationwide competition that will see the supermarket uncover and ultimately stock exciting new products from the UK’s best small and medium sized food and drink businesses – propelling them into the big time. The supermarket is calling for applicants to compete for a prized spot on Aldi’s shelves across the country. From bakers and chocolatiers, to cheese makers and alcohol producers including everything in between, shortlisted suppliers will visit the supermarket’s headquarters to showcase their products to an expert judging panel. After a process of deliberation, the judges will decide on the winning products, which will be launched as Specialbuys in Aldi’s 950 stores.

The launch follows the success of the 2021 Grow With Aldi spirits competition, which saw Penrhos Gin, a Herefordshire-based fruit farmer turned craft gin distillery, have its product stocked in Aldi stores nationwide. The 18,000-bottle order was the largest of its kind for the distillery. Charles Turner, farmer, distiller, and co-founder of Penrhos Gin, said: “The biggest challenge for small craft distillers like us is breaking out of the local 40-mile radius. To go from that, to winning Grow with Aldi and being stocked in 950 stores nationwide was a major breakthrough for our business.” Julie Ashfield, MD of buying at Aldi UK and one


of the judging panel, added: “More than three quarters of our sales come from British suppliers, and we are constantly exploring ways in which we can further support small local businesses.” The multi-category competition is part of Aldi’s ongoing commitment to locally sourced products. The supermarket has invested an extra £1.6 billion with British suppliers since the start of the pandemic, including £125 million spent with meat, poultry and dairy farmers in the UK. Aldi has also reaffirmed its pledge to prioritise home-grown suppliers as it works towards spending an additional £3.5 billion a year with British businesses by the end of 2025.

Budding applicants can enter by downloading an entry form then send it via email to

 Office 01273 492404 � 

STEEL FRAMED BUILDINGS, RECLADDING, REPAIRS AND GROUNDWORK We specialise in the supply and construction of steel framed buildings. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the wine and fruit production sector to complete your new facility

> Jonathan Rodwell

Vinescapes restructures and grows Vinescapes says due to its success it has decided to undertake strategic restructuring with the addition of further expertise to the team. Jonathan Rodwell joins the team as vineyard manager. Further recruitment is expected soon to support Vinescapes’ strategy and services. Vinescapes claims it is now established as the leading vineyard and winery consultancy in the UK providing world class research, climate science, strategic and operational expertise to grape growers and wine producers. The company says as part of the restructuring, and to provide the best services and support for clients, the vineyard management division Veraison Ltd, has now been incorporated into Vinescapes Ltd - and offers comprehensive ‘Ground to Glass’ services including bespoke vineyard creation, vineyard management, consultancy, mentoring and training. Jonathan Rodwell has more than 40 years’ experience in developing and managing vineyard and winery operations around the world. He is said to be particularly focused on specialisation in vineyard resilience, re-generative agriculture, precision viticulture, and the elements required for excellence in ‘wine growing’. CEO Dr Alistair Nesbitt, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jonathan to our team and feel fortunate as Jonathan epitomises a rare 360-degree approach to wine production applying his breadth and depth of experience to promote the synergy of viticulture, oenology, and terroir identity. He brings a multifaceted and dynamic approach to today’s winegrowing and production challenges.” Jonathan said: “I am very pleased to be joining Vinescapes and the ambitious team at such an exciting phase of its development. With a science-based approach, and client focused values, Vinescapes is clearly leading vineyard and winery development in the UK.”

100% British designed & built

Over 35

Based in the heart of Sussex, covering the South East. Sussex builders since at least 1605. Forma offer all aspects of steel framed construction and cladding together with groundworks and electrical fit out if required.

Year’s experience

Site visits Call to arrange a site survey

� �  @info_forma

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

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

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

Lohnunternehmen Lukas Klein Saint-georges-Straße 4 | 67245 Lambsheim | Germany

Email: Mobile: +49 (0) 15142358410 A P R I L 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D



Association of Wine Educator awards recommends English wines


The respected Association of Wine Educators (AWE) has announced its ‘100 AWEsome wines 2022’, which includes five English wines. AWE chair Mandy Stevens said: “As educators and wine experts the members of the AWE are regularly asked for recommendations. Many of us pride ourselves on our unbiased teaching, choosing wines that can be typical of an area, examples of new winemaking techniques and so on. But sometimes we want to jump and up and down and yell, ‘Go and buy this one, it’s great value.’” “Each year we collectively put together the wines we think deserve this accolade. Why? It could be for many reasons. One being the price and we have listed these in price categories as we are aware that most of us use this as a first guide. But it is getting more difficult to stick to suggesting wines at the lower end due to market forces – exchange rates, shipping costs, tax rates – all parts of the trade we’d love to ignore but the bits that have the biggest impact on costs at the lower levels. And they’ve really taken a hit over the last few years. So, if you do need to spend more this guide also should give you some confidence in wines that give more flavour, interest and have that little extra something so you’ll be wanting to spread the word too. “There will be something for all palates and budgets, all occasions and foods, found in supermarkets and independents- an ‘AWEsome list’ to keep handy and bookmark in your favourites now it’s online. Ever changing with seasons and vintage to help you keep exploring. “Look out for our new AWEsome Wines roundel. This has been introduced this year for retailers to post against their wines, either online or in-store, as recommended for their great value by a professional,” said Stevens. Vineyard's wine correspondent Matthew Jukes said: “It is nice to see that the Association of Wine Educators has honed in on a great selection of English wines and without showing any favouritism, I think the overriding theme here is one of stunning value for money, overlaying truly professional winemaking.” Below are the categories. The name at the end is the AWE member who recommended the wine with a quote and tasting note.

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

White wines – over £12

Dart Valley Reserve 2020, Devon, England: Sharpham Estate £14.10, Wickhams (2018) £13.49 After opening this 2020 vintage of Dart Valley Reserve, the room filled with English hedgerow scents! A new vintage of this Madeleine Angevine (grape) is always a joy and this is no exception. Apple and elderflower vie for attention in both the nose and body of the wine. Great with Devon fish and seafood. Stephen Barrett Stopham Estate Pinot Blanc 2018/2019, Sussex England: Waitrose £15.99 It is unusual to find an English Pinot Blanc which could be described as "pear in a bottle”. Dry and full-bodied with pear and citrus notes with a long finish. Worth buying to surprise your friends and show an alternative to Bacchus. Brian Davis Three Choirs Bacchus 2020, England: Three Choirs Vineyards £15.99 England's still wines were simply wonderful in 2020. This is a zesty dry white, far more gooseberry than a Sauvignon Blanc, refreshing and utterly delectable. Helen Savage

Rosé – over £12

Simpsons Railway Hill Rosé 2020, England: Hawkins Bros, Roberson Wines £20 Grapefruit, lychee and stone fruit with a crisp finish. Lovely aperitif or with white fish. Sue Eames

Sparkling – Under £35

Morrisons The Best English Sparkling Wine Brut Vintage 2010, England: Morrisons £25 A remarkably mature vintage for a supermarket Cuvee - and very impressive it is. Loved its creamy richness, nutty toastiness from 8 years on lees. Made from all three grapes but Chardonnay shines with its sleek elegant citric fruits. Very well made by the Nyetimber ‘stable’. Well done Morrisons. Rose Murray-Brown MW Langham Corallian NV, England: Langham Wine £29 The Wine Society £26 Very lucky this is now ‘my local bubbles’ but it is available across the country and not just in Dorset. Lovely green apple flavours with more depth and weight than you might expect. Grown on chalk and Chardonnay-heavy, the majority of the grapes were picked in 2018 so you're 83% on your way to a vintage wine too. Mandy Stevens

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

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

Looking for wine in tank or in bottle?

CONTRACT WINEMAKING AND LAB SERVICES Lab results within two working days

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


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




07972 668370





St Austell Brewery appoints new head of wine St Austell Brewery, the south west’s family-owned brewery and pub company - and owner of more than 180 pubs, inns, and hotels - has appointed Holly Ninnes as its new head of wine. Ninnes joins from C&C Group where she was a wine buyer for more than three years working with Matthew Clark, Bibendum - two of the largest national on-trade wholesalers in the UK. She was responsible for purchasing over 2,400 wines across the South American and Italian ranges. Prior to this, Holly was a senior wine buyer for Conviviality PLC. Holly has worked in the hospitality sector for more than 15 years, having started her career working in restaurants in her home county of Cornwall. She started her career on the shop floor, when she was enrolled onto Majestic Wine’s graduate management training scheme. She progressed from a trainee manager to a wine buyer in three years and was responsible for listing Majestic’s best-selling red wine, Porto 6, as part of its range. It went on to be recognised on TV’s Saturday Kitchen by celebrity chef, James Martin. With a network of six depots across the West Country – from St Columb in Cornwall to Wimborne – St Austell Brewery is the leading wholesale distributor of beers, wines, spirits, ciders, minerals, and soft drinks in the region. The company has been a wine merchant since the business was first founded by Walter Hicks in 1851.

Brit and Scot become MWs


Justin Martindale MW and Jonny Orton MW have become the latest Masters of Wine. Having joined the roster of MWs globally, Martindale and Orton now round the count up to 420 MWs globally – 269 men and 151 women across 30 countries. Since the first exam in 1953, 498 people have become an MW. Martindale is an educator, consultant and wine judge based in Edinburgh. After studying a music degree at Leeds University, followed by a brief stint as a classical musician, he joined the

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

wine trade with Majestic in 2008, subsequently working across some of London’s busiest stores before establishing the Lothian Wine School in 2013. His research paper dove into the evolving language of minerality in wine tasting via Decanter’s tasting notes between 1976 and 2019. Orton meanwhile, read Chemistry at university before pursuing a career in financial services. Today, he balances interests in finance and wine, having bridged the two with his MW research

paper on the nuances of fine wine investment. In addition, he provides fine wine consulting and tastings and loves to pair wine and surf destinations. Martindale and Orton are the first of the 2022 MW vintage. The pair have now swollen the ranks of British MWs to a world-beating 211. In second place, though with far fewer MWs, is the US (56), followed by Australia (28), France (19), New Zealand (16), Canada (10) and Germany (10).

1762 from

Brewin Dolphin


To find out more please contact Carla Morris on 020 3201 3890 or The value of investments can fall and you may get back less than you invested. Brewin Dolphin Limited is a member of the London Stock Exchange, and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register reference number: 124444).


Applications open for first vocational hardship programme The Drinks Trust has announced that the its new vocational programme, Develop, is officially open to applicants. For the first time in its 135-year history, the Trust has introduced an initiative to alleviate long term hardship with a proactive funding and training programme that delivers opportunity and skills to those within and looking to enter our industry. The initiative will train and educate the next generation of the drinks and hospitality industry professionals. As a result of the aims of this new initiative, Develop has received the support of leading industry businesses as partners to the programme. Campari Group UK will be the ‘Official Spirits Partner’ of the scheme, and Moët Hennessy UK will support as ‘Official Champagne Partner’. Furthermore, operator groups have been recruited to deliver training and job opportunities to Develop graduates, with Gaucho and M Restaurants and Vagabond Wines among the first groups to support the initiative officially. Drinks Trust CEO Ross Carter said: “Since the announcement of the Develop initiative to the industry last year, The Drinks Trust has received funding and support from brands and operators who recognise the vital importance of the scheme for the welfare of the entire drinks hospitality industry and the many people living in hardship in the U.K. We are extremely grateful to Campari Group UK, Moët Hennessy UK, Vagabond Wines, M Restaurants and Gaucho for being the founding partners in our vocational initiative Develop and we are confident that together we can make Develop a core part of The Drinks Trust offering for many years to come.” The Drinks Trust’s Develop initiative aims to help around 750 beneficiaries in its first year of operation, with a variety of training and development options ranging from self-guided CV writing and interview skills workshops, through to

sector-specific CPD accredited training with top industry providers, including Wine & Spirit Education Trust, Institute of Brewing & Distilling, Mixology and European Bartender School, amongst others. Develop was conceived to provide a long-term solution to individuals facing hardship and an opportunity to develop a successful career in our industry, with the ambition of lifting thousands of people out of hardship indefinitely. Industry leaders and influential figures have supported the initiative as being fundamental to the growth of our industry. Courses are available to anyone who has worked or is currently working in the drinks and hospitality industry or new entrants to the industry. Courses have varying eligibility criteria, which candidates can consider before applying. To apply to any Develop courses, please visit:

Three new patrons

The Drinks Trust has welcomed three new patrons, TV personality Andy Clarke, the WSET’s retiring CEO Ian Harris (see Ian’s valedictory article on page 24 and Helen McGinn former Tesco buyer turned author, drinks writer and presenter, she founded wine blog The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club. They increase the number of prestigious names from within the drinks hospitality industry to 10. In March 2020, The Drinks Trust introduced its patron programme to raise awareness and increase the charity’s reach and impact. The initial patrons were: Matthew Rhys, Jancis Robinson MW OBE, Olly Smith, and founder patron Tom Yusef. They were joined by Ian Burrell, Becky Paskin and Jaega Wise in 2021.

Leonardo DiCaprio acquires equity stake in Champagne Telmont


Champagne Telmont has announced that actor and environmentalist, Leonardo DiCaprio, has come on board as an investor in the company. Au Norn de la Terre, ‘In the Name of Mother Nature,’ is at the heart of Champagne Telmont. As a company, Champagne Telmont is said to be committed to creating the most sustainable, organic champagne, and is heavily focused on preserving their land and its biodiversity. Champagne Telmont says it has adopted a ‘pioneering, multi-pronged approach’ to achieve these ambitious goals. It aims to convert its entire vineyard to 100% organic agriculture by 2025 and assist its partner growers with the full conversion of their vines by 2031. This initiative constitutes a major breakthrough for Champagne, where today less than 4% of the vineyard area is certified organic. This transformation entails renouncing

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

the use of all herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilisers. The house is also committed to protecting biodiversity on its estate and is acting on all fronts to reduce its environmental footprint. Since June 2021, Telmont has banned gift boxes with the belief that the best packaging is no packaging. The House also ceased buying clear bottles, made from 0% recycled glass, to rely solely on classic green champagne bottles made from 85% recycled glass. Telmont uses 100% renewable electricity and has totally eliminated air freight for its supply and distribution and will select transporters according to their CSR score. Finally, the house has made transparency the corner stone of its environmental program 'In the Name of Mother Nature' and to that end, each bottle is individually numbered and showcases on the front label the detailed composition and


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

To discuss your project in more detail email or call 01403 210218 01233 714919


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

Agricultural Compost

Agricultural Lime

07971 151808 A P R I L 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D




Contains GA142



• Activates plant hormones for improved reproductive health • Reduces issues with fruit set caused by environmental stress • Improves homogeneity of berries, evens cluster weight and increases overall yield UPL Europe Ltd, Engine Rooms, 1st Floor, Birchwood Park, Warrington, Cheshire WA3 6YN T: +44 (0) 1925 819999 E: : @upl_uk VIVAFLOR contains G142. Always read the label and product information before use. Pay attention to risk indications and follow the safety precautions on the label. VIVAFLOR is a registered trademark of UPL. © UPL Europe Ltd 2022.

Can cans succeed?

As consumers increasingly opt for wine in cans as a single-serve option, Core Equipment explore the benefits of canned wine and counter-pressure technology. Wine in a can is set to become the next major growth sector for the industry. According to NielsenIQ, the market for wine in cans grew by some 106% in the year to September 2020. Why? The single serve format offers the producer versatility in product sizes from 150ml slim to 500ml standard whilst addressing issues such as sustainability and easy portability. The drivers for this are varied and compelling. Over 80% of aluminium cans are now recycled in comparison to only 30% of glass bottles in the UK. Cans are easily stackable, which is great for mail order and the lightweight, compact nature of cans means shipping requires less fuel, thus fewer CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the aluminium structure provides greater durability compared to that of a glass bottle, meaning, the risk of breakage is eliminated and the content inside is retained through transit. This makes canning far more sustainable but still a commercially viable packaging solution for wine producers. A recent survey [commissioned by Beverage Packaging EMEA] found 52% of people aged 18 to 44 drink wine in cans whilst 38% of people aged 45 to 54 and just under one-in-four people aged 65 would choose their wine in a can. This highlights the thought that making an additional product relevant to these consumers is a sensible and viable option for business growth. Despite the variation in numbers, the issues

surrounding portability and convenience remain the same across the board. As we continue to welcome back social gatherings, the variation in people’s taste and preferences are changing. For instance, a full-sized (75cl) bottle of wine may no longer be classed as a viable option for al fresco dining at events such as festivals. By adapting your packaging production to incorporate a more compact alternative there is both the possibility to increase and expand by directly hitting this new consumer segment opening new profit margins with new product alternatives which may not be possible from existing bottle sizes. Additionally, the need for less space allows delivery of more of a product to supermarket shelves; increasing its commercially viable properties. Predicted to be the leading areas of canned wine are the categories sparkling wine and mixers of low-alcohol formulations (RTD’s). Observed by IWSR; as RTD’s become increasing popular, there is an increasing focus on flavour. As a sparkling wine producer, the most important concern when packaging is preventing contamination from the exposure of oxygen and eliminating any modifications to the intended taste. Counter pressure technology gives the operator

complete control over the conditions inside the can during the fill process. By keeping liquid under pressure throughout the fill process, CO2 is kept in a beverage as the liquid is transferred between the two containers making it taste the way you intended. The CODI counter pressure filler, available from Core Equipment, can achieve levels of 6.2g per litre (3 vol of CO2). For an oxygen-sensitive product, such as wine, counter pressure favourably keeps the dissolved oxygen pick up level to as low as 10ppb, effectively stopping the consequences of oxidation from the beginning. Oxidation not only causes adverse effects on the aroma and flavour but also reduces shelf life and nutrient retention of a beverage. Additionally, the integrated “bubble breaker” in the seamer blankets the can with CO2 before the lid is applied, rapidly dissipating foam to eliminate oxygen in the headspace of filled cans keeping this consistency along the whole filling process. The numbers concluded on several trend reports are a clear indication that canned wines are on the rise. The benefits they can offer producers evidently show positive business growth, impacting audience progression through to product development. If you are looking to make a change to your packaging, Core Equipment are suppliers of the CODI counter-pressure filler, achieving speeds of up to 55 cans per minute. Get in touch with our sales team to find out more.

DESKTOP phone-alt 01327 342589 Envelope A P R I L 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D



Bolney Wine Estate sold to Freixenet Copestick Freixenet Copestick (FXC), the biggest sparkling wine company in the world, has purchased the Bolney Wine Estate in Sussex. The deal was closed in January for an undisclosed sum. Established by Janet and Rodney Pratt in 1972, Bolney was the sixth commercial vineyard to be founded in the UK. The Pratts started out with just three acres and now the estate comprises 36 acres over five vineyard sites just outside the South Downs. They focus on six key varietals: Pinot Noir, Rondo, Dornfelder, Chardonnay, Bacchus and Pinot Gris grown on soil that is

> Robin Copestick


mainly comprised of Upper Tunbridge Wells sand. The head winemaker and managing director at Bolney is Sam Linter, Janet and Rodney’s daughter. Plumpton College-trained Linter has been heading up the business for 26 years. “We were looking at where we take Bolney next” she said. “As a family, we had come to the end of the road of our ability to invest any further. To carry on growing the brand in the way we wanted, we needed someone else to come in. Otherwise, we would have remained more or less where we are with organic growth and we think Bolney deserves better than that. “What’s really exciting about being a part of FXC is that there are other European vineyards in the group that we can go and learn from - finding out about what they do and what works for them. And hopefully they can learn from us as well,” said Sam. Sam and her team found an agent in early 2021 to connect them with potential buyers that would share their aspirations for the brand. Although he passed away in June 2021, Sam’s father Rodney had been deeply involved in the decision making process around the sale. “He started the brand originally and could see the bigger picture,” Sam said. “He wanted Bolney to develop and move on, so he thought it was sensible and beneficial to do what we have done.” Janet Pratt, a real pioneer of women in the English wine trade, sadly passed away 15 years ago just when the business was really beginning to grow. Sam said: “She worked so hard out in the vineyard every single day to make what

Equipment for Vineyards

■ ■ ■ ■

Cultivators Vine Trimmers Soil Aerators Hedge Cutters

Purchase direct from the UK Importer: t: 01892 890364 • e: Lamberhurst Engineering Ltd • Priory Farm Parsonage Lane • Lamberhurst • Kent TN3 8DS


Vineyard Agronomy From vineyard establishment through to post-harvest management, our dedicated agronomists are able to ensure that you maximise your yields of top quality fruit, whilst satisfying the ever more complex demands of legislation, protocols and consumer expectation. Contact us for more information.

“Working closely with our growers, we use integrated pest management to optimise fruit quality and yield.” Penny Meadmore

Viticultural Consultant for Agrovista UK

t: 0115 939 0202 e:

@AgrovistaFruit @AgrovistaUK 04/22

we planted work. She learned everything practically by herself and passed that knowledge on to others, including showing me and my brother that if you have a dream you can achieve it by working hard.” FXC has bought into the family-orientated nature of the business, something that works well within its portfolio. Freixenet itself is still a family-run business, founded in 1861 and now under the control of the fifth generation from founder Francesc Sala Ferrés. Sam Linter’s leadership and experience is part and parcel of the package that FXC have purchased, and she will “make sure Bolney stays Bolney.” Bolney Wine Estate has already benefitted from significant internal investment in recent years, including a new winery which was completed in 2019. This was part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development via a grant from Coast to Capital and DEFRA. They produce 250,000-300,000 bottles per year with capacity for 500,000 bottles. Before Covid-19, the estate secured planning permission for a new shop, café and tasting rooms along with turning the current café into a restaurant with a wine bar and event rooms. Lockdown paused the work, but the new investment and lifting of restrictions will allow these elements to be picked back up. Tens of thousands of visitors already come to the vineyard each year and it is envisioned that the hospitality offer will be greatly improved in the coming years. FXC’s head of marketing, Lucy Auld said: “We will be very committed to producing a fantastic experience for visitors to the winery and we see DTC (direct to consumer) as a very important side to promoting English wines.” The sale will also increase opportunities for Bolney to make improvements to the sustainability of the business. Plans are in place to investigate cover crops, recycling waste water and using electrical machinery to save on fuel, including purchasing an electric tractor. Bolney says it is also interested in the work that breweries like Australia’s Young Henrys are doing with climate change scientists to use microalgaes to capture carbon dioxide released during the brewing process and convert it into oxygen rather than being released into the atmosphere. In terms of product, Bolney’s sale to FXC will open up new markets globally. Bolney has exported its wines for many years already to core markets in China, Japan, Norway, the US and the Netherlands as well as recently starting to explore the marketplace in Singapore and Dubai. FXC is said to be ‘enthusiastic' about the future possibilities for the Bolney brand. “We would like to see the wines being sold in all sectors but the concentration for us will be on premium retailers, restaurants, e-Commerce and DTC,” said Lucy Auld. “The wines of Bolney already have good distribution but by now being part of Freixenet Copestick there will be a natural lift in sales in all areas. As part of the Henkell Freixenet Group our reach is worldwide and we do see strong potential in the export market for Bolney wines.” The only thing holding them back initially will be volume, stated FXC. This is a limiting factor for the growth of both English still and sparkling wines on the global stage. Bolney’s heritage is in still wine production. Now in its 50th year, the real success with sparkling wine only started about halfway through their story. Alongside the fizz, Sam sees their red Pinot Noir as a hero wine, but it sells out quickly. Future expansion will help to bring the sparkling wine to additional global markets but there is a potential to see more growth in the export of still wine as capacity grows. With her WineGB hat on, as chair of the board of directors, Sam hopes that the sale is good news for the market as a whole. “Our industry has come such a long way in the last 20 years, and it has changed even more rapidly in the last five. Somebody like Freixenet Copestick Ltd purchasing an English winery shows the level of interest and confidence the rest of the world now has in English wine. That is testament to the hard work of everyone in the English and Welsh wine industries,” said Sam.

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


Photo: Daria Minaeva /

Moët Champagne bottles laced with fatal dose of Ecstasy According to a report in The Times on 25 February, drug smugglers are suspected to be behind the dangerous contamination of bottles of Moët & Chandon. The Times correspondent in The Netherlands, Bruno Waterfield, reported that people should think twice before enjoying double-magnum bottles of Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial champagne after cases of Ecstasy poisoning, according to the Dutch food safety authority. The watchdog has warned that the bottles, which cost over €400, are dangerous after MDMA poisoning cases that made 11 people seriously ill and killed one person in Germany. “Touching and/or drinking the contents of the bottles is life-threatening,” said the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. “It is not known how the MDMA ended up in these bottles. The [authority] is therefore unable to estimate whether there are any more of these bottles containing the hazardous substance in circulation. It cannot be ruled out that there are other bottles of the same brand in circulation that also contain MDMA.” Drug smugglers are suspected to be behind the dangerous contamination. At least 100 grams was found in the fatal case. Champagne drinkers of the Moët & Chandon brand blended to be enjoyed over ice are warned to watch for a lack of fizz, a reddish-

brown colour and an aniseed scent when opening a bottle. “Even dipping a fingertip in the liquid and tasting it can lead to serious health problems, even without swallowing. Taking a small sip can be fatal,” said the watchdog. It warned anyone becoming suspicious of a bottle to call the police. Four people in the Netherlands became ill after drinking from bottles of the contaminated Champagne ordered online, while in Germany eight people were poisoned in a restaurant in the Upper Palatinate region, which led to the fatality. Harald Georg Z, 52, died after taking a gulp of the Champagne while drinking with friends in Weiden’s La Vita restaurant to celebrate the appearance of one of the party on a television dating show. The bottle contained a thousand times the dose of a ‘normal’ consumption Ecstasy pill and the MDMA was of a type known as ‘pink champagne’ because of the pinkcoloured crystals. German police assume the bottle was delivered to the restaurant by mistake after being used to dissolve MDMA with a street value of up to €5,000. In Belgium four years ago a man went into a coma after drinking wine laced with MDMA that he bought from a website selling goods seized by customs. In 2019 the Australian border police intercepted a bottle containing liquid Ecstasy that had come from Europe. (Source: The Times, 25 February, 2022)

New Zealand wine industry welcomes UK Free Trade Agreement


New Zealand Winegrowers has announced that New Zealand has signed a free trade deal with the UK. “The agreement is very positive for the New Zealand wine industry. This will help remove technical barriers to trade and minimise burdens from certification and labelling requirements. It will also support future growth in the market, and encourage exporters to focus on the UK,” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. “The UK is New Zealand’s second largest export market for wine, with exports valued at over $400 million over the past 12 months. The agreement will reduce trade barriers on New Zealand wine exports to the UK, which will make a big difference for many within our industry.”

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

Photo: New Zealand Winegrowers Inc, Waimea Estates


Annual contest pits young professionals from all over Europe

Our two third-year BA (Hons) International Wine Business students, Amelia Balthazor and Harrison Blyth, have just returned from the Concours des Jeunes Professionnels du Vin (CJPV) Wine Tasting Competition for Young Professionals in Paris. This annual contest, sponsored by the French Government's Department of Agriculture, pits young professionals from all over Europe against each other in a three-day long wine tasting competition. Every year, Plumpton College sends two young wine students to participate in the competition. Amelia and Harrison each had to prepare a presentation on a nominated topic along with the tasting. This year's topic was "Wine professions: soon our daily life, already your future": Whether it is the increasingly frequent climatic hazards linked to climate change (drought, flood, frost, thunderstorms, etc.), the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the necessary consideration of societal expectations (respect for the environment; organic farming; biodynamic; ethics; proximity, etc), all in a context of a downward trend in wine consumption, the wine industry must adapt and renew its practices and its production, sales and communication methods.

> Amelia Balthazor and Harrison Blyth As future professionals in the wine sector, Harrison and Amelia prepared presentations showing how viticulture stakeholders are involved daily in adapting their activity to such constraints and building a sector that respects the environment while taking into account consumer expectations. Amelia concentrated on reducing the carbon footprint of the wine industry, while Harrison focused on protecting vulnerable vineyard soils in the face of climate change. We are delighted to announce that Amelia achieved fourth place overall. While Harrison and Amelia found the three-day schedule testing, they enjoyed the event tremendously.

DESKTOP Envelope INSTAGRAM @plumptonwine A P R I L 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D


Ia n H a r r i s

In conversation... The retiring head of the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, Ian Harris gives a valedictory message: Education, education, education. I officially joined WSET as ‘Chief Executive Designate’ on Monday 15 April 2002 – and on Friday 15 April 2022 – exactly 20 years later, my WSET journey comes to an end. Prior to WSET, I was in the ‘mainstream’ of the industry – 10 years with Waverley Vintners (having started in their fine wine division: Christopher and Company in 1977), and then 15 years with Seagram, at that time the 4th biggest multinational in the wine and spirits industry. Both Waverley and Seagram no longer exist (nothing to do with me, honest!) but I am delighted to report that WSET goes from strength to strength, in spite of everything the past two years have thrown at us. Much has changed since my ‘lightbulb’ moment in 1975, in a Sauternes Vineyard when I decided that the wine ‘trade’ was what I wanted to do after university, thus sparking a career spanning 45 years. One major change is the process of securing employment – in 1977, one speculative letter to the MD of Christopher & Company resulted in one interview, at the end of which I was offered a job. How different and difficult the job market is in 2022. (Then again, I was paid a pittance in my first job, as the wine trade was renowned for employing people who didn’t need the money!) In my first month at Christopher’s, my new boss put me onto my first WSET course – the

Certificate course. This was 1977, and my first contact with the organisation which was to become my life from 2002 onwards. I passed the Certificate, then the Higher Certificate in 1978 and the Diploma in 1980 (having failed the first part in 1979, but don’t tell anyone), and the syllabus at that time was virtually 100% ‘old world’. Recently I found a presentation I had prepared for our stand at one of the very first London Wine Fairs in 1984, and this showed that the UK wine market was dominated by Europe, with French wines having over 40% share of the market, and the UK consumer’s appetite for German wines, although starting to decline, was still a major factor, with Germany having an impressive 29% share. Italy was No.3 with a share of 15%. My presentation didn’t show which producing countries made up the remaining 16% but Lutomer Riesling and Mateus Rose were still the choice of many UK wine drinkers! Australia and New Zealand were only just starting to make an impression in the 1980s (thanks to the foresight of ‘cutting-edge’ retailers such as Oddbins) and what about English Wines? Sadly (but perhaps justifiably at the time) no-one took them seriously. Certainly, grape varieties such as Hexelrebe, Bacchus, Dornfelder and even Muller-Thurgau failed to excite at a time when the UK consumer was starting to recognise (and make their choices, based on) grape varieties.

> Ian Harris at his investiture with the Queen


Traditional wine merchants were focused entirely on the wines of Europe, and I remember a ‘token gesture’ of one Australian wine (Ch Tahbilk) one English Wine (Lamberhurst) and even a wine from China (Great Wall) tucked away in the back pages of the first price list when I started in the industry in 1977. A holiday in California in 1986 – where I visited Napa and Sonoma, thanks to introductions from the Export Director of Robert Mondavi – was my first real insight into a world outside Europe, and my eyes were really opened to the ‘New World’ in 1987. Seagram UK were the UK distributors for the fledgling brands of Wolf Blass (Australia) and Montana (now Brancott, New Zealand), and I was responsible for Peter Dominic and Bottoms Up – names which have long since disappeared from the UK High St. When I joined the Marketing team in the early 90s, I remember heated meetings with my Seagram colleagues at our Bordeaux negociant and producer in France when I showed them Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon and Montana Sauvignon Blanc as examples of what the UK consumer was expecting from a wine at a pricepoint of £4.99!

Fast forward to the new millennium..

Even when I joined WSET as CEO in 2002, France was still providing the UK with 27% of its consumption (down from 40% in the early 1980s), but Germany had plummeted to a share of below 10% (down from 29% in the early 1980s) with Italy clinging on to a share of 12%. Australia had posted the most impressive growth – from a share of 0.1% in 1980, to over 17% in 2000. In the final two years of the last millennium, this represented an annual growth of over 20%. This growth rate was also mirrored by other ‘New World’ markets (New Zealand, Chile and even Argentina) – although South Africa had slowed down, although still growing in double-digits year-on-year. (Source of these stats: Seagram UK). So, when I joined WSET, I was disappointed to find that the New World still had a tiny proportion of the syllabus at all Levels

> WSET class (Certificate, Higher Certificate and Diploma) and my initial questions were met with the response that “the ‘New World’ was all about big brands, and uninteresting wines, which students didn’t want or need to understand”. So… priority No.1 was to bring the WSET syllabus up to date to reflect the 2002 market, (noting that 75% of WSET students at that time were in the UK). Today’s WSET students not only study a syllabus at all levels which reflects the current market, but they also learn about the commercial factors which influence the market. Back in 2002, priority No.2 was to convince the industry that education was good for their business. I was, by this point, no longer using the words wine ‘trade’, as this reminded me of the rather elitist culture when I first started working in 1977 – to me, we were all working in an ‘industry’, which started with the raw material which went into making a wine or a spirit and ended with the consumer purchasing a wine or spirit for consumption. The ‘industry’ therefore comprised every step of the supply chain and every person within it, and every company within every sector of that supply chain stood to gain if the consumer could be convinced to spend more on a glass, or a bottle, of wine or spirit. My message was clear: the more the consumer (and the person at point of purchase) knew about the product, the more the

consumer would be prepared to pay, and this increased margin would benefit every company up and down the supply chain in an industry which was struggling to turn even a small profit given the market conditions, not just in the UK but throughout the world. I argued that ‘Education’ (and WSET education in particular, obviously) should be seen as an integral part of the marketing mix. It is therefore very satisfying to see virtually all generic bodies placing a high focus on educating the consumer – my message was hitting home! By 2006, more than half of WSET’s students were based outside the UK, so the next priority was to convince producers in the major wineproducing countries that a knowledge of the global industry was key to their success. No longer could a producer in Bordeaux, Burgundy or Tuscany think of their competitors as the property down the road – competition was now coming from the other side of the world. In my archive of market data, I have unearthed a presentation from Vinexpo from that time (the mid 2000s) with data provided by IWSR and GDR, which showed total wine consumption in the UK still rising in volume, and rising even higher in value, so maybe this was a sign that the power of education in the wine industry – and the market we all serve – was taking effect. The figures from 2010 to 2020 (with grateful thanks to IWSR) show that the volume of wine

"I know that WSET has played its part in helping the UK consumer to drink better"

consumed in the UK continues on a slight downward trend, but the value has grown by 20%. I know that WSET has played its part in helping the UK consumer to drink better and – although still a fledgling part of the industry – so has the UK wine industry. The growth and reputation of wines produced in this ‘Green and Pleasant Land’ (that’s the UK for anyone who doesn’t know William Blake’s famous poem) continue to show that £30+ for a bottle of English fizz is a perfectly fair price for a wine which is growing in stature and in quality. My best wishes to all who are involved in UK wine production – and it’s not just about global warming, it’s about grabbing the opportunity – something which I told my WSET team we could do two decades ago.

So now, as I approach the end of my 20 year journey at WSET, I am stepping down from leading a wonderful organisation which educated 108,584 students in the last financial and academic year – the highest ever in WSET’s history, in spite of Covid-19 and a suspension of WSET’s business in China for the final six months of the year. My sincere thanks to the wonderful team at WSET, as well as the ‘extended family’ of thousands of WSET educators in the 70+ countries where WSET programs are now available - a far cry from the UK-centric WSET of two decades ago. It is a time of mixed emotions for me, but the wine industry is a bit like ‘Hotel California’, and again for those who don’t know the Eagles’ hit, my retirement from WSET is a bit like the line from that song: “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”. I will never be able to leave.



es Juk

Each bottle has a slightly different noteworthy attribute.


Unexpected heroes

Ma‫ ﬙‬h e

DESKTOP Envelope This month, I have gathered together a trio of wines that I think are genuine unexpected heroes. I say unexpected because while there is nothing obvious connecting these three wines, each bottle has a slightly different noteworthy attribute that has attracted me to it and yet none of these traits are what one would call predictable. All Angels gains its place by using the Rondo grape as a base for a spectacularly juicy sparkling rosé. There cannot be many wineries who have taken this particular plunge. Boco is a Charmat method sparkling wine that has elevated this vinification technique to a higher plane. A couple of wineries have succeeded with this method before, with Flint and Hattingley Valley two successful brands that spring to mind, but Boco has come out of the blue with highly stylised packaging that cleverly and convincingly puts you in an appropriate frame of mind before you pop the cork. I cannot emphasise just how important label design is for a wine’s success and I always mention eye-catching packaging when I spot it. Kinsbrook has two sub-themes that make me sit up and take note. The first is that this is a debut release and we all know just how difficult

it is to hit the ground running. The fact that this is such a delightful wine is testament to the immense care and patience taken during its production, but the attention to detail doesn’t stop here. A subtle, but incredibly effective, adjustment to the packaging has set this wine aside from the pack. You will see, from the image opposite, that this bottle stands out by waving a miniature flag at you by way of its delightful neckerchief. You can google the old

> Rondo grapes

2014 All Angels, Sparkling Rosé £31.99 £40.00 You see, or rather smell, that everything is not entirely as it seems when you put your nose into this glass. There is a bass note here that thuds metronomically, akin to The White Stripes Seven Nation Army’s intro, played through a great set of speakers. What is going on here? The answer is a terrific sparkling rosé that bases its foundations on the lusty Rondo variety. In addition to ebullient Rondo, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir make up the numbers, and so this is a rather lusty and flamboyantly designed rosé sparkling wine. But with all of this enthusiasm, does it work? The answer is that this is a thrillingly poised fellow with a bright 12% alcohol and a 7.6g/L dosage and these statistics manage to keep its toes on the ground. Not surprisingly, my tasting notes revolved around the layers of wild cherry, raspberry and hedgerow flavours that I find irresistible, but I wrote more about the styles of cuisine with which this wine ought to be paired than flavour descriptors. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this is a wine for fruity puds – it is not. It is too dry and structured. In fact, this is a wine that would come into its own with Indian feasts, Mexican meals, Chinese banquets and all manner of sweet’n’sour, spicy and chilli hot recipes that terrify most wines. I think that this outlier in the rollcall of English rosé sparkling wines ought to be recognised as a true pioneer.


packaging if you wish and you will see that this small but hugely impactful tweak has completely upgraded the visual impact of this wonderful wine. These wines might have been unexpected heroes had you come across them out of the context of this column, but I hope that the Vineyard Magazine faithful embrace their efforts such that they will all be considered trusted and reliable heroes from this day forwards.

NV Boco by House Coren £26.00

I have wanted to write this wine up for a while, and when I met the owners at the epic Vineyard & Winery Show last year, I felt that I genuinely understood the passion and ambition these guys have indeed managed to imbue in this creation. Made in the Charmat, or Prosecco method, from 42% Reichensteiner, 29% Chardonnay and 29% Pinot Noir, this is an elite Charmat at the top of this particular method’s tree! I had long wondered what the name meant and William Coren explained that he took it from the old Sussex regional dialect word ‘boco’ derived from the French ‘beaucoup’ meaning ‘more’! I love this – I can see Boco fans sitting in the sunshine this summer shouting Boco at the top of their voices while ice buckets are raided for more and more bottles of this slippery-smooth orchard scented wine. It is hard to find genuine aperitif styles these days that are not swamped with lashings of youthful acidity, and Boco’s crowd-pleasing shape and size makes it an alluring proposition for all-day glugging. I cannot finish this recommendation without mentioning the packaging – I think it wears one of the most eye-catching labels in the country.

2014 Kin, Vintage Cuvée, Kinsbrook Vineyard, West Chiltington £35.00 I have tasted this wine a couple of times over the last twelve months since first highlighting it in my own English Wines A-Z last June, and the more I see of it, the more it digs into my psyche. Made at Wiston, by our old friend Dermot Sugrue, from 61% Chardonnay, 26% Pinot Noir and 13% Pinot Meunier, this is the debut vintage of a new, Pulborough-based brand that is sure to go places. With a long 60 months lees ageing, there is an honesty and depth of fruit here that sits behind the open and engaging nose. Only 5871 bottles were made, so it is in rather limited supply, but I venture that those of you seeking lesser-known, artisanal wines with grand flavours ought to shop here. Rebecca Dancer, Marketing & Creative Director at the Beckett family’s business, explained that the bottles have also had a recent ‘glow-up’, trading the original, traditional black-foiled neck for a more modern neck adornment. This wine now looks even more chic, and this design flourish certainly matches the elegance of the flavours found in the glass. This is a sophisticated creation for gastro-aesthetes wishing to encourage new talent.

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


Meet the buyer

Nat iv Dror

Marks & Spencer English wine buyer Please tell me which English and/or Welsh Wines you stock? ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Chapel Down Sparkling English Brut Chapel Down Sparkling English Rosé Brut Ridgeview Cavendish Nyetimber Classic Cuvée Nyetimber Rose Balfour Cuvée Rosé Balfour Classic Cuvée Brut GinKing Rose Denbies English Lily Balfour Chardonnay Ortega Balfour English Rosé Denbies English Pink Lily Hambledon Classic Cuvée Brut

What are you looking for when considering new wines to list? Most importantly we’re always looking for delicious wines that our customers will enjoy and will buy again. This includes sourcing the best examples of customer favourites but also helping them discover less well-known styles and hidden gems. We’re also looking for long-term partners that will grow with us sustainably over time.


What do you expect a supplier/producer to supply you with, in advance? We constantly review the performance of our ranges, so suppliers pitching for listings should get to know our portfolio, where our potential future range gaps might be based on the wider market, and what volume and scale are needed.

What are English and Welsh producers doing well? It’s been great to see so many English and Welsh producers really telling their individual stories and engaging emotionally with customers, which helps take them on the journey and understand the brand. This is exactly what’s needed for long term growth!

What trends do you discern in wine sales? The key trends we’re seeing at M&S are a growth in sparkling wine (with English sparkling the fastest growing category within sparkling!), similar growth in rosé, and a strong customer focus on wines for gifting.

Your background

I have been a wine buyer at M&S for nine years, covering Champagne and Sparkling, England, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire and South America. I am currently in the final stage of the Master of Wine programme, writing my research paper. I have previously bought wine for other major retailers, but also worked for an independent family-owned importer. I started out my career in bars and restaurants in Israel and my claim to fame was opening the first Irish pub in Tel Aviv.

How did you become a wine buyer?

My first buying role was at SPAR UK, having gained experience in all aspects of buying, distributing and selling wine at Hayward Bros Wines.

What style, type, country’s wine, do you personally enjoy? It’s tough to list all the styles I have a soft spot for, but amongst them are Barolo and Barbaresco, Rhone, Bordeaux, South African barrel-aged Chenin Blanc, Australian Grenache. The list goes on…


7- 9 JU


20 - 2


Join over 14,500 drinks industry professionals at the UK’s biggest digital and live wine trade reunion

EXHIBIT IN THE WINE GB SECTION FOR AS LITTLE AS £1,700 Get in touch with London Wine Fair Sales Director Mara Veith to book: +44 (0) 20 7973 4788





What’s it all about? Wine Intelligence’s COO, Richard Halstead, gives a heads up on global wine trends and what they mean for English and Welsh wines. Global trends driving wine

Light-weighting/reducing glass packaging weight Despite many worthy efforts over the past three decades, the wine industry has yet to find a way of peeling consumers away from their love of a 75cl glass bottle. Part of the problem is that glass bottles work so well from a consumer point of view: they seem more environmentally friendly than plastic, they convey reassurance by reflecting the values, tradition, and quality of wine, and they look good on a table. Our consumer research shows that 55% considered glass to be a ‘sustainable’ form of wine packaging, compared with 35% who thought that a bag-in-box was sustainable. Why will this change in 2022? Influential figures in the wine industry, such as Jancis Robinson MW and Tim Atkin MW, have long campaigned against heavy wine bottles. Now this powerful group of influencers is rallying a growing coalition to their cause. Crucially, this now includes major retailers, who will use their buying power (and the need to meet their own carbon reduction targets) to strong-arm suppliers into committing to lightweight glass where possible (sparkling wine will still need heavier glass to cope with gas pressure). More pragmatically, strains on the global supply chain, in terms of raw material cost increases, rising fuel and transportation costs, and retailer reluctance to pass costs on to consumers, will force producers to seek out savings wherever they are available. Unnecessary packaging will seem an obvious place to start.

> Richard Halstead

Luxury wine will need to burnish sustainability credentials Around the world, wine drinkers are trading down in volume, and trading up in quality, and luxury wine is currently one of the main beneficiaries of this trend. However, when the tide of disposable income starts to ebb, as it surely will when inflation starts eating away at household incomes and travel reopens fully in the next year, consumers are likely to become more discriminatory in how they spend their money. The usual quality-andheritage pitch will no longer be sufficient.

The premiumisation train will keep on rolling in 2022

One of the most notable silver linings of the pandemic for the wine industry has been consumers’ willingness to transfer the budgets they would have spent in going out and travel into higher quality food and beverages for the home. Three factors will fuel the wine premiumisation train in 2022: the reluctance of some consumers – particularly the Boomer cohort – to re-engage with the on-premise and travel, which will reserve more of their budgets for at-home entertaining; the increasing influence of Millennials within most wine markets, who have been the biggest drivers of the drinkless-but-better movement; and a nasty inflationary crunch in the supply chain, combining the disastrous northern hemisphere wine harvest of 2021, which the OIV estimates reduced wine volumes by an estimated 18%, and rising energy, dry goods and transport costs.

Wine in cans will become low-alcohol wine RTDs in cans (and small bottles)

Canned wine made huge strides in 2021, both from a technical and a sales point of view, and this will continue in 2022. However, the big innovation will come from industry building new product sub-categories in wine that hit both of the growing trends of the 2020s: Wine in a portable, single serve format, with a low-alcohol formulation that turns it from wine to a wine-based sparkling drink. The continued growth of RTDs, especially in the US, is being led by an unprecedented bout of innovation in the category, and remains on course to grow substantially in 2022, according to forecasts from the IWSR. More astute RTD manufacturers are looking for ways in which they can premiumise their offering, which at the moment is largely focused around spirits-based beverages, using premium branded whiskies, rums and gins to drive consumer demand up the price ladder. There is also an increasing focus on flavour, according to the IWSR’s in-house market experts, which will see a shakeout of poorly formulated, low-value RTDs. Eventually, we think, the same logic of successful RTD innovation – marquee brands, better flavours – will be applied to premium wine products. We expect the first movers here will be the sparkling wine producers, especially Champagne houses with an eye on extending their reach into the low alcohol/single serve space.

Trends in wine drinking in the UK

See also:


RESEARCH Trends in alternative packaging formats in the UK

Significant growth for alternative packaging formats, canned wine in particular, in the UK Younger legal-drinking-age consumers are driving purchase of wine in cans. Purchase incidences of alternative formats for wine remain fairly low compared with that of the traditional 750ml bottle. However, various alternative packaging types are seeing increases in this measure, especially cans. The key to the can’s success lies in three Ps: portability, portion control and preservation, all of which appeal to Millennial and Gen-Z legal drinking age consumers. More than 1 in 10 consumers aged 18-34 years-old have recalled purchasing wine in a can over the last six months, three times more than for those aged 55+ and double that of the average UK regular wine drinker.

Trends in English and Welsh wines in the UK

English and Welsh wines (E/W) are experiencing increases in terms of both awareness and purchase, mainly driven by sparkling. More than ever, English wine is in the spotlight. Benefiting from a multitude of socio-economic factors, and a Covid-era desire to buy local and support local businesses, awareness and purchase rates of E/W wine have risen. One of the immediate effects of Covid-19 has been a shift towards local production, partially for a strengthening sense of belonging but also for accessibly. In this context, supply constraints for imported wines, including Champagne, has favoured English and Welsh still and sparkling wines. Simultaneously, English and Welsh wine has become more available and hence more visible, with offerings developing through diverse distribution channels. This includes premium outlets, but also at specialised wine retailers.

Wine Intelligence is a division of the IWSR Group

Trends in English and Welsh wines in the UK

See also:



From campsite to vineyard, from IT to winemaking, Hidden Spring and its owners have travelled a long way in a short time. Vineyard editor Christian Davis heads down to East Sussex.

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

an vis Editor Da

Hidden springs eternal

C h risti

VINEYARD FACT SHEET Vineyard : 23 acres, with 14 acres under vine. The estate includes a range of outbuildings that provide storage for vineyard and winemaking equipment. The remainder of the site is their house, drive, a public footpath that runs through the centre of the site past the door of the tasting room and a small paddock. Soils: Wealden clay over Tunbridge Wells sand. Aspect: Gently south facing, from 65m to 78m above sea level.

> David McNally

Grape varieties: ◆ 2016: We planted Bacchus, Chardonnay, Meunier, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir ◆ 2019: We added Cabernet Noir Diseases experienced: Powdery and downy as expected, sporadic Botrytis. Pests: Badgers, birds and wasps mainly. Trellising: Most vines are trained to single guyot, although we’ve moved to double guyot on the Bacchus to control vigour. Canopy management: Leaf stripping, mechanical vine trimming by Sam Barnes are the two main approaches. Green harvest: Yes in 2021 to ensure ripeness, but otherwise no. Harvesting: All harvesting is done by hand and taken to the winery immediately. We process the grapes as quickly as possible after they are picked. Timings: Harvest is typically late September to early October, except in 2021 when it was all in late October. Trends: We’ve had four harvests here and they’ve all been completely different. I wouldn’t say we have enough data for trends. What’s new? The Cabernet Noir that was planted in 2019 is an exciting new project for us. We had hoped for a first small harvest in 2021, but unfortunately the local bird population had other ideas and stripped the vines. Our bird scaring and bird netting regime will be more rigorous next year.

Photos: ©Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

Chris Phipps and David McNally had a lightbulb moment while enjoying a glass of Pinot Noir in a bar in New Zealand’s Martinborough after visiting the Coney winery nearby. “We had been talking about buying a house in the country, a holiday home, get a place with some vines,” said Chris. “The idea grew and grew.” After 15 years at city accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers doing programme management, the 46-year-old and 57-year-old David McNally, an IT consultant in publishing had spent a long time working for large organisations in London. They wanted to work for themselves and make something they could call their own. “We were in Martinborough on New Zealand’s North Island. We rented bikes and cycled to Coney. Tim Coney showed us around his 15 acres. We realised that we did not need as

much land as we thought. “After a few glasses of Pinot Noir in a bar in Martinborough, we had a ‘lightbulb moment’. It was an epiphany. We immediately started looking at land prices,” said Chris. With one bar, one restaurant and Martinborough Winemaker’s communal winery a significant presence in the town hall square, Chris describes the small Kiwi town as “Disney meets winemaking”. The couple started talking to estate agents across Kent, Sussex and Hampshire. In January 2015 Hidden Spring came on the market. The trouble was it was a campsite. Previously in the 1980s, it had been Huggetts, half an orchard, half a vineyard. It had been converted into a campsite. The owners had failed to sell it as a going concern. So, the property; a house with surrounding land was up for sale. The only problem was that the campsite had bookings until 1 October. <<

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


EDITOR'S VISIT IN THE WINERY FACT SHEET What happens in the winery? Harvesting, crushing and pressing, fermentation, clarification, and then ageing and bottling? All of the above, plus destemming, riddling, disgorging, cellaring and labelling. We’re proud to say that all of our still and sparkling wines go entirely from grape to glass without ever leaving the estate.

Processing/equipment: From Scharfenberger – ◆ Europress P34 (2t whole bunch, 3.4t destemmed) open press ◆ All our stainless steel tanks, cooling jackets, temperature control systems ◆ Kiesel IP3 impeller pump with variable speed control ◆ Kiesel SP45 mono pump with dry run protection and remote control ◆ Kiesel Rouser SG ◆ Sfoggia plate filter 40x40cm ◆ Hans Dampf steam generator ◆ Kreyer MCK141 chiller/heater From Frome Oenoconcept – ◆ Crusher destemmer – second hand ◆ TDD Disgorging and corking machines ◆ All our stillages

Harvesting: All grapes are hand harvested then pressed the same day on site. We occasionally sell some excess grapes, but not regularly.

Pressing/crushing: We generally press whole bunch with the exception of any grapes for our Rosé sparkling and eventually our Cab Noir red wines. We also destem a portion of our Bacchus and give the grapes a minimal skin contact time.

Fermentation: Stainless steel tanks at 14-15°C. We generally ferment the cuvée in stainless steel and take the Tailles into barrels. We use a mix of French and American oak of different ages to give us the maximum palate for blending.

Innoculation: Directly with a range of IOC yeasts and we currently perform MLF post primary fermentation which seems to work well for us and gives us good control.


Clarification: We rack off the course lees immediately after fermentation and primarily rely on bentonite, chill stabilisation and our pad filter to get the wines to their finished polished state. All our wines are vegan although we don’t shout about this.

<< “They moved out and we moved in the next day,” said Chris. “It was bonkers. Chaotic. We got married, moved house and changed careers. It was also my 40th birthday that year. We remembered about two or three days before and ended up just having some friends in.” For 15 months Chris continued to work for PWC, catching up with their prospective new life in the evenings and at weekends. Vine-Works was brought in to carry out a feasibility study, take soil samples and organise the planting. In the first tranche 25,000 vines were planted. In 2019 a further 1,200 vines were planted. “On paper, we thought the (lower) vineyard was too cold being at the bottom of the valley and having clay soils. Anyway, we thought we’d give it a go and planted Cabernet Noir. It was

Acidification/chapitalisation: We have never acidified a wine, but do chaptalise depending on the potential alcohol at harvest. Generally we have not needed to increase the potential alcohol by much and that is really down to our vineyards producing excellent ripe fruit.

Racking: Immediately after fermentation, leaving the fine lees for lees ageing over winter. Subsequent racking pre and post chill stabilisation.

Bottling: Done on site using a bottling line and excellent bottling service provided by BevTech. This is one of the few pieces of equipment we don’t own.

on track but then the vines were stripped by birds last year. We don’t think they could find any food.” Asked what they expected, Chris said: “We did not know what to expect. 2019: We got more than we expected. 2020: more ‘normal’. 2021: a really late year. We are not expanding – there is nowhere else to go!” “We have clayey soils so we have to deal with drainage and we get powdery and downy as expected, particularly on the Bacchus and sporadic Botrytis but we are lucky with the aspect and a micro climate. The expectation is for circa 30,000 bottles a year.” David McNally enrolled at the University of California at Davis (‘UC Davis’) one of the world’s leading educational institutions for viticulture and oenology. During two years of study, David began hands on winemaking

Ageing: Lees aged in barrels and tanks over winter. We use a mixture of French and American oak barrels to expand the palate of blending components. Our goal is to age our Sparkling wine in the cellar for a minimum of three years but potentially much longer, for example we have a Blanc de Blancs that we think may age for 10 years before release.

Trends: Every year is different and we have made wine here from four harvests so there isn’t really enough data to infer trends yet.

What’s new: Recently, they have invested in a crusher-destemmer for the production of rosé and red wines. Other than that most equipment was bought in 2018 when the winery was opened. They made their first rosé sparkling wine and are hoping to release that in a year or so.

Hidden Spring Grape inventory: ◆ Bacchus ◆ Pinot Gris ◆ Cabernet Noir ◆ Chardonnay ◆ Pinot Meunier ◆ Pinot Noir producing fruit

working with Ulrich Hoffman, creating Hidden Spring’s first new wine for many years from the 2015 harvest. With a desire for more knowledge of English winemaking and more practical skills David studied at Plumpton College, the UK’s leading educational institution for wine and which produces world class winemaking and vineyard graduates that work

across the globe. Hidden’s flagship wine is the Classic Cuvée. The 2018 vintage will come out later this year. David, whose grand piano is resplendent in the Hidden’s tasting room, says the Blanc de Blancs 2017 with five years on the lees, may be released later this year. Guardedly he states that a rosé may also be released this year but

then adds: “It has a bit more ageing potential, so it maybe early next year. “Rosé is a summer drink so we look to release it in the spring. But Christmas is also a good time for rosé.” By the way, the pair are ably assisted by Micaela English, Hidden’s vineyard manager >> and assistant winemaker.

YOUR FRUIT, YOUR PICK, YOUR CHOICE EUROPRESS EP / EUROPRESS EQ Proven Scharfenberger technologies in both of our series of grape presses: EUROPRESS EP with a focus on technology, ease of use and self-learning EUROPRESS EQ the standard needs of any cellar and ease of use.

Philipp-Krämer-Ring 30 / D-67098 Bad Dürkheim / /

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

EDITOR'S VISIT In a nutshell Hidden Spring is situated on a 23 acre small-holding in Horam, just outside Heathfield, in East Sussex. The vineyard was originally established in 1986 and experienced many years of high-quality wine production, providing award-winning wines. In the mid 2000s the vineyard was converted to a campsite and continued to draw people to Horam. In 2015 Chris Phipps and David McNally took over the site and expanded the former vineyard site, removing the remains of the campsite and planting over 25,000 vines across 13 acres.

The wine maker: David McNally is head winemaker and is responsible for all decisions in the winery once the grapes have been delivered from the vineyard. Full time in the winery, David takes harvested grapes through pressing, fermentation in stainless steel tanks and barrels, to blending and bottling. The couple are proud to be able to offer wine that has been transformed from grape to glass on site! David has been known to get his hands dirty in the fields too though…

> Bacchus

> Pinot

<< So, if they started again, what would they do, or not do? Chris said succinctly: “Plant fewer vines. Some of the rows taper down so it is difficult to get to them when spraying and harvesting (where the rows are short as the land tapers down).”

The viticulturist: Chris Phipps (pictured with Micaela English) has also been a long-term enthusiastic wine consumer and has moved from 20 years in the IT industry into becoming a dedicated viticulturist. He's also been known to help out in the winery on occasion.

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

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

Hidden Spring’s website sums up

“While our newly planted vines became established we realised we needed to develop the routes to market for the wine to come so we made wine originally from grapes bought from other vineyards in England. Our first harvest from our own vines came in 2018 and coincided with the opening of our purpose-built winery. In September we were delighted to have Olly Smith do the honours of opening the winery. The first wines established our reputation for quality Bacchus and Pinot Gris still wines and we have now released our first sparkling wines, Classic Cuvée and Blanc de Noirs and our Bacchus Fumé which is stocked by Waitrose. “It was always part of our vision to try to recreate the hospitality we received from the vineyards in New Zealand. In particular Tim Coney of Coney Vineyard in Martinborough and Elephant Hill south of Napier. We built our cellar door shop and tasting room in 2016 and our visitor numbers have grown exponentially to the point that we are currently recruiting for a tasting room manager and weekend cellar door support.”

In conclusion

“Our passion has been to leave people with a smile on their faces as they leave and hopefully having been informed, educated and entertained during their visit with us.” So, hope springs eternal for Chris and David at Hidden Spring. The trickle down effect seems to be working.

Brand new eco-posts


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

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


Contact us:



Rob S

ders un

A natural boost to plant functions





per Coo

With a vast array of biostimulants for use on vines, Hutchinsons agronomists Rob Saunders and Chris Cooper highlight what to look out for. Historically, the world of biostimulants, which includes plant elicitors, has been familiar to many conventional growers who have used Maxicrop products for over 40 years, but as fungicide chemistry becomes more limited and fertiliser costs rise, so more growers are looking at alternative ways to boost plant defences and nutrient use efficiency. Understanding the multitude of products within this extensive sector can be quite daunting, especially as products work in different ways, often featuring complex interactions between plant biology and microbes. Given the complexity of plant/disease/nutrition interactions, it can also be hard to quantify the benefits of using any biostimulant or elicitor, so there may be understandable caution about incurring additional cost.

The effect spreads systematically in the plant and when COS and OGA are detected by cell membrane receptors, three main responses are triggered: ◆ Cellulose and lignin is deposited to thicken plant cell walls against attack ◆ Production of oxidising chemicals (peroxidase) toxic to attacking fungi increases ◆ Production of anti-fungal toxins (salicylic acid) also increases. It typically takes three initial well-timed applications to build up these defence mechanisms, during which time vines should be kept disease-free, using conventional products where necessary. Another product, Romeo, uses the cell wall of a specific yeast strain to induce internal plant defence mechanisms against diseases.



Essentially, elicitors work by “switching on” the vine’s natural immune system, making it more resilient to attack by pathogens. They do not offer complete immunity or curative control of disease already present, so should be viewed as a way of supporting rather than replacing fungicides. Elicitors should be used as an addition to integrated disease control programmes, reducing the reliance and pressure on chemical options and “buying” flexibility should conventional spraying get disrupted by the weather. “Switching on” the specific acquired resistance system offers more sustained disease protection, using the vine's systemic immunity to reach newly emerged foliage, rather than only protecting those leaves that received a fungicide spray. One reasonably well understood elicitor is FytoSave, based on two naturally occurring complex carbohydrates, COS (Chito-oligosaccharides) and OGA (Oligogalacturonans), which it uses to mimic attack by a pathogen (e.g. powdery mildew), thus stimulating the plant to defend itself.


The activity of biostimulants is somewhat different to elicitors, in that biostimulants support the plant’s metabolism and/or the soil microbial community associated with the plant. Products typically contain substances and/or microorganisms that when applied to the plant or soil, stimulate the natural processes involved with nutrient uptake, nutrient use efficiency, stress tolerance and/or crop quality. Phosphite-based products, for example, enhance root development, which improves nutrient and water uptake, with all the knock-on benefits this can bring to vine health, resilience and grape quality. Other biostimulants are believed to increase the production of root exudates, up-regulating a natural process which is key to “feeding” the soil biology involved with nutrient uptake – increasing exudates can therefore boost the nutrient availability to vines. This appears to be one of the actions of CropBioLife (CBL), a flavonoid-based biostimulant. Glycine-betaine based products (e.g. Lalstim

DESKTOP ENVELOPE phone-alt 01945 461177 A P R I L 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

Osmo) can have a particularly useful role early in the season for frost protection and later in the year for overcoming environmental stress. When exposed to cold, plants produce their own glycine-betaine to improve tolerance to freezing, so applying this before frost occurs (typically 3-4 days ahead), should help condition the plant in readiness, reducing, but not eliminating, the risk of damage occurring. Seaweed extract products, such as Maxicrop or Kelpak, also offer proven frost protection benefits, as they increase the concentration of solutes in and between cells, fractionally reducing their freezing point. Even a small gain of 0.5°C could make all the difference to reducing frost damage. In past seasons, such as after the late frosts in May 2020, we have seen the critical role that biostimulants and good nutrition play in providing a wide range of nutrients, hormones, amino acids and other biological compounds to promote recovery and secondary bud growth should frost damage occur. It is worth noting that any gains to vine health from improved disease resilience are not always visually apparent on robust varieties that already have good genetic tolerance (e.g. Seyval blanc, Rondo). However, the benefits may be clearer in more susceptible varieties, including popular classics such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Bacchus, especially in high disease pressure seasons.


The most reliable and comfortable sprayers on the market VERMOREL























SAV EN FRANCE For all orders of Laser Industrie products please contact our UK wholesale Spindrift Sprayers Ltd. Tel – 01995 600001 Email –












For viticulturists in Great Britain In association with

2 2 0 2 N I S U N I JO

23rd November 2022 Kent Event Centre, Detling, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3JF


Event Director Sarah Calcutt 07827 642396 Booking enquiries Jamie McGrorty 01303 233883

Sponsored by

Vitifruit Equipment Sales and Hire


The influence of vineyard soils The influence of vineyard soils on wine quality has long been recognised by both winemakers and vine growers. This impact is largely as a result of the soil’s influence on vine vigour and it’s indirect effect on wine composition. An overly vigorous vine will produce excess canopy which creates shading that will limit ripening. This excess vegetation also traps moisture in wet or humid conditions which increases disease pressure. Although this somewhat analytical view may not have the romance of traditional views on terroir, there is no doubt that a vineyard’s soil and how it is managed plays a considerable role in creating wines of quality. It is essential that vineyard soils are managed in a way that encourages a healthy, balanced growth of foliage and fruit. When assessing a site’s soil characteristics for viticulture, the first element to consider is its broad soil type. Soil types can be categorised by their varying composition of sand, silt and clay. While there is no such thing as a perfect soil make up, high potential vineyards will have a ratio of the three, that when incorporated with a suitable management programme, encourage ideal vine balance and crop production. Clay soils hold nutrients and water well, but are slow to drain and take longer to warm in the spring. Whereas sand and silt soils leach nutrients readily, but rapidly warm in spring. Therefore, soil management practices must be tailored to suit the vineyard’s individual soil type. For example, a heavy clay site will likely require cultivation in the autumn or spring to aid soil warming and aeration, but will be less likely to require considerable nutrient applications. On the other hand, a very sandy site would not benefit from frequent cultivation, but will need close monitoring of nutrient levels. The next important consideration is the soil’s pH. A soil’s inherent acidity or alkalinity impacts the rate at which certain essential nutrients are absorbed by the grapevine. In extreme cases this can result in deficiencies or toxicity. It is best to make adjustments to soil pH pre-planting as pH cannot be changed rapidly. The pH of a soil is in a constant state of flux and therefore should be monitored regularly and managed to maintain a suitable level. Highly alkaline soils will benefit from organic matter

applications to increase acidity, alternatively acidic soils would require additions of calcium based products (commonly lime) to increase alkalinity. Somewhat counter intuitively, the final factor to evaluate is the soil’s nutrient content. While there are a number of nutrients essential to vine growth and health, grapevines are not a particularly nutrient-demanding crop and can grow well in a variety of conditions. In general, any nutrient imbalances in the soils can be corrected pre-planting. However, their impact in the soil long term will be directly linked to the soil type and pH as mentioned above. It holds that grapevines require a steady, suitable supply of nutrients in order to remain healthy and productive over the long term. Their ability to withstand fungal infections is closely related to nutrient supply, which is of particular importance in the UK’s disease conducive climate. Therefore, regular monitoring of the soil and vines themselves for deficiencies is essential.

Tom Re


Vine-Works Managing vineyard soils begins at the pre-planting stage where adjustments can be most effective. After site and variety selection, the most impactful decision that can be made for the future of the vineyard is rootstock selection. Pairing an appropriate rootstock for the characteristics of the soil will best set up the vineyard for balanced future growth. Considered management practices in the vineyard will keep soils in optimum condition and vines producing high quality yields season after season. Vine-Works recommends collaborating with experienced viticulturists and agronomists to ensure the right approaches are carried out to protect and maintain your vineyard soils.

DESKTOP ENVELOPE phone-alt 01273 891777



Then the nursery work... In an occasional A Day in the life of a Viticulturist series, Sam Doncaster recounts what he is doing at Rebschule Freytag, in Germany's Pfalz region and ventures his opinion about the sort of cutting edge practices he is dealing with. Vine nursery work is not an area of viticultural activity that gets talked about much, in cooler regions, such as the UK. To a large extent this being on account of a need for goodly warmth in the soil, when planting out young vines into a nursery. These new young plants, whether they are simple cuttings from a chosen 'Mother Vine', or have had budwood from the 'Mother Vine' grafted onto a chosen rootstock, are little more than simple, bare, rootless sticks. They need warmth to promote root growth. But there is a lot of work undertaken prior to that. So much work that while there are seasonal 'highs' in activity, there could be numerous places to start to outline the annual round of works undertaken.


Collecting the materials to work with being quite a good place to start thinking about this. Vine Nurseries prefer to graft up vines as per orders received. They do, however, run a few speculative vine/rootstock combinations for orders that they anticipate coming later. A nursery is not a supermarket with a few items, which when out of stock can be re-delivered in a couple of weeks time. With five or six common rootstocks, 25-to-35 common varieties where each one may hold a range of clonal options, plus some more obscure requirements from some customers, perhaps a range of experimental grafting's to be included in the grafting programme as well, then it is easy to see how the range of products

runs into hundreds. After this, grafted vines commonly come in three different heights, or lengths of rootstock used, and there have been times when there is large demand for 'potted vines’. These potted vines being grafted, grown on in a glass house, and then planted out in a vineyard all within the same growing season. Rootstock is commonly grown elsewhere as by a separate company. They supply an ordered number of lengths of straight, cut/trimmed rootstock, with a thickness to match that of the budwood, as collected closer to home. These rootstock 'Mother Blocks' are frequently checked over by visiting senior nursery staff, sometime in the previous growing season.

> An Omega cut

Nurseries endeavour to cultivate their own selection blocks for budwood. This way they have some control over the quality of the budwood that will be used for grafting. This can be important for several reasons, but a significant reason being the ease and availability for virus checking alongside ensuring there are no 'rogue' varieties giving a mix of possible varieties...within one single order from the customer. While some effort is given to keeping as much of the activity as close to home as is possible, there are highly regarded colleagues and partners within the industry. A significant benefit of this lies in the possibility to do a little 'horse trading', buying and selling of materials like budwood.

While I believe that there are more than 10 hectares of carefully nurtured blocks of vines, all specifically cared for to supply budwood for the nursery, it simply is not possible to hold all vine types and clones, for all possible customer requirements. Because these vines are well managed and hold a good nutrient basis, they also produce good quality grapes...but sometimes only in ‘row-by-row’ quantities. Small amounts of some new varieties, such as those coming out of the Piwi vine breeding programme, might be destined to a local research station, for trial wine making. But while other larger blocks, such as Chardonnay, come in a range of clonal variation, come the grape harvest it might be more practical to simply run a harvester through the whole lot

>A pile of high stem grafts with short hormone impregnated wax, prior to callus box packing

and sell the grapes elsewhere. However, there is always careful harvesting of budwood for grafting purposes. Another source of variety for an international vine nursery business, is language. Where I am here, in the Pfalz, Germany, is not quite the hub, geographically, for Europe, it is however very much a 'cross roads'. Suppliers of materials and equipment come from far and wide, as do the international lorry drivers. Customers and those with general enquiries contact us daily from all corners of Europe, and indeed there are international research collaborations as well. Next come the multi-national labour teams, plus an occasional student or someone seeking practical learning experience. This was how after a few enquiries I ended up here, (from New Zealand.) I hope that my writing is not a source of alarm for some customers, but by now you will begin to see the beginning, and only the beginning, of how complex a vine nursery is. Thus the accuracy of consistency in production being true to type, is reliant on systems, and very good ones as well. If a winemaker has a delivery of a truckload of grapes, and from this the resulting wine is perhaps not quite as it could have been, (maybe how it would have been in another person’s hands,) it is unlikely to stand out. However any mistakes in a vine nursery, and there is nowhere to hide; being there for all to see, and talk about – forever. So systems and discipline are meticulously adhered to as a vine nursery is only as good as its reputation. After my initial training here I have gone on to work in one capacity or another, in the production of approximately 10 million vines. This is why I can come back here with ease, because the systems are the best I've seen, even if I get to hear it all in another language.

Sam Doncaster works for Volker and Marion Freytag, of Rebschule Freytag, Lachen-Speyerdorf, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Pfalz. ds in English and Welsh wines in the UK 43 A P R I L 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D


New biostimulant to help reduce risk during flowering With temperature records having been broken across the UK this winter, growers will be wary of a repeat of 2021’s ‘false spring’ where a devastating late frost hit Italian and French vineyards while in full flower, reducing production significantly. Fortunately vines in the UK remained at mouse ear stage and were saved from the worst effects, however early budding varieties eg Chardonnay still experienced some significant damage.

Why is this a problem?

Plants emerging from dormancy prematurely because of mild weather is an increasingly likely scenario with the effects of climate change now being well and truly felt. Whilst frost is the most immediate issue to achieving good fruit set, vines breaking bud into unsettled weather leaves them vulnerable to subtle environmental conditions which can play a major role in destabilising the sensitive process of flowering. Ideally the weather during flowering should be dry, sunny and warm to ensure optimal fruit set, conditions our vines might experience for only intermittent periods! Cold, wet, grey conditions and poor nutrition (especially boron) can all affect genetic upregulation of the plant hormone ‘polyamin’. This can disrupt meristem transition, embryonic sac development and pollination tube formation, resulting in: ◆ Small, immature berries among clusters of otherwise normal berries (the ‘hen and chick’ symptom). ◆ A variable cluster/cluster-weight. ◆ Decreased cluster weight and total yield. ◆ Decreased year 2 fertility because of poorly developed inflorescences in year 1. These symptoms can also have an impact on wine quality, reducing alcohol content and increasing acidity from the altered skin-juice ratio as well as tainting wine with a ‘green’ flavour. However, for some varieties this may not always be a major issue and is in fact sometimes sought out!

What can I do?

Whilst the current weather conditions seem stable, it is sensible for growers to do everything they can to ensure maximum crop health during this sensitive period. With these issues in mind UPL have launched a new biostimulant, VIVAFLOR, for use in vines this season. Containing a mixture of the unique biostimulant GA142 plus micronutrients tailored to flowering health including Boron, Magnesium and Sulfur, the product has been used across France and Italy for over 10 years. The product is designed to upregulate Polyamin at a genetic level during the flowering period, mitigating against abiotic stress and allowing the vine to maintain normal flower development. The claims of the product have been validated by independent scientific review via the publication Phytoma via the University of Bordeaux. The articles demonstrated the product upregulated the genetic expression of hormones related to flowering health1, upregulated anthocyanin content2 for improved harvest quality, improved vine fertility3, improved health of latent buds3 and improved cluster weight and overall yield3. Field trials demonstrated: ◆ VIVAFLOR increased bunch width and weight whilst bunch number stayed the same. ◆ VIVAFLOR increased sugar and starch content in latent buds. In addition, 138 grower scale trials have taken place in France since 2009 which demonstrated a significant increase in bunch weight, a more homogenous cluster/cluster-weight and a 33% reduction in extreme berry classes. VIVAFLOR is easily tank mixable with most fungicides, insecticides and fertilisers and is anticipated to achieve organic certification. UPL recommends applying VIVAFLOR three times, from BBCH 57-69 at a dose rate of 2 L/ha. The launch of VIVAFLOR compliments UPL’s existing portfolio in vines, the fungicide ‘Thiopron’ which has a label claim for powdery mildew in viticulture.

* 1) Phytoma n° 609 November 2007 2) Phytoma n° 702 March 2017 3) Phytoma n° 718 November 2018


DESKTOP ENVELOPE phone-alt Miles Taylor 07776 965801 A P R I L 2 0 2 2 | V I N E YA R D

Michigan State University green graphic


« Our expertise for your vineyard » Vine makers from A to Z • Personalised follow-up service French nursery leader • Guidance for your plantation

Are you planning to plant in 2023 ? Feel free to contact Coline, our sales Engineer to support you in your project. (+33)7 88 40 29 83 • (+33)4 90 70 50 66

Are weeds welcome?

Jo Co w


roy e d

For most vineyards the aim is to achieve the best possible crop from healthy vines in the most environmentally sustainable way possible. Sharing space with other plants such as weeds - impacts the vine both positively and negatively as can weed control methods. Jo Cowderoy speaks to viticulturists and agronomists to find out their views on getting the balance right – and as usual no one size strategy fits all!


A weed is just a wild plant growing where it is not wanted – but as it can compete for nutrients and water it can have a significant effect on vine growth, fruit quality and yield. Weed control is one of the most challenging tasks for a vineyard manager. Historically there were herbicides, but these are less available and less acceptable, and the alternatives, mechanical or otherwise, are not always straightforward - as choosing a suitable method is dependent on many factors. Many vineyards are looking towards an herbicide free future and considering the steps to achieve this. Duncan McNeill, Viticulturist, McNeill Vineyard Management, manages his own vineyard and several of his client’s vineyards successfully, without the use of herbicides. “There are a few ‘high level’ considerations,” advised Duncan. “Firstly, ensure that soil organic matter levels are good enough to hold reasonable soil moisture – as there will be more competition for moisture from other plants. Don’t make expensive machinery purchases without having researched and trialled their effectiveness on your land and with your tractor. Consider the per acre investment for a piece of equipment on your site – as maybe there are other, less appealing chemical free methods which are more cost effective. “Ensure your chosen piece of equipment is sufficient to cover your entire vineyard in a suitable time window as some equipment requires very slow driving speeds. Make a plan, and start non-herbicide weed control early in the spring. If undervine weeds become established, they are very hard to remove mechanically - and hand weeding can then be the only solution. I allow the undervine strip to green up over autumn and winter as this dormant season undervine green cover helps to avoid soil erosion and loss of soil structure,” Duncan added. “Phasing out the habitual use of herbicide is inevitable for various reasons that we all know and we also have a duty to protect the soils that we grow our crops in. Whilst there is no ‘recipe’ to sustainable vineyard management, I like to simplify the theories and create practical, workable solutions,” explained Joel Jorgensen, Viticulture Director, Vinescapes. “Steering away from cultural practices that have become the norm over decades can be hard, but with a calculated approach it is possible to go herbicide free, with relative ease, and reap the benefits for years to come,” Joel added.

Weed competition

As vineyards in the UK are not generally short of water and are often planted on fertile soils does competition from weeds affect vine growth? This has been the subject of an ongoing research project at the NIAB-EMR plant research centre at East Malling, in Kent. The IWMPRAISE project

involved trials over several years assessing the impact of weed control on the yield and quality of the crop in their experimental vineyard. The trials used two different types of mechanical weeders and an herbicide treatment in the undervine area. The results were then compared with an untreated control area. The study measured canopy growth and the concentration of different leaf pigments, to give an indication of the nutrient status of the vines. At an event hosted by NIAB-EMR last November, and reported in Vineyard, the project findings showed that in 2020, all weed treatments resulted in a yield 214% to 247% higher than the control, and in 2021 this was increased to 261% to 292% higher – indicating the negative effect that weed competition has on vine growth. The results did not vary significantly with the different methods of control – mechanical or herbicide.

Best practice methods

As there is no one strategy, best-practice weed management can be difficult to define, but it does need to consider an integrated approach with an understanding of the risks understanding the risks to the vines if the weeds are not controlled. Best practice management methods are influenced by the vineyard situation, the age of the vines, the soil and vigour as well as targeted herbicide or selecting non-herbicide options including cultivation, mowing, cover crops, mulches, or sheep. Peter Hayes, Australia – based Viticulturist and Global Wine Industry Strategist, has advised many UK vineyards over the years. “For best practice weed management my personal preference is for a permanent sward mid-row, either a selected sown mix or a suitable volunteered, self-sown, and managed locally adapted population,” explained Peter. “This facilitates year-round trafficability, minimises rutting and compaction - and for sloping or light-textured soils, inhibits erosion. However, such an approach is challenged when aggressive, competitive weeds such as bind weed are present in which case an extended campaign, specifically designed to eliminate or suppress the problem is required; this could entail targeted

herbicide – although it’s best to gain control ahead of planting, with the use of suppressive sown sward or grazing etc – as cultivation is more likely to fragment and spread many of the problem weeds. “For undervine, it depends in large part on the site characteristics including soil depth, texture, root volume and weed composition, all of which interact with and influence vine vigour. For higher vigour sites and where vine vigour suppression may be beneficial, an appropriately selected semi-competitive sward may be effective; this may then be grazed, treated with herbicide, mowed, flailed, topped, or strimmed as required, and if too competitive, cultivated. “For weaker vigour vineyards, undervine vegetation may not be tolerated in which case the requirement for tillage should be recognised and utilised with well-timed interventions, appropriate to weed type, growth characteristics, stage of development, and soil conditions. Too many operators indulge in recreational tractor driving/ diesel burning and are often ‘compelled’ – by logistical and scheduling issues – to cultivate when soils are too wet, resulting in soil structure degradation, compaction, and smearing; possibly not getting effective weed control. “At the other extreme, when cultivated too dry, soil degradation is also an issue, but is perhaps a lesser concern in the UK. For young vines, the issues may be different, and certainly, in weaker areas, the benefits of a weed-free undervine strip, potentially supported by a compost-mulch blend warrants attention. “As well as the effects of competition, undervine vegetation, especially as it grows taller increases humidity, restricts airflow, and can elevate disease risk, while impeding spray application. The consequences for physical entanglement and ease of harvest are also issues. “The logistics and merits of any alternative need to be assessed against the downsides and costs with no singular approach being necessarily appropriate for all time or all situations across any vineyard,” said Peter. According to Duncan McNeill: “Best practice is a weed presence that does not negatively impact on vine vegetative production, disease risk <<

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


WEEDS << or fruit ripening. This might be zero weeds, some weeds or a green undervine cover. “It enables soil structure to be maintained in the undervine strip, via some weed root growth, incorporating vegetative matter and not having prolonged periods of bare earth. It helps avoid soil degradation in the undervine strip, which can be caused by water or wind erosion. In young vineyards (years one and two) weed presence should be kept to a minimum. This is to encourage more vine shoot growth, as increased leaf area equals increased root development – which equals better establishment. Greater leaf area also encourages more photosynthate to be excreted out from the roots, thus pumping ‘liquid carbon’ into the soil. This is storing atmospheric CO2 in the soil and improving the soil by increasing the levels of organic carbon,” added Duncan. “I think leaving weeds unchecked can be

OK, depending on the vine’s age and vigour,” commented Will Davenport, owner of organically managed Davenport Vineyards. “A deep rooting healthy vine should not suffer from too much water competition. With our high rainfall and generally fertile soils I think this is an area that could be researched properly and looked at as an option.” “It depends on the weed and time of the year,” added Duncan. “Early spring weeds such as groundsel, dandelion and red dead nettle are not detrimental to spring vine growth, they attract insects and should be allowed to grow. However, other deep rooting weeds such as thistles or fat hen are certainly detrimental to vine growth - especially newly planted vines,” Duncan continued. According to Chris Cooper, Agronomist with Hutchinsons: “For the herbicide glyphosate, there is realistically only Round Up Powermax – and this

> Diverse grass mix sown in August of year one and photo taken May year two. Herbicide used in some places


isn’t easily available for 2022. We have Fusilade Max, but this is only for grasses, and not very effective. Shark is available for sucker and weed control – but only does a limited amount of broadleaved weeds and the Kerb season of use has passed. It’s early days for Finalsan, it’s expensive, has a limited period of use and I haven’t had much success to date,” explained Chris. “Kerb, Shark and glyphosate are in-registration so it’s up to the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) to decide if these products will continue as approved,” Chris added.

Mechanical vs chemical

Without the use of herbicides, mechanical weeding is an option, but does that bring with it increased costs, and carbon footprint? “It all depends,” commented Peter Hayes. “An absolute or definitive outcome cannot be defined for any singular situation. Synthetic inputs, in themselves

have a carbon footprint that can be calculated, as can the carbon costs of operations in applying the herbicide or undertaking cultivation. Excessive passes, beyond those needed and which can be achieved through good observation, scheduling and optimal treatment efficiency should minimise time, diesel (or other energy), soil degradation, and the carbon and nitrogen losses associated with cultivation. “It does seem to me that the swing-back to cultivation has conveniently ignored or forgotten the downside with carbon and nitrogen losses associated with cultivation; how then to minimise the losses while maximising the benefits?” Asked Peter. “There are more machinery passes required if using mechanical methods over herbicide – regardless of a dry or a wet growing season, about an additional two to three passes per season. As a percentage of running costs this is

negligible as our biggest cost is manual labour, rather than tractor operation,” commented Duncan. “However, chemical herbicides are very harmful to the soil ecosystem. The harm caused to soil biology far outweighs some additional tractor passes involved in mechanical weed control. Glyphosate works by inhibiting the production of an enzyme called EPSPS in plants – and also in micro-organisms. This enzyme enables the production of three essential aromatic amino acids, without which the plant or organism is unable to synthesise proteins or secondary metabolites. Therefore, target weeds are affected, but also many of the essential micro-organisms that live in the rhizosphere – area around the roots – feeding off root exudates whilst supplying mineral nutrients in return. This creates a soil which is unable to nourish the vines growing in it without applying synthetic fertiliser. “Unfortunately, synthetic fertilisers kill off even more soil microbes and leads to vines becoming reliant on applied fertilisers alone for their nutrition. If wine is an expression of terroir, then to kill off the microbial population in the soil is surely the worst way to undermine the true expression of place and time which the wine is supposed to convey,” Duncan continued.

> Direct drill > Disc weeder

> Double sided roller hacker. Made by ALM, supplied by BR Strathernd

Cover cropping

Photos: Duncan McNeil

When asked if he recommends cover crops, Peter Hayes gives an emphatic, “yes! Many seed companies or local agronomists can suggest a locally adapted, potentially ‘indigenous’ mix,” he added. “For some sites, naturally developed swards as guided by the managers on-site practice, can also be effective. “The usefulness of annual ‘green manure’ crops, which can possibly be under-sown with perennials, selected for a range of functions – such as bulk organic matter or nitrogen-fixing – may also be relevant in some situations and potentially break a cycle of developing perennial weeds. However, there’s considerable energy expended to prepare and seed and consider their potential to elevate frost risk and severity if not terminated early. “Annual green manure crops are commonly reincorporated, with a related energy cost and loss of carbon to oxidation but may also be rolled down or mown and left to the elements and soil biology to incorporate and degrade. I suggest this topic is one that could readily see locally sponsored and implemented trials to achieve adapted answers for differing soils, vineyard vigour, local climate, and management objectives,” explained Peter. At Davenport vineyards, Will Davenport relies on the natural vegetation for cover cropping. “If we sowed a low vigour cover under the vines it would almost certainly be out-competed by the <<

Photo: Mikey Hollington of Crows Lane Estate

> Roller hacker with combined finger weeder

> Bud rubber/ mechanical weeder by VBC. Supplied by BR Strathern

> ALM roller hacker. Interchangeable with disc weeder, depending on soil moisture conditions. “I prefer the roller hacker as it doesn’t flip or invert the soil in the way that the disc weeder does”


WEEDS << more vigorous grasses in the seed bank – and after a few months we would be back to the plants that we already have in situ. Cover crops are more useful in the vineyard rows where they can be managed properly,” said Will. “We don’t direct drill our cover crops yet, but this is in theory the best method,” explained Duncan. “ It avoids exposing bare soil and the right implement can achieve a very good seed strike rate. “Cover cropping can also be done in a more simple way, without major topsoil cultivation. I have a front mounted seed spreader and a trailed set of Cambridge rollers behind to ensure soil/ seed contact. This is a one pass method. If going into well-established grass sward even a pass with a simple chain harrow beforehand can be enough to disturb the surface sufficient for seeding,” Duncan added.

Woolly weed eaters

Photo: Danbury Ridge


> Diverse ‘humus’ builder mix at Danbury Ridge 2016. Contains various clover, cocksfoot, vetch. Undervine area herbicide free. Massive improvement in soil organic matter level

“Increasingly, this appears to be a realistic way to integrate animals into the vineyard system and to further the circular economy for soil carbon and other nutrients,” commented Peter Hayes. Getting the best effect probably requires attention to grazing management; stocking density, rotational cell grazing, timing etc may warrant specific evaluation. Winter grazing appears effective for many; attending to the bulk of organic matter and many escape weeds but may present issues on heavier soils with pugging and compaction risk under wet conditions,” added Peter. “We graze one of our vineyards with sheep over winter,” explained Will Davenport. “This is a very useful tool in tidying up the vineyard. However, we can’t use sheep in all our vineyards because of lack of fencing and water or use by dog walkers,” he added “Danbury Ridge are introducing sheep postharvest, over the winter and up until spring,” explained Duncan. “It makes complete sense and is achievable as long as fencing is in place. Not only do the sheep graze the weeds but their manure nourishes the soil and introduces new microbes into the soil – helping achieve a diversity of soil microbiology. It is better to concentrate livestock in a small section which creates a high grazing density, otherwise if the livestock are allowed to roam the entire vineyard they will end up grazing only their preferred plants. This is the basis of a system called Planned Holistic Grazing developed in South Africa and Australia from the 1960s onwards. It is effective in ensuring that deep rooted succulent plants are not grazed to elimination, and that a diverse range of plant species are able to thrive rather than just those species which are not palatable to livestock,” added Duncan.

Going herbicide free

“In order to go herbicide free and manage

Useful web resources ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ Vineyard Floor Management: A Sustainability Nexus with a Focus on Undervine Weeding ( How to improve crop management in organic horticulture ( The Weed Zapper, Sceptre report ( Novel approaches to weed control in commercial fruit production ( Microwave weed killer set to go (www. Electric weed control system wins SIMA medal (

weeds by alternative methods, first develop a good understanding of your site and situation,” advises Peter Hayes. “Identifying candidate persistent weeds and apply all legitimate and reasonable efforts to manage or eliminate these, ahead of any system change - especially for vineyards about to be developed,” Peter added. “In an ideal world, one would eradicate weed control altogether and allow nature to take its course,” commented Joel Jorgensen. If left to its own device nature will maintain a balanced ecosystem allowing all plants to grow in harmony – but we want our vines to dominate the field. So, I find weed control in the early years of a sustainable vineyard essential to giving the vines a head start in getting established. A strip of thick compost mulch laid onto the bare soil soon after planting helps suppress weeds for a while in the first season and contributes organic matter – which is key to kickstarting the soil regeneration process. “As soon as weeds start to take hold undervine, run through the vineyard with something like the Braun Rollhacke – it is cost effective and super quick with very shallow soil disruption. In the meantime, sow the alleyways with a diverse cover crop to suit your soil using a no-till drill. Its best to select plants with varying root types and depths to encourage microbial and earthworm activity in all soil horizons. Repeat passes with the Rollhacke are often necessary to keep a clean slate undervine while they establish. Offence is the best defence – so don’t allow the weeds to take hold or you will be tempted to revert to herbicide use. “Once the trunks have established and the vines have secured dominance, the competition from weeds will be less - but it’s still prudent to keep them under control whilst you regenerate the soil food web during the vine establishment years. “Once your soils are healthy and alive again, and conditions are favourable, weeds should no longer be ‘weeds’. Instead, they perform nature’s intended purpose; they feed the soil food web, promote microbial activity, help regulate soil temperature and sequester carbon. Monitoring soil health is key to understanding where you are in the journey of soil regeneration and once you are confident that you have a healthy community of beneficial organisms, it may be time to switch to under-vine mowing and mow-and-throw solutions to nurture a

low growing cover crop under the vines and maintain airflow throughout the canopy. The cover crop and your vines will develop a symbiotic relationship if conditions are good and the healthy ecosystem restored,” advised Joel. “Weed control is the most difficult aspect of organic vineyard management,” commented Will Davenport. “Obviously there are no herbicides, so we are reliant on mechanical weeding, ground cover, mowing or just tolerating the weeds. Every soil type and vineyard site requires a bespoke solution as there is no one-size-fits-all solution – and young vines can be especially tricky because anything mechanical risks damaging the plants. “In one of our vineyards last year we managed with a single under-vine mow over the whole year. This was done by using sheep to graze and by persuading ourselves that grass cover under the vines is acceptable. The vines are 30 years old and the grasses are low vigour. I’m not sure we would get away with this approach every year in the long term. We mulch with compost on roughly one third of our vineyards each year, so these plots need very little weed management in that season. Labour costs are higher because under-vine weeding is a slow speed operation, and we can’t ignore the high capital cost of weeding machinery either. “We have just purchased a new machine that can either hoe or roll hack at a faster speed than

our previous machines. This will be a shallow cultivation. Combined with undervine mowing and compost mulch, plus a reasonable tolerance of weeds under the vines, I think we will be able to minimise soil damage and still keep the vines in a healthy state,” concluded Will.

New technologies

There are emerging new technologies that are likely to be useful, and practical, for weed management. “Robotic mowers are already with us, so it’s likely just a matter of time before these become accessible and affordable,” explained Peter Hayes. “Others such as electric and microwave-based weeders are also in development, although applications for vineyards with practicality and efficacy are not assured; capital and energy costs are yet to be clear. Flame and steam weeders may have some local application, but costs, risks and logistical issues likely preclude their wide use. Likewise, some biologically derived actives are in development, but just how or when they will reach the market is unknown,” Peter added. “I’m not convinced that equipment which takes the human eyes, brain and intuition out of the vineyard will result in better grapes or wine. My personal view is that as farmers we need to work with nature rather than trying to control nature – we will never win!” Exclaimed Duncan.

> Two rams in the vineyard at Rotherfield

Photo: Will Davenport



M a rk C


Yeast nutrition and organic supplementation


n pto

Yeast demand for nitrogen


The nitrogen sources that can be used by Saccharomyces cerevisiae are ammonium (NH4 +) and amino acids (organic nitrogen). They both represent assimilable nitrogen and are present in must at varying concentrations, sometimes not in sufficient quantities to meet the requirements of the yeast. The three following factors must be taken into consideration: ◆ Below 150 mg N/L, must is deficient. It is therefore important to supplement it with nitrogen elements. ◆ Yeast nitrogen requirements depend on sugar concentration. The higher this concentration, the greater the amount of yeast biomass needed to successfully achieve a thorough breakdown of the sugars during alcoholic fermentation. Although, the yeast biomass must not be too excessive to avoid an induced nitrogen deficiency. ◆ The nitrogen initially present in must is rapidly assimilated during the first third of the alcoholic fermentation, at the point when the biomass is at its highest density. Consequently, irrespective of the initial nitrogen content, its addition during alcoholic fermentation allows preservation of the biomass formed, which is dependent on the yeast strain and proportional to the initial nitrogen concentration.




Why organic nutrition?

Organic nitrogen is supplied by adding yeast derivatives (usually autolysed yeast). In addition to amino acids, these yeast derivatives include lipids, vitamins and minerals which also contribute to the efficient performance of the yeast. Yeast has the ability to simultaneously assimilate organic nitrogen and mineral nitrogen from the beginning of the alcoholic fermentation. Organic nitrogen must be present in order to:

he nitrogen sources that can be used by Saccharomyces cerevisiae are ammonium (NH4+) and amino acids (organic nitrogen). They both represent assimilable nitrogen and are present in must at varying concentrations, sometimes not in One-third of AF ufficient quantities to meet the requirements of the yeast. The Growth phase Stationary phase hree following factors must be taken into consideration: • Below 150 mg N/L, must is deficient. It is therefore important to supplement it with nitrogen elements. • Yeast nitrogen requirements depend on sugar concentration. [Biomass] The higher this concentration, the greater the amount of yeast biomass needed to successfully achieve a thorough breakdown of the sugars during alcoholic fermentation. [Sugars] Although, the yeast biomass must not be too excessive to avoid an induced nitrogen deficiency. [Assimilable nitrogen] > Figure 1: Assimilation of nitrogen and production of biomass • The nitrogen initially present in must is rapidly assimilated during alcoholic fermentation Fermentation time during the first third of the alcoholic fermentation, at 29 the point when the biomass is at its highest density. Figure 1. Assimilation of nitrogen and production of biomass Consequently, irrespective of the initial nitrogen content, DESKTOP phone-alt its 07805 081677 Envelope during alcoholic fermentation. 52 addition during alcoholic fermentation allows to preserve the biomass formed, which is dependent on the yeast strain and proportional to the initial nitrogen concentration.

and proportional to the initial nitrogen concentration.

WHY ORGANIC NUTRITION? ◆ Limit the production of SO2 and sulphur compounds (H2S and


By carrying out an extensive study on NUTRISTART ORG, we were able order to: to learn about this product’s subtle composition after developing specific • Limit the production of SO2 and sulphur compounds (H2S assay methods (Figure 3). and mercaptans). An experiment design setting up models for 58 trials and omitting • Produce healthy, but not excessive, biomass. various compounds was then carried out to discover the impact of these • Limit the risk of stuck or sluggish fermentation.




























Compounds increasing the maximum rate of AF














10 8










> Figure 2: Concentrations of Glucose + Fructose and total SO2 at

Figure 2. ofConcentrations of Glucose Fructose total SO2 the end alcoholic fermentation. Must+derived fromand sauvignon atblanc the end alcoholic Mustmg derived from sauvignon blanc (TAPofvol. 13.9%,fermentation. initial Nass: 125 N/L), 2016. At the (TAP vol. 13.9%, initial Nass: 125 mg N/L), 2016. At the one-third point one-third point of alcoholic fermentation, 35 mg N/L were added of alcoholic fermentation, ®35 mg N/L were added with DAP or ORG, deliberately yeast withNUTRISTART DAP or NUTRISTART ® ORG, deliberately making yeastmaking conditions difficult.

various nutrients on alcoholic fermentation.

Compounds increasing Compounds reducing the lag the maximum yeast population during AF* phase length of AF







When research leads to a better ® Yeast has the ability to of simultaneously assimilate organic understanding the NUTRISTART ORG nitrogen and mineral nitrogen from the beginning of the performance alcoholic fermentation. Organic nitrogen must be present in




Organic nitrogen is supplied by adding yeast derivatives mercaptans). (usually autolysed In addition to amino acids, these ◆ Produce healthy,yeast). but not excessive, biomass. yeast derivatives include lipids, vitamins and minerals which ◆ Limit the risk of stuck or sluggish fermentation. also contribute to the efficient performance of the yeast.

conditions difficult


Our latest research shows that not all of the constituents have the same effect on yeast and alcoholic fermentation. We will continue with this study in order to have a detailed understanding of the role of each constituent.

Organoleptic effects of organic nutrition


Numerous experiments show that improved outcomes of alcoholic fermentation can be achieved with the use of organic nitrogen. Even in the ORGANOLEPTIC EFFECTS OF ORGANICcase of wines considered dry (glucose + fructose < 2 g/L), small amounts Calcium Pyridoxine Lanosterol NUTRITION of fermentable sugars can be used by degrading microorganisms and can GLU TRP MINERAL / ORGANIC have an adverse effect on the quality of the wines (Figure 2). COMPARISON Numerous experiments show that improved outcomes of Lanosterol VAL Besides its effects on fermentation kinetics, the addition of oragnic alcoholic fermentation can be achieved with the use of nitrogen can increase the fruitiness of wines and limit the aromatic mask Riboflavin Number of tasters 20 organic nitrogen. Even in the case of wines considered dry linked to the production of sulphur compounds during the alcoholic (glucose + fructose < 2 g/L), small amounts of fermentable fermentation. ® > Table 1: Effsugars ect of the constituents of NUTRISTART ORG and can Number correctly detected canvarious be used by degrading microorganisms Except for the source of of the nitrogen added, a comparison of wines 13 on alcoholic fermentation parameters (Results obtained following differences have an adverse effect on the quality of the wines (Figure 2). produced under the same conditions reveals significant preferences for a statistical analysis based on a multiple linear regression wines derived from musts supplemented with NUTRISTART® ORG. The and a Kruskal-Wallis test – methods performed according to a Results significant Besides its design). effects on fermentation kinetics, the addition of Hadamard experiment wines are considered fruitier, fresher, less vegetal and99% subject to less difference * Nutrition must enablenitrogen an optimum, not excessive, populationoftowines and oragnic canbut increase the fruitiness reduction than those supplemented with mineral nitrogen alone.

be attained. limit the aromatic mask linked to the production of sulphur


compounds during the alcoholic fermentation.


Except for the source of the nitrogen added, a comparison of wines produced underacid the same conditions reveals significant Palmitic acid (C16:0), Stearic (C18:0), preferences for wines derived from Palmitoleic acid (C16:1), Oleic acid (C18:1), musts supplemented with NUTRISTART® ORG (Table 2). The wines are considered Squalene, Zymosterol, Lanosterol, Ergosterol fruitier, fresher, less vegetal and subject to less reduction than those supplemented with mineral nitrogen alone.

Amino acids

ASP, GLU, CYS, ASP, SER, GLN, GLY, THR, ARG, ALA,GABA, TYR, ETN, VAL, MET, TRP, PHR, ILE, LEU, ORN, LYS DID YOU KNOW ? The key enzyme in the production of H2S is

Vitamins sulfite reductase. When the H S and amino 2

Para aminobenzoic acid,meet Pyridoxine, acids pathways the sulphurRibofl aminoavin, acids Biotin, Pantothenic acid (cysteine and methionine) are produced. Where there is an imbalance between these two pathways and a nitrogen deficiency, the Minerals* precursors of these sulphur amino acids are Mg, Ca limiting, leading to an accumulation of H2S. > Figure 3: Elements detected in NUTRISTART® ORG. * Other minerals are in the process of being assayed


Organic: 13/13

Did you know?

The key enzyme in the production of H2S is sulfite reductase. Table 2. Triangular tasting tests (ISO 4120-2004) of red wines. Comparison S and amino acids pathways thenitrogen sulphur added in the form of When theofHtwo 2 vinified Merlot wines with 65meet mg N/L amino acids (cysteine and methionine) produced.® ORG. THIAZOTE® orare NUTRISTART Where there is an imbalance between these two pathways and a nitrogen deficiency, the precursors of these sulphur amino acids are limiting, leading to an accumulation of H2S. SO42- (sulphates) Amino acids NH4+

SO32- (sulphites)

SO42- (sulphates)

Amino acids Pantothenic acid


SO32- (sulphites)


Sulphite reductase

H 2S Cysteine



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.

@winegb @Wine_GB @winegb @winegb

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

Regional roadshows

Pruning competition

The regional roadshow series is continuing into April, after successful events held in Wiltshire (WineGB Wessex at Bluestone Vineyards), Essex (WineGB East at Tuffon Hall Vineyard) and Somerset (WineGB West at Aldwick Estate). Set up by Plumpton College as a way to connect with each of the regions and discuss local issues, the roadshows are open to everyone regardless of where you are based and your WineGB membership status. On 7 April, WineGB South East will hold its AGM and roadshow at Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey, followed by the Welsh Vineyards Association with its event on 9 May.

WineGB, together with Vine-Works, held its annual Pruning Competition on Friday 11 March. Taking place at Yotes Court Vineyard in Kent, the event was well attended, with participating teams including Davenport Vineyards, Gusbourne, Ridgeview, Plumpton College, Vine-Works, Hattingley Valley, Simpsons Wine Estate and Brenley Wines. This year, the team competition was won by Brenley Wines, based in Kent, while Jim Pritchard (Gusbourne) picked up the individual trophy.

> This year's WineGB Pruning Competition was held at Yotes Court Vineyard in Kent


facebook-f twitter INSTAGRAM linkedin-in


WineGB’s webinar schedule. Available exclusively to WineGB members, topics due to be discussed include: planning regulations, soil health, cold stabilisation vs chemical methods, and guidance on grants.

> Exton Park: the location for the WineGB Awards 2022 judging


11 April WineGB Awards Entries open for the WineGB Awards on Monday 11 April. Judging will take place at Exton Park in the week commencing 13 June, and medal winners will be announced in late June. The WineGB Awards Ceremony and Lunch will be held on Friday 15 July.

WineGB membership entitles you to a free consultation with drinks software provider Bevica. Bevica helps you to improve productivity and provides real-time information across all areas of your wine business – including finance, operations, logistics, inventory, warehousing and duty management – using its cloud-based softwareas-a-service (SaaS) solution. Email for details on how to claim your free consultation.

20 April WineGB Business & Marketing Conference This event will feature expert speakers exploring how the industry should build towards economic sustainability. For more details, please email Simon Thorpe MW on Saturday 4 to Sunday 12 June Welsh Wine Week Visit for more information. Saturday 18 to Sunday 26 June English Wine Week Visit for more information.


This year, WineGB will have a significant presence at the London Wine Fair, which has now moved to Tuesday 7 June – Thursday 9 June. WineGB members are being given the chance to exhibit on the WineGB stand at a special rate. Email for more information.


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

You are invited too Y

NP SEYMOUR'S DE DEALERSHIP OPEN DAY Come and meet the team, catch up with fellow growers and see a complete range of specialist fruit and vine machinery.

DATE: THURSDAY 24 MARCH TIME: 1PM - 5PM NP Seymour, Avon Works, Ma T Marden Road, Cranbrook, TN17 2PT RSVP:


Visit our website for our full stock list. STOCK ARRIVING THIS APRIL!



PRICE: £3,280



PRICE: £5,300


TTR 3800









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


Demonstration of under-vine cultivation Growers gather to see scientifically-proven mechanical weeding solutions in action. As part of the WineGB East AGM and regional roadshow supported by Plumpton College, WineGB patron NP Seymour hosted a demonstration of under-vine cultivation machinery at Tuffon Hall Vineyard, near Halstead, Essex, on 8 March 2022. Leading the morning demonstration of Clemens machinery, which is imported and distributed in the UK by the specialist dealership, NP Seymour, was Paul Tuteirihia, from Clemens. Paul talked through the many features of the SB Compact Frame and Radius SL+ which was mounted on a new Gen 3 Fendt 209v Vario and driven by independent contractor and NP Seymour’s sales representative Sam Barnes. In essence, these cultivator blades effectively undercut the topsoil and cut the root structure of the weeds, while the optional rotary tiller incorporates the topsoil. Readers of Vineyard magazine (Jan 2022) may recall that the Clemens was praised for its involvement in an integrated weed management trial. The results of the IWMPRAISE project proved that mechanical weeding is just as effective as herbicide. The study showed that the difference between the mechanical and chemical treatments was marginal, thus dispelling growers’ concerns that moving away from

herbicide would reduce yield. The trial also found that the Clemens Radius SL+, was the most effective in reducing biomass and impacted the greatest number of different weed families. Also on display at the AGM was the Clemens Multiclean. These mulching brushes effectively help growers take the weeds back to ground level without interfering with the soil structure while also removing unwanted shoots and significantly reducing the cost of bud rubbing. “Mechanical weed control is still one of the things we get asked the most about,” said Claire Seymour, sales and marketing director at NP Seymour. “Under vine cultivators are not a one-sizefits-all product. Modern systems can be incredibly sophisticated, so before choosing a make or model, growers need to think about what they are trying to achieve. The system on offer from Clemens is robust and comprehensive and has been built to suit growers who need to do everything in just one pass. It is designed to deal well with hardy weeds, and vineyard managers often comment that the Clemens will do a more thorough job, with the effects lasting noticeably longer.” For more information on the Clemens range of under vine cultivation equipment, please contact NP Seymour on 01580 712200.


Vitifruit Equipment Sales and Hire






VINE TRIMMERS /vitifruitequipment


 01732 866567



• Galvanized Galvanizedsteel steelfframe fframe • •Galvanised steel frame • 1000L tank capacity • 1000L tank capacity • 1000L tank capacity Polyethylenetank tank •• Polyethylene • •Polyethylene tank • 22hydraulic hydraulicagitators agitators • •2• Flow hydraulic agitators Flow89L/min 89L/min • •Flow 89L/min • 50 50Bar Bar Pressure Pressure • Bar Pressure • •50

In stock andready readytoto togo! go! Instock stockand and ready go! In

£7000 £7000 £7000




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



RICHARD SMITH 07483 035922

Versatility, performance and technology McCormick X4F is the new specialist tractor that combines McCormick’s hallmark power and technology with versatility and is lightweight for manoeuvring in tight spaces. This makes it the ideal tractor for all row-crop operations in the narrow spaces found in orchards and vineyards. Stage V compliance is guaranteed by the innovative system that uses a passive regeneration DPF, DOC oxidation catalyst and, for models over 75 hp, SCR (selective catalyst reduction) catalytic converter and AdBlue® tank with practical quick-access and quick-top-up system. The engine maintenance interval has been extended to 1,000 hours, significantly reducing operating costs and downtime. McCormick X4F comes in the configuration with P3-Drive 48AV+16RM transmission with electro-hydraulic reverse shuttle and fully robotised H-M-L speed and gear shifting under load, controlled by the new-generation

multifunction joystick that accommodates all controls. X4F is characterised by its high traction capacity, as well as a comfortable ride on the road, made possible by the new cab with mechanical suspension, the suspended front axle and, last but not least, the ADS (Advanced Driving System), which can be connected to satellite-guidance and telemetry systems.

The front axle is manufactured by Argo Tractors and features a limited-slip or Hydralock. X4F is equipped with an open-centre hydraulic circuit, with a 30 l/min pump for steering and 58 l/min for utilities. A third, 36 l/min pump can also be added operating in tandem with the utility pump to achieve a total flow rate of 94 l/min, of which 55 l/min at as little as 1,500 engine rpm.


07734 996556


CONTRACT WINERY Pressing, Bottling, Storage, Disgorging, Distribution, Fully Equipped Lab, and Enartis Agents


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

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