Vineyard July 2022

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JULY 2022

A platinum year Hambledon vineyard is a British, family-run wine producer celebrating its platinum anniversary, along with someone else…

INSIDE A passion for viticulture Our feathered friends or foes Matthew Jukes on why Blanc de Blancs bring drama to the table


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

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The Vineyard & Winery Show is an unmissable event for anyone working in viticulture in the UK and abroad. The Vineyard & Winery Show will provide vineyard owners, winemakers and growers with a fantastic opportunity to keep up to date with the latest technology, meet with suppliers & allied trades that are supporting the industry as well as having the chance to network with key players in the UK wine marketplace.


You will be able to meet with industry experts, learn about new technology and view demonstrations of the latest machinery. Come and taste some of the UK’s best wines – up to 100 different UK producers are making their wines available for tasting on the day.


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NEWS 8 VINEYARD Kelsey Media, The Granary, Downs Court Yalding Hill, Yalding, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 6AL 01959 541444 EDITORIAL Editor: Christian Davis DipWSET 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

New £11.3m horticulture research centre opens in Kent

10 Black Chalk Wine opens tasting room and courtyard


Digby Fine English enters new phase of growth

REGULARS 22 Matthew Jukes

Blanc de Blancs bring drama to the table like no other style of sparkling wine.


The agronomy diary

Keeping vines healthy around flowering.

48 The vine post

Managing acidity in wine begins in the vineyard.

50 BIOProtection 52 Representing you WineGB Awards.



More comfort and power for specialty tractors.

Features 29 Pushing open the door for women The much-anticipated Women in Wine Expo returned this summer to the birthplace of wine.

32 London Wine Fair

A place for the unexpected.

54 Next is Now

Doosan Bobcat EMEA has appointed Versatile Equipment Ltd with sole responsibility in the South East for sales and service of the range of Bobcat skid-steer and compact track loaders, mini-excavators, telehandlers, compact wheel loaders, light compaction and attachments.

Front cover image: Hambledon © Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

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CONTENTS Features Platinum anniversary


Established in 1952, Hambledon vineyard is a British, family-run wine producer and claims to be the oldest commercial vineyard in the UK.

How do you feel?


Rebecca Farmer holidaying in Rutland describes a vineyard visit from a tourist point of view.

A passion for viticulture


Virgil and Adina Moise spent a lot of time in 2021 setting up Vitis Care UK Limited. In February 2022 the business became operational and it didn’t take long before it was overwhelmed with demand.

Our feathered friends or foes


Jo Cowderoy finds out the best ways to deter our feathered friends and other pesky creatures from the vines and encourage them to go elsewhere for their meals.



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From the editor

Who do you know?

The Vineyard


n Davis

There’s a famous adage: ‘It’s not what you know. It’s who you know’. The origin of the saying is unclear, but there are two labour citations of the phrase in 1914 and 1918. One is thought to be: September 1918, the New York Tribune, regarding a story on shipyard workers along the Delaware River reported that they had adopted a war slogan all of their own: “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” The adage sprang to mind while I was reading a story about the incredible success of Kylie Minogue’s £12 Prosecco rosé. Apparently, it has taken a sixth market share (15.8%), generated £7.7m sales – a third more than its nearest rival, according to Mintel. Paul Schaafsma, managing director of Benchmark Drinks, is reported as saying: “I have been in the wine industry for 25 years and this is the most successful product I have ever been associated with.” This is a man who worked for McGuigans, aka Australian Vintage, and headed up Accolade wines for a period. So, praise indeed. Celebrity endorsement can be a powerful marketing tool, but, a big BUT, the quality has to be there. Customers will buy once but if it doesn’t deliver on expectations, they will not come back for a second. I got involved with Cliff Richard’s Portuguese Vida Nova (new life) wine. I went to his villa just north of the Algarve coast, met the great man and twice facilitated launching the new vintage at the London Wine Fair. It was a good, Syrah-based blend, made by, Dave Baverstock, a well known Australian winemaker, based in Portugal. It probably retailed for circa a £1 more than an equivalent wine. So, not exorbitant. It did very well through Waitrose. The point of this is… do you know anyone famous? If they like your wine and ideally have a reasonable knowledge of, or grounding in, wine, why not ask them if they would like to put their name to whichever is their favourite? Even invite them to help with the harvest and the blending, to give the branded wine increased credibility. I recall going to the launch of Ian Botham’s range of wines at Lord’s cricket ground. He came across incredibly well. He knew his wines, was involved in their creation and was a superb salesman and ambassador for the range. It was hardly surprising when his wines popped up on lots of the multiple retailer shelves. So put your thinking cap on. Who do you know? Which well known person, who lives locally and buys your wine, could be tapped up to put their name to one of your wines? Hey! What about Eurovision/Spaceman’s Sam Ryder? He comes from Essex…


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Organic farming is on the up

OF&G (Organic Farmers & Growers) has welcomed the news from DEFRA that land going through the two-year conversion period to organic is up 34% in 2021, compared to 2020; but asserts that the opportunity is even greater. “I’m not surprised by the news,” said CEO Roger Kerr. “There is strong appetite from farmers to shift to more agroecological practices and the opportunity for organic and the premium gained for certified produce is clearly attractive.” But he notes that the 34% figure quoted by DEFRA, is from a relatively low area of in-conversion land. “We must remember that the organically farmed area in the UK is still less than 3%, compared to the EU at over 9%. All the same, it’s incredibly positive given the challenges of the last few years” he said. He added that he is quietly confident for the future uplift in the

organically farmed area. “The latest figures from DEFRA don’t consider the big economic shocks of the past year. Add to that, the fact that farming is in a period of unprecedented change and the upshot is that we are seeing a bigger interest than ever in ‘de-risking’ farming businesses. The Ukraine conflict has illustrated the volatility of input cost and reducing or removing artificial inputs entirely is being seriously considered by a lot of farmers.” Roger also pointed to a growing demand for organic produce. “Consumer spending on organic is up, hitting around £3 billion for the first time. “While we have to be mindful of the cost-of-living crisis, core organic consumers are proven to be resilient and with an increasing focus on the environment, market opportunities are opening up,” he said. “The EU has set a goal for 25% of the land area to be organic by 2030. That will be accompanied by heavy investment in promoting the sector and represents a strong near-market opportunity for UK growers.”

New £11.3m horticulture research centre opens in Kent


The £11.3 million GreenTech Hub for Advanced Horticulture was opened by Tom Tugendhat MP at NIAB’s East Malling site. The hub will provide the UK horticulture and viticulture industry with access to a new state-of-the-art research facility. It includes 2,000m² of specialist glasshouses, 14 modern polytunnels, growth rooms and cold rooms. Professor Mario Caccamo, NIAB CEO, said: “The site at East Malling has a long history of delivering exceptional research to advance horticultural production. As the sector makes significant progress in areas such as robotics and intelligent growing systems, these fantastic new facilities mean we can continue to provide cutting-edge research that reflects the technology being used by commercial growers. “The Hub will also enable our research teams to advance their work in important areas such as plant genetics, pest and disease control, crop management and our world-renowned fruit breeding programmes.” The research facility is expected to generate more than £600,000 in additional research and development investment per annum, as well as create new highly-skilled jobs in the region. Tom Tugendhat said: “Kent has a deserved reputation as the Garden of England, being home to many of the leading fruit growers and wine producers in the UK. The GreenTech Hub for Advanced Horticulture will help strengthen our region’s reputation for innovative, sustainable food and drink production. In addition, it will support economic development in the area by bringing in new investment and creating jobs.” Trials at the research centre will focus on creating sustainable growing systems to help make UK food production more resilient to climate change. NIAB’s leading research experts will help businesses to use resources, like water, more efficiently, as well as cut carbon emissions in their production. The project has been funded by UKRI’s Strength in Places Fund (£2.5 million), SELEP’s Local Growth Fund (£2.1 million) with matched funding from the East Malling Trust (£6.7 million).

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> From left to right: NIAB Glasshouse Manager Emma Easton, NIAB Board chair Jim Godfrey, East Malling Trust chair Oliver Doubleday, Tom Tugendhat MP, Growing Kent & Medway Dr Nicola Harrison and NIAB CEO Professor Mario Caccamo

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Black Chalk Wine opens tasting room and courtyard Hampshire’s Black Chalk Wine has opened a tasting room and courtyard at its winery in the heart of the Test valley. The opening, which comes just over a year after Wild Escapes opened its treehouse accommodations adjacent to Black Chalk’s Hide vineyard, positions the winery as a destination and part of the burgeoning English tourism scene. The tasting room can accommodate 20 seated inside, with an additional 30 in the adjacent courtyard. Seating for a further 30 is available with a combination of deckchairs and picnic benches in The Circle vineyard, a stone’s throw from the courtyard. The tasting room will focus on current Black Chalk vintages, alongside library collection bottles, tasting flights and guest wines from around the world, which have a connection to the Black Chalk team. The wines will be available by the bottle and by the glass, with bottles charged at retail prices plus £5. The changing menu will celebrate the best producers from Hampshire and Dorset, focusing on charcuterie and cheese from local producers, all within a 30-mile radius of the winery. These will include Salisbury’s Lyburn Cheese, Shaftesbury’s Real Cure Charcuterie, ChalkStream Trout from the nearby River Test and Stockbridge’s Hoxton Bakehouse.

The Uncommon refreshes with new English spritzers Lower alcohol, low calorie, English sparkling wine producer, The Uncommon, has released two ‘remastered’ botanical wine spritzers. Launched in multipacks (4 x 250ml cans) exclusively to Selfridges, The Uncommon’s English white and rosé wine spritzers – known as ‘Peggy’ and ‘Alfie’ – are said to represent the highest quality alternative to hard seltzers on the market. At 5.5% abv and 83 calories per can, the spritzers are made by blending The


Uncommon’s white and rosé wines with sparkling water and natural botanical extracts. The result is said to be two balanced and refreshing low-alcohol options – perfect for picnics, garden parties and festivals alike. Alfie – English White Wine Spritzer – 5.5% ABV (RRP £17.99 per 4 x 250ml multipack, Selfridges / £4.00 per 250ml can) The Uncommon’s dry bubbly white – made from local Bacchus and Chardonnay grapes – blended with sparkling water and botanical extracts of cucumber and elderflower. Peggy – English Rosé Wine Spritzer – 5.5% ABV (RRP £17.99 per 4 x 250ml multipack, Selfridges / £4.00 per 250ml can) The Uncommon’s pale bubbly rosé – 100% hand-picked Pinot Noir grapes – has been blended with sparkling water and selected botanical extracts of mint and jasmine. Henry Connell, co-founder at The Uncommon said: “Since starting The Uncommon in 2018, we’ve been looking for ways to break new ground without compromising on quality. The new spritzer recipe has been refined and perfected to serve those occasions where you might prefer a lighter option over a full-strength wine. “We’ve landed on the perfect blend of botanicals that celebrate the character of our high-quality and aromatic wines, rather than masking them. With England now widely regarded as one of the most exciting sparkling wine regions in the world, there’s never been a better time to enjoy locally grown and sustainably made spritzers. The very finest, all the way from just down the road.” The Uncommon English white and rosé wine spritzers are available online via and Four 250ml multipacks are available exclusively to Selfridges London and


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Digby Fine English enters new phase of growth West Sussex-based sparkling wine producer Digby Fine English has selected wine and spirits fintech Ferovinum to lead its recent round of growth financing. Ferovinum’s inventory-funding platform gave the Digby team a flexible and seamless route to releasing working capital from their maturing wine stocks. It was utilised to initiate a broad £2.5m fundraising push which is enabling Digby to pursue the next chapter in its vision of world-class quality and brand permanence – with the first major project being Digby’s acquisition of the top Pinot vineyard in its portfolio, Digby’s Hilden Vineyard in Kent. The deal comes at a time of strong post Covid-19 growth and increased opportunity for Digby, as its trophy-winning wines continue to be recognised as among the UK industry’s finest – most recently with Digby 2014 Vintage Rosé being crowned Best Sparkling Rosé at the WineGB Awards and its Leander Pink NV Brut winning the trophy as the UK’s Best Sparkling Rosé in Tom Stevenson’s World Championships. Digby Fine English CEO Trevor Clough wanted to find a way to build on this success and momentum with the right financial partner. He commented: "Ferovinum was the natural partner for our refinancing and it made complete sense to use our greatest asset, our maturing wine, to support our growth plans. We were able to easily lower our financing costs, invest back into our business and set up a flexible arrangement that can be scaled on our terms. "We looked at a number of different options, but what set the Ferovinum team apart was the time and effort they took to really understand our business. The platform was new to us, but very simple to use, giving us full control and many added advantages across the supply chain. With the addition of experienced, hands-on support from their team, Ferovinum suited our needs far better than a traditional finance model." Founded in 2018, specialist fintech business Ferovinum claims to be transforming the way wine and spirit businesses finance growth. Run by an experienced global team of finance, wine and spirits experts, its proprietary

Photo: Cindy Zdunek

> Trevor Clough and Philip Wright technology uses a commodities-based financing model to help producers, distributors and merchants turn their liquid assets into working capital which is repaid when the wine or spirits are ready to sell. Ferovinum co-founder Mitchel Fowler said: “It’s a very exciting time to be a wine producer in the UK, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Digby Fine English, which is one of its most impressive and innovative businesses. Our platform has been created to help producers like Digby explore new initiatives and dynamic ways of growing their business, and to quickly take advantage of opportunities. By giving producers a new way to release capital, without relying on shareholders’ equity or bank debt, we are fast becoming an invaluable tool for wine and spirits companies looking to invest in their brands and businesses for the future."

Sandridge Barton pushes for Dart Valley appellation


Sandridge Barton, is making the first moves towards the creation of a Dart Valley appellation in Devon. Part of Sandridge Barton’s vineyards – first planted in 2008 – are grown on a limestone ridge, including Stony Field, a new eight-acre site planted last year, partly with Pinot Noir vines, on a rocky terrain of ancient geology dating back to the Palaeozoic period. Located in Stoke Gabriel, South Devon, Sandridge Barton will plant a further 12 acres with Madeleine Angevine and Bacchus vines on its Reservoir Field next year. It will have 44 acres of vineyards by 2023. Over the past two years, Sandridge Barton, has

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built a new visitor centre, accommodation, and a £multi-million new winery, funded 40% with EU agricultural funds. It has also taken on the production team from Sharpham wine estate and maintains the Sharpham brand name on wines. Sandridge makes wines from its own grapes. But with production capacity now ramped up to 120,000 bottles a year, it hopes to make wines in the coming years from neighbouring landowners. Owner Andrew Moon, who acquired 400 acres of Devon farmland in 2002, said he is creating a sense of place and jobs for the community with development focused on sustainability. Herbicides are banned, water is recycled from a spring, and

energy is sourced from solar panels. Sandridge Barton’s new experimental releases include; Figgy Daniel, a spritzy wine made in Col Fondo method from Madeleine Angevine grapes, and Little Bee, a wild ferment Pinot Gris. Meanwhile, the Pinot Noir 2020, aged for eight months in French oak barrels, is fast becoming a collector’s wine. Duncan Schwab, CEO, and head winemaker at Sandridge Barton, is calling for changes to English wine rules. Producing unfiltered wines, for instance, means Sandridge Barton is obliged to place the words ‘Varietal Wine’ on labels rather than ‘English Quality Wine’.

The Portman Group, the alcohol social responsibility body and alcohol marketing self-regulator, has updated its Alcohol Labelling Guidelines, providing best practice guidance to alcohol producers. The guidance sets the minimum recommended best practice elements for product labelling, including providing unit information, a pregnancy message or symbol, and a direction to Drinkaware. The update also suggests that labels incorporate the Chief Medical Officers’ Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines 2016. The previous edition was published in 2017 in collaboration with the British Beer and Pub Association, National Association of Cider Makers, Scotch Whisky Association, and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. The updated guidance is now formally supported by the Society of Independent Brewers, ensuring that there is a more explicit consideration of the role of smaller producers in sharing public health information. The guidance is said to build on over a decade of success in improving access to information, resulting in more than 99% of products containing a pregnancy warning message or logo, 94% demonstrating unit content, 93% displaying a Drinkaware or responsibility message, and almost four in five (79%) carrying

Portman Group updates alcohol labelling guidelines the latest UK Chief Medical Officer low-risk drinking guidelines. In response to the updated guidance, Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group, said: “The Portman Group continues to set industry standards effectively, responsively, and at no cost to the public purse. We are proud of the huge progress made by the industry, which already widely commits to responsible alcohol labelling. This updated guidance will further enhance adherence, and we hope will help small producers continue to market their products responsibly.” This comes as Drinkaware, the independent UK alcohol education charity, lowers its licensing price for smaller producers and re-sellers. Drinkaware wants to reach as many people at the risk of harmful drinking by having a strong message across most producers and re-sellers of alcohol to the public.

From mid-June, any organisation with an annual turnover from alcohol sales of £2.5m (including duty, excluding VAT) or less, can apply to use Drinkaware’s protected IP via The cost of the agreement will be £50 +VAT per annum, with the aim to support widespread take-up across the industry’s smaller producers and operators. Adam Jones, Business Development & Partnerships Director at Drinkaware said: “We hope that by making the Drinkaware logo licence fee more accessible and cost-effective for smaller producers and re-sellers, we can reach as many people as possible who are at risk of harmful drinking. We also think this is an important step in recognising the change in the profile of the drinks industry, which has seen a huge number of smaller producers and sellers emerge over recent years.”

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Top 25 Sommeliers – the best in the business Harpers, the weekly website for the global wine and spirits sector, has announced the launch of its Top 25 Sommeliers, designed to recognise and celebrate the leading lights in the on-trade drinks world. The idea is: elevation to its Top 25 Sommeliers listing will single out those that are at the very top of their profession. The core judging pillars underpinning this new spotlight on the key role that sommeliers play in the wider drinks world will centre on commitment, leadership, communication, education and innovation. Harpers is inviting nominations from the trade, with the strongest candidates then put forward for its list round of judging this month (June), with the final 25 Top Sommeliers to be revealed both online and in Harpers in its July issue. Harpers said the competition is in partnership with UK agent Fells and the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Roussillon (CIVR). Fells’ Managing Director Steve Moody, which supplies the prestige restaurant and hotel sectors from its portfolio of iconic producers, said he believed that supporting the initiative was a great fit for the company.

“Fells are widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading fine wine distributors and are proud to represent some of the world’s greatest family-owned fine wine producers,” said Steve Moody. “Supporting the Harpers Top 25 Sommeliers underpins our commitment to the hospitality sector – a sector for which we have a high regard and will continue to support.” Eric Aracil, co-director in charge of exports at the CIVR, also highlighted the importance of the role sommeliers play in keeping the collective wine offer diverse and engaging in the UK hospitality world. “Sommeliers are the driving force behind the adoption of so many wines that otherwise would never have been discovered by consumers. Their passion for wine is often contagious and the very best have the rare ability to surprise, enthuse, and share their encyclopaedic knowledge without intimidating their audience,” said Eric Aracil. “It is important to us to recognise the accomplishments of the sommelier industry and celebrate the great talent within it. Without sommeliers, many exciting stories about our region and our producers would never be told.”

Welsh Wine Week

2022 culminated in a live showcase event at Llanerch Vineyard Hotel at Hensol near Cardiff, where Welsh vineyards were able to present their wines to assembled government ministers, members of the media and the general public. This followed a week of activities including vineyard tours and tastings; cheese and wine events; food pairings; new wine releases; and videos about winemaking and expert tasting. Awareness of Welsh Wine Week was noticeably greater than in previous years, with a good deal of comment and content from retailers and restaurants as well as influencers. Point-ofsale material was welcomed by retailers, with specially


commissioned bottle-toppers and window stickers being especially popular. The Welsh Wine stand at the London Wine Fair (which coincided with Welsh Wine Week and was therefore suitably adorned with this material) reported positive engagement, generating good quality leads. The dedicated website gave full details of all these events, plus competitions and news of reviews and awards, while all social media channels were regularly hit with the #welshwineweek tag including Instagram Reels of TV’s Andy Clarke, Chair of the Welsh Vineyards' Association, tasting and talking about the wines. A massive thanks from all Welsh vineyards to Levercliff, the Welsh Drinks Cluster manager, for their professional organisation and sheer hard work in making the week a big success.


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English wines go from strength to strength HIGHWEALD WINE ESTATE Highweald Brut Reserve, NV


Exclusive Release, 2018

For the first time ever, two gold medals were awarded to England’s still white wines at the prestigious International Wine Challenge (IWC). Both made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, the wines that received this prestigious medal were Kit's Coty Chardonnay 2019 by Kentbased producer Chapel Down and Artefact #2 Barrel Aged Chardonnay 2020 by Sussex-based producer Artelium, which was also awarded the English White Trophy. The only gold medal for a still red wine went to Lyme Bay Winery for its Pinot Noir 2020. England cemented its position as one of the world’s best producers of sparkling wines, coming second only to France for gold medals, with vineyards in Sussex, Kent and Oxfordshire all earning golds. Kent led the medal wins for English wines with 30 medals, two of which were gold and the county also took home the Vintage English Sparkling Trophy for the Gusbourne Exclusive Release 2018. Other wins came for Oxfordshire’s Wyfold Vineyard Rosé 2017, which was the only English sparkling rosé to be crowned gold as well as Sussex’s High Weald Brut Reserve, which received the English Sparkling Trophy and the Non Vintage English Sparkling Trophy too. Oz Clarke, IWC co-chair and author of English Wine said: “English sparkling wines have been very highly regarded for some time, but what we see now is that they have paved the way for still wines to excel too.”


Kit's Coty Chardonnay, 2019


Artefact #2 Barrel Aged Chardonnay, 2020


Blanc de Blancs, 2017

Pinot Noir, 2020


Wyfold Vineyard Rosé, 2017

BREAKY BOTTOM VINEYARD Cuvée Marraine Pooks, 2016

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Wales scores at the IWC White Castle Vineyard got two silver awards at this year’s IWC, one for its sparkling white wine vintage 2018 and one for vintage 2019 Pinot Noir Précoce Reserve – the only Welsh vineyard to have been awarded medals. A true consistency for White Castle’s production of Pinot Noir précoce as IWC 2021 saw them not only scoop a silver award for the vintage 2018 red wine but they also won a gold at Decanter World Wine Awards, a first for Wales and a red wine at that, World Class Welsh wines standing tall a triumph for Wales. White Castle’s Robb and Nicola Merchant have expanded again with a further planting of Pinot Noir Précoce, and Phoenix as the demand for these wines out-weighs their ability to supply at present. Asked what’s next for White Castle Vineyard: “It wouldn’t be a celebration without the new release of White Castle Vineyard Cuvee ‘Phoebe’. Phoebe is the elder sibling of Esmae and Harry their grandchildren. “This one off wine was created following the difficult vintage of 2020; a frost on 12 May 2020. Good wine, real people with great stories. A limited release red wine reflecting a difficult year,” said owner and director, Nicola Merchant. Released on June 11 White Castle cellar door.


Pinot Noir Précoce Reserve, 2019

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Book ends Ed Dallimore has written a book, The Vineyards of Britain. Here he gives his musings on how it came about. I’ve always worked in wine. For the best part of the last decade that’s been in Australia. Relocating 10,000 miles back to the UK at the end of 2020, having followed the surge of English and Welsh wine from there, I landed with a tasting book that included a grand total of just two wines from these shores. What I really wanted to do therefore, was drive around Britain, taste as many wines as possible, meet the people behind them and ideally, photograph and write about it. So that’s exactly what I did. 2021 became a 20,000 mile, 150 producer road trip, researching, writing and shooting The Vineyards of Britain. The best way to learn is amongst the vines and via open bottles, with the people who grow the grapes and make the wine. This is even more relevant in a country at such a marginal end of the climate for grape growing, which has in reality, a very young industry of relatively tiny producers. The modern disconnect with local produce has been arrested slightly, especially following the events of the last couple of years, and driving awareness of generally high quality, small-scale domestic producers benefits us all, not least in terms of the environment. Best of all when it comes to wine, sharing bottles and good times is so rewarding, and so much has happened here in the last decade that I wanted to share the story. I also wanted to do so in a way that makes wine more accessible. Whatever we do in wine, be it grow, make, write, sell, serve or market – the more people we welcome in the better off we all are. Langham and Harrow & Hope were two producers I knew of prior to starting the project, and two I visited in the early stages. Not just with a feeling that if these wines weren’t good, I was in trouble – but with high expectations. My expectations were, fortunately, well and truly exceeded on both occasions. It’s interesting, if not

surprising, that the one book mentioned most often by those I met was ‘Bursting Bubbles’ by Rob Walters. A book about Grower Champagne, written by an Aussie. Both Henry (Harrow & Hope) and Tommy (Langham) epitomise this ‘grower’ approach, based on superb sites, with expert handling and producing wines that are a true reflection of site and season. Harrow & Hope’s portfolio is both sleek and stunning, the ultra precise wines make up a range as good as any I have ever seen, anywhere. Barbara Laithwaite’s Wyfold vineyard is perhaps the best site in the entire country, with her two wines made by Henry, this incredible fruit gets the best opportunity to realise its full potential. With an additional 60 acres in the ground as of May, in time, Langham’s production will increase several times over. But Tommy and the Langham team are making such layered wines of great depth and texture, from up to 100 different parcels currently, giving them more variation in site, grape and clone is exciting – not something you always associate with increased volume. Like Bobby Walters said: “Champagne needs its Grande Marques and we need our major labels.” Most people’s first experience with English wine

The Vineyards of Britain by Ed Dallimore (Fairlight Books) is out on June 23, available from, @59Vines


will be with Nyetimber or Chapel Down – mine was – it’s imperative that the first wine is a good one, if only to motivate further exploration. The investment our biggest producers put into both marketing – in turn also promoting the wider bracket – and professionalism in every facet is invaluable. It’s similar to those leaving the city and investing their time and finance in viticulture, whatever the motivation, with them, usually, comes inherent success, work ethic and plenty of capital – and we’re all the better for it. The climate crisis has obviously played a huge role in the emergence of England and Wales as a premium wine producing region – it’s also an easy concept to understand for the occasional wine drinker. As is the link between Champagne Chalk and the white cliffs of Dover, there’s always more to the story (and proportionately more chalk in Hampshire than Kent and Sussex) – but undeniably – the huge shift from amateur era to professional is really why we are where we are. With such a multitude of unique, often small, sites, combined with such huge vintage variation, the premium boutique producer approach is perfectly suited, to curator and customer alike. We owe so much to everything Champagne has achieved as a region and for making history’s most famous drink. In contrast to French legislation and generational tradition however, where Domaine, Château and vineyards are passed down, usually from Father to Son, our producers are free to experiment. As a young industry this is so important, constantly striving to increase standards and understanding. The opportunity for young British winemakers is to travel the world and see all the varied methods of those industries older than ours; come back home to merge their favourite parts in honing an individual style. Most of our producers came to wine as a second career or through passion, or both, rather than family obligation, which


> VelfreyVineyard

makes them more relatable as people, and more attractive to many. Half of our sales in 2020 were direct, which represents an incredible connection between winemaker and wine-drinker demonstrating that we can entertain and educate in equal measure. In terms of the passion-driven, experimental winemakers, few finer examples exist than in Herefordshire, where I met Mark Smith at Black Mountain vineyard. Originally wanting to be a dairy farmer, during an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease he got a job in a wine shop and the rest is history. Now he makes a couple of Col Fondo’s from Seigrebbe, Meunier, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Cortis, in an off-grid green shed at the bottom of his vines, using fermenting must as a tirage and a kitchen jug to top up the bottles. He is the living embodiment of this shift from amateur to professional, some varieties and infrastructure of the former, but quality and understanding of process very much of the latter. Astley in Worcestershire have also seamlessly merged this transition from old to new. On a fiftyyear-old site where a former custodian tamed badgers with jam sandwiches, the Haywards make still wines of incredible value for money. The purity of fruit in the Riesling-esque Old Vine Kerner is astounding. Winemaker Chris employs some skin contact in much of the range but not because it’s on-trend in some quarters but

because, sometimes, just a few days-worth adds fruit supporting mouth-feel and complexity. Though 2021 was almost exclusively a sparkling vintage (in one way) – as a general trend – still wine is increasing its share of total production. As much as I love the wines of Astley and Black Mountain – traditional method sparkling from the three most planted grapes will always be the industry flag bearer. Danbury Ridge might have something to say about that however, The Crouch Valley is probably the most exciting place to plant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and it is difficult to look beyond theirs for the pick of it. This sense of regionality is a mark of where we’ve come as an industry, be it Crouch Pinot Noir or the salinity in some exceptional Hampshire Chalkland Chardonnay, like that of The Grange, Black Chalk, Hambledon or Raimes. Variation of still and sparkling, styles, regions and grapes is attractive too – for both producer and drinker. Shotley in Suffolk produce a brilliantly fresh and fragrant Charmat method sparkling, a great use of some old Auxerrois, Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc and Reichensteiner vines. Well priced too, as is Oatley in Somerset’s Pet-Nat Kernling. Both so fresh and easy going – the natural aromatics lend themselves to these crowd pleasing styles, and the more people drinking English and Welsh sparkling the better, whatever the route in. Importing around 30 million bottles of

Champagne every year suggests there’s plenty of room to grow in the traditional method department, which is probably fortunate given the millions of vines being planted with that in mind. The initial novelty factor of drinking our home grown equivalent from Pembrokeshire for example, the willingness to support local, wine tourism opportunities and the industry’s increasing airtime will continue to bring people in. But the quality must be good to keep them. Fortunately for Velfrey – and many others – it is not only in abundance already, but only likely to improve further, as vines, wines and experience all develop with age. I think the best advice when it comes to wine, and many other things, is never generalise. Never write off something because you’ve had a bad version of it. If anyone was ever in any doubt about the quality we’re capable of producing here, they should see the wines of Sugrue South Downs, Roebuck Estates, Wiston and so many others, in the South East alone. But like all the best wine regions, there is so much going on slightly further afield, across all kinds of styles, and discovering it is almost the best part. If every wine and everyone’s opinion of it was the same, it would all be pretty boring. So aside from existing quality and huge variety, most exciting of all is perhaps what’s still to come. I’m looking forward to visiting my next 150 producers.


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Wine brand equity stabilising after Covid-19 Wine Intelligence Global Wine Brand Power Index reveals that Yellow Tail and Casillero del Diablo remain the ‘Most Powerful Wine Brands Globally’. Building on feedback from over 25,000 wine consumers in 25 markets – representing more than 400 million wine drinkers globally – the fifth annual Wine Intelligence Global Wine Brand Power Index reveals a stabilisation of wine brand equity, following the steep erosion of brand equity seen in 2021 amid Covid-19 disruptions. The 2022

data suggests that global wine brand equity has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. The Wine Intelligence Global Wine Brand Power Index 2022 incorporates consumer feedback on key brand health measures and an index is calculated at a global level as well as at a country level across 25 key wine markets. This year’s index saw Denmark featuring as a substitute for the Russian market, which was not surveyed. At an aggregate level, the top 15 global brands collectively scored higher (6.5 points more)

in 2022 compared with 2021. However, on a two-year view, scores remain substantially lower than in 2020, noting that the 2020 result was based on consumer surveys that took place in 2019 (before the Covid-19 pandemic). Across the two-year period (2020-22) awareness levels tended to be more resilient; the main driver of change in the index during this period appears to come from the recalled purchase and connection scores, which both fell significantly for the top 15 global brands in 2021.

McGinn recommends Henners’ sparkler 20

In drinks expert Helen McGinn’s round up of the ‘best-dressed Jubilee tipples’ for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, she recommended Henners’ Platinum Jubilee English Sparkling, £35.99 available from As the ‘English Alternative’, she said: “This sparkler has been made

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exclusively for Virgin Wines by Henners, an English producer based in East Sussex, from a blend of classic champagne grapes. “The result is rich and toasty with a lick of lemon on a bed of bubbles. Perfect with smoked salmon sandwiches. Move fast as there are only 500 bottles. 7/10.”


Selling out fast

The organisers of the Vineyard & Winery Show, taking place on 23 November 2022 have been overwhelmed with support from the trade for this year’s show. “Over 90 stands have already booked to attend our second event, meaning that we are almost sold out for this year already, even though we have five months to go,” commented Jamie McGrorty, who is actively involved with the show and is also publisher of Vineyard Magazine. The organisers maintain that while they always do their best to put on a great event, the show wouldn’t achieve what it does unless the industry was doing so well. “The industry continues to go from strength to strength, producing some of the world’s best wines,” commented Jamie. “Without the continued efforts of UK growers and wine makers we would not have the thriving industry that we see today. Viticulture is the UK’s fastest growing agricultural economy and shows no signs of slowing down. We are glad to be part of it”. Highlights of the day include seminars which will be organised by WineGB at the event this year, offering advice for both the wine maker and grower. Also new for 2022 is the event’s first ever ‘Show Dinner’. Jointly organised by WineGB & Vineyard Magazine and taking place on the evening of the show, guests will be invited to try some of the UK’s top 100 wines that were shown during the day while sitting down to enjoy a three course meal. “We had a good number of visitors and exhibitors in 2021 and we expect to build visitor numbers for 2022 so it made sense to provide further opportunities for people to

get together and catch up with one another” commented Jamie. Simon Thorpe MW, CEO of WineGB added: “By the end of November, the 2022 harvest will be gathered in and what better time and place for our industry to come together and celebrate another years’ endeavours with a look back on the vintage and a look forward to what will be a successful Christmas trading period”.

Opportunities are available for sponsoring the Show Dinner as well as exhibiting during the day. For details on how to book for the Show Dinner and sponsorship opportunities available please contact Angelina Howe at WineGB: For enquiries on exhibiting at The Vineyard & Winery Show please call Jamie McGrorty on 01303 233883.


Wednesday 23 November, 7.30pm


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Blanc de Blancs bring drama to the table like no other style of sparkling wine.


White from white

Mat h e

DESKTOP ENVELOPE Blanc de Blancs is one of the first wine terms one learns while wandering through the foothills of wine lexicography. Why is it that wine terms always sound more refined in French? While it is debatable whether we will ever see ‘White from White’ written on a wine label, it is worth remembering that Blanc de Blancs while usually made from Chardonnay in Champagne can be made from other white grapes, too, like Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. In the UK, we follow the French, using Blanc de Blancs on our labels, and we generally stick to Chardonnay, too. However, I like to take the expression at face value, as you will see from my inclusion of Danebury’s exemplary white grape-based sparkler opposite. But what makes wines made from exclusively white ingredients so special, striking, sought after or worthy of consideration? Tyson Stelzer’s seminal Champagne Bible rates the following Houses as making Blanc de Blancs with eye-watering ratings of 96/100 and above – Diebolt-Vallois, Pierre Péters, BillecartSalmon, Philiponnat and Pierre Gimonnet. Every one of these wines draws fruit from the Côte des Blancs, and they are all made from 100% Chardonnay. So, should we concentrate on making purely Chardonnay-based wines from a specific sub-region? All of my wine recommendations this month come from Hampshire – is this relevant? The aforementioned Danebury beauty has not a drop of Chardy in its framework, and I have indeed tasted a couple of sensational Blanc de Blancs from a handful of other counties, so this must be a red herring in Great Britain. I think it is the shape of these wines that we are in love with, and this shape defines the terms Blanc de Blancs more than a recipe or the origins of the grapes. I crave linear, crystalline rigidity in my favourite Blanc de Blancs – wines with energy, drive and a pristine sense of crispness that red grape-based wines can never fully mimic. Elite Blanc de Blancs are always sleek in their youth, with pronounced acidity that softens as they age, and while they can put on weight, they never fatten up or round out like a traditional tri-varietal blend. Essentially, Blanc de Blancs bring drama to the table like no other style of sparkling wine, and we have plenty to enjoy within our shores. I think our freedom to express ourselves using multiple white varieties and a range of soil types and microclimates might give us the edge in years to come.

Quality Control for Winemakers

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03/05/2022 11:19:42

2018 Danebury Vineyards, Cossack Brut Vintage Approx. £30.00

Cossack has always been an outsider – not the champion racehorse, trained at Danebury when it was a racing yard, after which this sparkling wine is named, but the wine itself. Made from 95% Auxerrois Blanc, a cross between Gouais Blanc and Pinot Noir, a close cousin of Chardonnay, and 5% Rulander, or Pinot Gris, Cossack tastes like no other wine in the UK. Grown on chalk slopes near Stockbridge, this soothing white grape cocktail is kept straight-jacketed by a prim 6 g/L dosage. I have always liked Cossack, and I admire its determination and individuality. It is sufficiently enticing on the front of the palate to draw you in while the finish snaps back and makes our taste buds stand to attention. It’s a thoroughbred if ever there was one.

2016 Raimes, Blanc de Blancs Approx. £37.00 Raimes is made from grapes sourced from the chalk hills of the South Downs, and it is partially barrel-fermented with an extended 42 months on lees. Emma Rice at Hattingley Valley (q.v.) oversaw its production, and she has an understanding of this style of wine that few can match. This is, without doubt, one of the freshest and most vibrant Chardonnay-based wines on the shelves right now, and with six years under its belt, it is starting to gather its skirts and hit top form. There is no doubt that a touch of old oak and decent lees ageing are the tactics needed to build texture and grandeur in serious Blancs de Blancs, and when these tactics are deployed using sensational fruit, you cannot fail to make a wonderous wine. It is worth underlining the value afforded by all three of these wines. Champagne cannot come close to this degree of sophistication in this price bracket. I urge everyone who reads this piece to track down this wine – it is a sublime example of a top-flight English Blanc de Blancs.

2014 Hattingley Valley, Blanc de Blancs Approx. £41.50, Perhaps it is inevitable that the third spot on this page is reserved for Hattingley Valley. Once again, a small amount of the wine was fermented in old oak, and with five years on lees, this is a sensational treat. With 3 g/L dosage, it is racy and firm when you eventually reach the finish, but there is so much theatre to enjoy on the nose and palate it is incredible. This 2014 vintage is the current release, and there is no substitute for adding bottle age to lees ageing. There must be a mathematical equation where the answer is eight because I often find that Hattingley Valley wines move to a completely different level of sophistication at this age. And forgive me for repeating myself, but this wine only costs forty quid, which ought to make it a go-to sparkler in every serious Blanc de Blanc collection in the land.

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Established in 1952 by Major-General Sir Guy SalisburyJones, Hambledon vineyard is a British, family-run wine producer and claims to be the oldest commercial vineyard in the UK – celebrating its platinum anniversary, along with someone else…


an vis Editor Da

Platinum anniversary

C h risti

VINEYARD FACT SHEET Photos: ©Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

To most people – and certainly to sports fanatics, the Hampshire village of Hambledon is best known as the cradle of cricket. Hambledon Cricket Club played an important role in the history of the sport and features prominently in the museum at Lords Cricket Ground (see page 27). But Hambledon has another ‘best’. To wine lovers, Hambledon is best known as the oldest commercial vineyard in the UK – and is celebrating its 70th, platinum, anniversary this year. The vineyard boasts the ‘finest chalk soil and cool climate, which makes it exceptional terroir for creating world-class sparkling wines’. Ian Kellett bought Hambledon vineyard in 1999. As a passionate wine lover, Ian loved the winemaking heritage of the property. After analysing the commercial potential for English wine, he began studying oenology at Plumpton College in Sussex with a view to restoring Hambledon to its former glory. Research convinced Ian that sparkling wines were the future and in 2005 he planted a 10-acre ‘test bed’ of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to see which of the 27 combinations of vine clones and rootstocks gave the best results. A team then travelled to France to

meet Hubert de Billy, son of the chairman of Pol Roger, to revive a former relationship between Hambledon Vineyard and the famous Champagne House. Having proved that the site could grow quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, the vineyard was converted into a company in 2010 and 2011 enabling funding to be raised from third party minority shareholders. The company was also successful in applying for UK and EU government funding via the RDPE programme. Tobias Tullberg, Hambledon’s associate winemarker, hailing from Göteborg in Sweden told Vineyard: “From the 90s we have gone for minimum intervention, not biodynamics but working with those principles. It is all about quality – not messing up. We do not get too technical, we do not look at numbers. We do as little as possible – that is what Hervé does. It is daunting, to do nothing. It is tempting to go by the book. Some winemakers do too much,” opines Tobias. “Hervé has taught us to ‘listen’ to the wine.” Hervé Jestin is a consultant that comes for a week at harvest and for blending. Hervé Jestin worked at Duval Leroy and WineSpark stated: “When it comes to organic Champagne, <<

> Tobias Tullberg, associate winemaker

Vineyard: In 2018, they quadrupled the vineyard from 20 to 80 hectares. Last year was the first year of production; this year should be full production.

Grape varieties: ◆ Chardonnay ◆ Pinot Noir ◆ Meunier

Harvesting: All hand-picked. The presses and fully gravity-fed winery (the only one in the UK, claims Hambledon) are located on site, which minimises the time between picking and pressing – a crucial factor to ensure the quality of the wine.

Soils: Hambledon’s subsoil is made of chalk. The same that was formed on the seabed of the Paris basin some 65 million years ago. Hambledon Vineyard’s terroir contains the same Belemnite content as some of the best Chardonnay areas of the Côtes des Blancs in Champagne – playing a key role in the quality of the grapes, as chalk is the perfect subsoil for growing vines. Aspect: Home Vineyard is planted on the steep south east-facing slope immediately beneath Mill Down House at between 50 and 100m above sea level. A larger Windmill Down Vineyard spreads across the south east-facing slopes to the west of the house and winery. A third vineyard to the east of the house is called East Vineyard. Two other large sites within the village of Hambledon comprise the remaining vines. In addition to benefitting from the finest chalk soil, Hambledon, is fortunate enough to be protected from heavy rainfalls by the Isle of Wight, directly facing Hampshire, allowing the vineyard to get reasonably high insolation.

Timings: September and October

What’s new? A tasting room and visitor centre is also planned to be completed in 2022.


EDITOR'S IN THE VISIT WINERY FACT SHEET The on-site winery opened in time for its first harvest in 2011 and was subsequently opened officially by the Duchess of Cornwall. Hambledon claim this stateof-the-art facility is the only fully gravity fed winery in the UK, allowing them to make wines with the minimal possible intervention. It means they have no need to pump musts, or wines ,under pressure, but instead can move them gently by gravity from one tank, or process, to the next. It also has installed Coquard PAI presses to achieve the best extraction of juices in the most gentle manner possible.

Pressing/crushing: The Coquard PAI presses use a gentle horizontal pressing motion to extract the best quality juice from the grapes without extracting the bitter compounds from the skins. The juice is separated into two parts: the free run and initial pressing (the ‘cuvée’) and the end pressing (the ‘taille’). The juice is chilled to 5°C and left in tanks for up to 24 hours to allow the grape solids to settle at the bottom of the tank, from where they can be removed. Ageing: The wines are left in the tanks on the lees for a minimum of six months. Production capacity: ◆ 250,000 bottles, including contracts ◆ 100,000 Hambledon Classic Cuveé

> The new visitor centre

Equipment: ◆ Metalnox ◆ 26,000 x 10 litre tanks ◆ 9,200 x 10 ◆ 5,000 x 2 ◆ Pump - Mori & Corrado – only use pumps for racking ◆ Presses - Coquard ◆ Disgorgeing/labelling – Champagel TOD ◆ Riddling cages: 16: 504 bottles per cage

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

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<< there’s one winemaker that commands respect and authority above all others – Hervé Jestin.” Tobias Tullberg said that in 2018, the vineyard quadrupled from 20 to 80 hectares. Last year was the first year of production. “20 hectares is like a family vineyard,” he said. “80 is altogether a different beast. Last year was a small harvest; this year should be full production.” “It is at the April tasting that we decide (what to do). ‘Not this is that’. As to specials such as Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs, we decide after the fact (tasting). “We are about quality. We are not bothered about volume,” pronounces Tobias Tullberg. Sadly, the visitor centre, started pre-Covid, is still not finished. “English wines have grown exponentially. It is not like anywhere in the world. This year is looking good; get through flowering and we should have a good harvest. Frost is not our enemy with this kind of slope. Rarely have we had to burn candles. <<


1951, Hampshire, England. Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones is looking out of the window of his new house at Windmill Down in Hambledon, discussing with his step-son what to do with the fields in front of the house. His step son replied: “Well it is south facing and chalky, and you have always loved wine and the French... how about you plant a vineyard?” Sir Guy was a subaltern in World War 1, passed out of Sandhurst in December 1915 (what a time to graduate) and served in the trenches of France where he won the Military Cross. The French soldiers had wine rations – needless to say the British army had no such thing. These French men shared their allocated vinified grape juice with the British in the trenches and Sir Guy duly formed a bond with the French… and a love of wine. After World War II Sir Guy served as Military attaché in the British embassy in Paris, which adds greater clarity to another story about Her Majesty serving our wine to President Pompidou at the British Embassy. Subsequently Sir Guy was Aide de Camp to King George VI, and then Marshall of the Diplomatic Corps for both King George and then for our Queen, Elizabeth II. Still, back to the 1950s. Burgundy, France this time. After a trip to the Hospice de Beaune Sir Guy is convinced. Having taken a sack of the vineyard soil to burgundy with them, the Burgundian opinion was that this would do just fine. Sir Guy has vines loaded onto the roof of his old Rover and returns to England and gets planting. And so, the first commercial English vineyard of the modern era was born! Launched in 1952, the same year as the Coronation.

Hambledon Cricket Club

Hambledon Cricket Club played an important role in the history of the sport and features prominently in the museum at Lords. Originally a social club for local nobility, Hambledon became the foremost cricket club in England by the late 18th Century, attracting some of the best players in the country. Its original home at BroadHalfpenny Down can be seen across the valley from Hambledon Vineyard. At this time the wicket consisted of just two stumps. But after Kent’s leading bowler (Lumpy Stevens) bowled Hambledon’s leading batsman (John Small) through the stumps three times without dislodging the bails in one match, a third stump was introduced. This historical development is commemorated in the Hambledon logo.


EDITOR'S VISIT << “A key feature at Hambledon is leaving on the lees both in barrels and bottles, December through to January/February – ageing on the lees. Malo from December to end of March. It is not warm here so the Malo is slow. Obviously, as there are no skins we have to have time on the lees. Keep the fine lees in suspension through the winter. “The focus is on quality, so it all takes longer,” said Tobias Tullberg. “A minimum of three years for the classic and six years for the premium. At the end of March/early April, we do racking. There is a tendency to bottle early but not at Hambledon, he states firmly.

Fracturation with the Coquard presses (four and eight tonnes):

Tobias explained that with seven programme stages, the best juice comes from 3-3.5 hours, 1-3 stages. 4+ pressing harder and Stage 6 they use last. At Hambledon the tails (stage 7), which would be allowed in Champagne, are sent for distilling. “We make decisions by taste, not numbers,” said Tobias. “Taste: you cannot learn at school,” he added. Hambledon innoculate with traditional Champagne yeasts. “We do not protect from oxygen, which they would do in Australia. We think it is important to introduce some oxygen to interact with the juice. Any browning, which happens in Burgundy, is not a problem. “The chalk is the ‘raison d’etre’ for Hambledon being where it is, said Tobias. “This would be worth its weight in gold in Champagne. Here, it is just agricultural land. “The potential here (meaning: England) is astronomical. There is nowhere in the world like this. You have investors willing to invest; customers willing to pay the price. Everything goes together. It is unique in the world. England is the most interesting country in the world for a young winemaker,” says Tobias emphatically.


















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Pushing open the door for women The much-anticipated Women in Wine Expo returned this summer to the birthplace of wine, Georgia writes Katherine Gannon. During the first week of May, women from across the globe were immersed in the splendour of Georgia wine country where they stayed at the five-star Lopota Lake Resort and Chateau Buera based in Napareuli. Female winemakers, sommeliers, and women from all aspects of the industry were invited to taste international wines while learning from the experts behind its creation using traditional techniques dating back some 8,000 years. “My wine journey started 13 years ago, and my passion is women empowerment said Senay Ozdemir. Senay Ozdemir is the organiser behind the Women in Wine Expo in Georgia but also a TED speaker, a former TV presenter, a lecturer and

the award-winning journalist who launched SEN, a magazine awarded the best newspaper in Holland. All before turning her attention to the wine industry a decade ago, with the creation of her PR agency House of Red & White which has been going from strength to strength in its goal of educating more females involved in the industry. She surmised: “The reason there is so much participation of women in Georgia and Russia in the wine industry is that men leave for war and women take over the business. The woman doesn’t usually go to war.” Senay is pushing open the door for women worldwide through her business while also shining a light on the lesser-known wine exporting regions of Eastern European countries,

“I must work three times harder as an African woman.”

including her parents’ home country, Turkey. With a focus on the ancient wines produced in Georgia, Armenia, and Turkey, the expo hosted various wine tastings and workshops to learn about both the traditional production of wine and how traditional Eastern Qvevri wine is produced. One speaker for the ‘changing the narrative’ section of the expo was Sharrol Mukendi-Klass, Wine Steward Tamboerswinkel in Cape Town. “I must work three times harder as an African woman,” Sharrol told attendees who clapped when hearing of her successful journey of getting involved in the PIWOSA Women in Wine Initiative. Ms Mukendi-Klass worked in hospitality for 15 years. Although she didn’t originally set out to be an expert in the field, she had a deep interest in pairing dishes with the right wine and combined this with her drive to show that women can excel


> Senay Ozdemir


in any male-dominated field. She can now be regarded as one of the best sommeliers South Africa has to offer. The sommelier was helped in her journey by another woman, Kathy Jordan, creator and board member of The Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa programme. The programme selects one disadvantaged female candidate annually to offer them an opportunity to progress in a career in the wine industry. “I would like to thank Kathy Jordan for allowing people like me, who would never have had a chance” added Ms Mukendi-Klass. “Wine and War.” Was the title of a speech given by Maryna Revkova, a Ukrainian sommelier, who has since relocated to Portugal due to the ongoing conflict. Revkova told of how her invitation to speak at the expo came two days after the Russian invasion when her home in Kyiv had just been bombed. “Some wines improve with age, and some people can’t,” she said while discussing how numerous wineries had been destroyed and Ukrainian winemakers had lost their lives. She ended her speech with “make wine, not war.” Another expo attendee was 26-year-old Ana Mirianashvili, commercial director of Chelti Winery. Ms Mirianashvili became involved in her family’s century-old business and worked hard to prove herself as a young female working in the industry when coming up against negative attitudes. She disclosed how sales have increased five times since her involvement, and how one of her wines was selected to be used at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. “Our whole family is involved in the business. My father is the main winemaker, I am the commercial director, and my brother is the general manager,” said Ms Mirianashvili. Asked about the struggles she has faced as a ‘woman in wine’ she said: “Being in Georgia as a woman in the wine industry, in a top management position, sometimes makes people suspicious, and they doubt that you can be as professional as a man.” Adding: “Sometimes people look at you like you

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> Ana Mirianashvili, Chelti Winery are young, you’re a woman, maybe you are not as competent as older men who are in this business.” The businesswoman stresses that the women of her country have earned their success and recognition, which has led to a change in opinion. “Nowadays many young Georgian women have become so successful internationally that they have proved that they can be as good and sometimes even better than a man in the industry, and this attitude is now changing, but it is a process,” she said. Ms Mirianashvili was honoured that her family’s wine was selected as a gift to be consumed by guests at the Royal wedding. She believes it was a combination of good quality and a rich history that resulted in her wine being chosen. “The quality of the wine is very high and there is a history behind it. It was made in a Qvevri with the same method which has existed for 8,000 years” she explained. “It was a 2011 reserve of Saperavi Qvevri wine. The Embassy of Georgia in the UK sent several Georgian wines to the royal wedding organisers to taste. After a few months of selection, the embassy received a letter from the royal family’s sommeliers that they liked our wine, and we were able to gift this wine to Prince Harry and Megan Markle for the celebration of their wedding.” Adding: “We prepared packaging that was specially made for this wedding. It was a gift box with a special label and little Qvevri’s inside. We sent several gift boxes of this wine to the embassy, and they sent this wine to the royal family. Several months after the wedding we received a letter saying thank you and that they enjoyed it.” Before joining her family’s company, the director worked in other companies in Europe

gaining experience that she could use to help Chelti winery progress. She started working in her family business full time at age 21. “Since I became fully involved in my family’s company sales have increased more than five fold,” she said. Adding: “Before the involvement of my brother and myself, our wine was in only four countries and now we are in more than twenty countries. We are in Europe, the USA, and Asian markets and I even went to Latin America to introduce Georgian wine to them.” London based PR agent Nadia Zammal was also on the invite list for the WIWE and is now working with organiser Senay Ozdemir to bring the expo to the UK. Nadia Zammal speaks about how this led her to get involved in the Women in Wine Expo, promoting gender equality within the industry. “The hope is to create events around women in wine throughout the UK, not just London centric. We don’t want to exclude men either, we want to involve them.” Ms Zammal said the perception of English wine, as well as the costs of having staff for a small winery, are the main struggles for UK wineries. “English wine doesn’t really have the best perception in the world. Not just in the country but in the world. Then there are the price,” she explained “For small vineyards and wineries, it can be a two-man or one-man band. The most important thing is to put their product out there, but they run out of time to do all the marketing, all the representation and all the sales because they don’t have the manpower,” she added. Working 16-hours a day seven days a week is

“Being in Georgia as a woman in the wine industry, in a top management position, sometimes makes people suspicious, and they doubt that you can be as professional as a man.”

the reality for one English winemaker, Emma Rice from Hattingley Valley. “It is an endless battle to produce good quality grapes in England. There is never an easy year. Some years are easier than others, but it is never easy. You can’t afford to sit back at any time in English viticulture. In winemaking too, the conditions we are expecting the yeast to work are extreme,” said Emma. “There is an awful lot of aspects to making sparkling wine, particularly here in England. If one piece falls out of the puzzle suddenly everything is falling apart. We are always in danger of falling apart,” she added. Emma Rice has been involved in the industry for 33 years and worked in wineries in California and Australia before returning to the UK. Asked how her endeavors abroad differed from working in England she admits she believes her best opportunities were experienced at home. “In 2008 when I came back there were hardly any wineries. I was an inexperienced winemaker. I had opportunities that I never would have had if I had stayed in California or Australia,” said Emma.

“When Simon Robinson wanted to find someone to build his winery, it was me or nobody essentially,” Emma explained. Emma also felt that the lack of tradition in the UK wine industry has been beneficial for women. “There are no traditions here, there are no assumptions that women don’t work in the winery, whereas in Australia and California there is to a certain extent. In the winery I worked in California I was the first woman to have ever worked in the cellar.” Although there were very few women working in wine production in California, Emma said that she did not face as many challenges in the US as she did in Australia. “There was a definite cultural difference between going from California to Australia in terms of how I felt about opportunities for women. I think the women out there had to work a whole lot harder than the men and did to get the recognition.” Emma added: “Here in England it is completely different in the production industry. I have never felt my gender was a barrier. I wouldn’t say that it is the same for the trade. I have encountered

"Here in England it is completely different in the production industry. I have never felt my gender was a barrier."

> Maryna Revkova, Ukranian sommelier

some pretty horrific sexism when I was working in the trade in London. “In older more traditional regions, women never had worked in the cellar and were almost kept out of the cellar so it’s a battle for them to get in. There is no battle here as no one was making wine really, so there were no assumptions that men would be in the cellar and women in the office.” As Emma was the one in charge of the winery, she said that any employees who came in after her wouldn’t have lasted very long if they had an issue with a woman in authority. “There is nothing here that your average woman can’t do in the winery that men can do. I expect the women that work here to jump on the forklift, or get on the JCB and drive that, to get their hands dirty. Nobody is given any quarter for their gender. If I can do it, they can.”



A place for the unexpected After the past two years a return to trade shows has been a relief and a revelation. This was abundantly clear at the London Wine Fair where it took twenty minutes to walk straight down the main isle due to the number of familiar faces that just had to stop and say hello. People have in Covid-19 times forgotten the pleasure of meeting real people chatting and swapping ideas. The London Wine Fair has always been a place for the unexpected; that little bit of something

different and this year that experience worked both ways. Wines of Georgia and Wines of Armenia both had wines made from native Indigenous grape varieties and talking with Rowton Vineyards (who joined the Vineyard Stand on day one) we agreed that whether you like something or whether you don’t there is much pleasure in the experience of the new and the unique. With that in mind it was great to see how many people had visited both the WineGB stand and also the Welsh Wine stand.

> Zoe and Melissa Evans from Rowton Vineyard on the Vineyard Magazine stand > William Coran presenting his Charmat method Boco from the House of Coran Vineyard


The Welsh Vineyards had plenty of wines to showcase including an award winning red from White Castle. WineGB had numerous award winning wines available to try and on the Vineyard stand it was a great privilege to be able to show international visitors, who had never experienced

English wine, a diverse selection including: Traditional method sparkling wines from Ridgeview, Hidden Spring and Rowton and still whites from Penn Croft (Pinot Blanc & Bacchus), Rowton (Solaris) and Flint (Bacchus) alongside a Charmat method rosé also from Flint Vineyard.

The show was very successful show for WineGB: "We had a great line up of different wines and producers which really appealed to the trade visitors. We were busy throughout the whole as were the Welsh producers, showing just how much interest there is in the wine industry in Britain

today. Great quality visitors this year too," said Julia Trustram Eve, Head of Marketing at WineGB. Thank you too all those who came and joined us on our stand and to the team at the London Wine Fair who made the event a great success under what were the most difficult of circumstances.

Mitigating climate change At the London Wine Fair, Olympia, on Thursday 9 June, keynote speakers Dr Alistair Nesbitt, CEO, Vinescapes and Professor Steve Dorling, CEO, Weatherquest, shared some insights from their two year-long collaborative research project, CREWS-UK. The presentation entitled, Climate Change & Wine: Threats, Opportunities, Resilience and Mitigation, was attended by an international audience as the UK-based scientists work is relevant globally. The CREWS-UK project is a collaboration between climatologists, wine sector specialists and scientists from Vinescapes, the Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics, and the University of East Anglia, with funding from UK Research and Innovation. The project shows how climate change will affect the wine production sector, and inform the industry to allow for adaptation and build resilience. Dr Alistair Nesbitt commented: “It is wellestablished that climate and growing season temperatures strongly influence grape growth, quantity, and quality. Grapes are amongst the most sensitive crops to climate change – grapes for high quality wines grow in narrow temperature ranges. A small shift in temperature can move them out of the optimum zone. “There are threats to production, but there are also opportunities, and ways in which the wine industry can help mitigate climate change,” Dr Nesbitt added. “Climate change will impact the costs of production, revenues, and profits of wine producers – who are already, or will be, adjusting their practices and adapting their winemaking business for a warmer world. But whether this adaption is successful, may come

down to consumers. “For many producers, the climate crisis is making life much harder. Warming temperatures, extremes, drought, fires, and hail, can all negatively affect grape production, quality thresholds and vintage variability. For others, warming temperatures have been advantageous, at least in the short term! Wine production is heading poleward. There are now vineyards as far north as Norway’s Flatdal region, and viticulture in England and Wales is thriving,” he added. Dr Nesbitt’s work with climate data and suitability modelling has uncovered 35,000ha of prime land with potential for viticulture and the impact from this research is already apparent with a 400% increase in vineyard area in East Anglia since the publication of the 2018 paper. On a more positive note, Dr Nesbitt explained how the wine production industry has the opportunity to help mitigate climate change. “The area under-vine is able to sequester carbon and soil organic carbon (SOC) is seen as one way to mitigate climate change. Small increases of SOC over very large areas in agricultural and pastoral lands will significantly reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide,” he explained. “SOC can be improved through the

Photos: WineGB

addition of manures, compost, and mulch. Also, returning prunings will help soil carbon storage. “However, the most promising ways for increasing vineyard carbon storage is better soil management methods especially avoiding tillage or ploughing and having a permanent cover crop. Regenerative viticulture methods help to build biodiversity in habitats above and below ground, with a focus on soil health, mycorrhizal fungi, and soil biology. We also now have the opportunity to select disease resistant varieties to reduce our inputs,” Dr Nesbitt added. The speakers concluded that the threats of climate change are chronic and acute, but that there are opportunities to explore new areas, new varieties, and new technology to build resilience. To adapt, producers will need to have the knowledge to assess risk and manage variability – and be flexible in both the production and the market. “Regenerative viticulture, knowledge and research are key to helping mitigate climate change – producers can find out more from the Regenerative Viticulture Foundation. The good news is – if you have a vineyard, you are already capturing carbon and depositing it in your vineyard soil!” Dr Nesbitt said.

> Professor Steve Dorling and Dr Alistair Nesbitt

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How do you feel? Rebecca Farmer holidaying in Rutland describes a vineyard visit from a tourist point of view. I have long had an affinity with wine tourism. I remember as a little girl looking on as my father repurposed our two litre water bottles into two litre wine bottles at the local winery in Provence, my eyes widening as an ever growing number of people bought an ever increasingly strange collection of containers including industrial size butter tubs– in fact anything but a wine bottle. Some people would consider this the best form of upcycling. My strongest and deepest attachment to wine tourism came a few years later in Germany. We had been in Berlin when the wall fell (in itself a story of several chapters) but after the frenetic days spent in that city my parents decided that a few days of tranquil serenity were in order and we proceeded to the Mosel Valley. My mother wished only to buy some bread and ham, find a small vineyard, buy some wine and enjoy the surroundings and the river. My father it seems had other ideas and we travelled from vineyard to winery to winery without let up. This illustrates an important yet often overlooked point about wine tourists: they come in many forms. Wine tourism attracts those with different objectives and within a group of four people rarely will they all have the same level of interest and enthusiasm. Catering only to the sophisticated wine tourist may mean that their visit is curtailed by others in the party who may feel excluded from the experience and

the vineyard shop will not benefit as much as it might otherwise have done. At a tender age in a German vineyard I realised what wine tourism should be like and more importantly how it should feel to the tourist. Having stopped at yet another vineyard starting the same process for about the sixth time that day I was approached by the wine maker who asked if “I would like to try something that he had made?” As a child under the age of ten I laughed and said “I am not allowed to drink wine.” He looked at me very seriously and explained he had a tasting just for me. It was of course a red and white grape juice made from the vineyard varieties but he gave it to me on a wine barrel table, served in proper tasting glasses, a little at a time and taught me the correct way to taste it (minus the spitting). The idea was simple but for the first time I felt part of the wine tourism experience instead of a spectator. I felt valued, special and included. He also taught me another valuable lesson “Kinder wine is better than cola.” I have travelled to many wine regions as a tourist and always marvelled at the beautiful rows of vines and uninterrupted views across some of the most scenic valleys in the world. More recently these experiences have been closer to home. At Camel Valley vineyard I remember drinking English still wine gazing out across the vines on the terrace of the tasting rooms enjoying an exquisite summer evening

having just toured the vineyard guided by Bob Lindo. At Parva Farm Vineyard in Wales the owner let us leave through her back garden and an adjoining field to avoid the quagmire that had developed on the public footpath. I shall never forget passing a mixed case of wine over a stile whilst myself and my companion were planted firmly either side ensuring the safety of our box of goodies before our own! It's good to see wine tourism increasing nationally, with large scale organisations such as the Vineyards of Hampshire and The Wine Garden of England (Kent) promoting the idea of wine tourism across a whole county. Each vineyard whilst celebrating their own unique character still benefits from linking to a group consciousness that is good for everyone including the associated trades. However, recognising individuality is a concept that should also be applied to tourists if we are to inspire both repeat visitors and word (or rather taste) of mouth recommendations that lead to both opportunity and the reputation of excellence. My most recent wine tourism visit was to Rutland Vineyard, situated in England’s smallest county. Despite its small size Rutland is home to some incredible sights from Ospreys as summer visitors on Rutland Water, to fossils that have been resident in the area for much longer. England’s largest Ichthyosaur was recently discovered only a few miles away from the vineyard.

At a tender age in a German vineyard I realised what wine tourism should be like and more importantly how it should feel to the tourist.


> Tim and Zoe with their daughters Maisie and Isobel Planting in May 2021 the family team at Rutland Vineyard (consisting of Tim and Zoe Beaver and their young daughters Maisie and Isobel) have embraced this heritage. Their wine label features a Cetiosaurus, a dinosaur discovered in a Rutland quarry in 1968. The soil being Jurassic limestone has similar properties to other wine regions such as Burgundy and the seven acres currently under vine, mirror the beautiful surroundings. Situated just outside the village of Ketton the vineyard is planted with several varieties including Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier from which a Blanc de Noir is planned. This site also has a planting of the PIWI variety Caberet Noir which has been planted at the bottom of the site in an area that is likely to be the most susceptible to disease and frost in the hope that the resistance of these vines will protect some of the other varieties. Tim and Zoe Beaver are planning celebrations to mark the first anniversary of planting the vines. Tim explained that the land now planted was in

Their wine label features a Cetiosaurus, a dinosaur discovered in a Rutland quarry in 1968. The soil being Jurassic limestone has similar properties to other wine regions such as Burgundy. arable production until 2020 when the last crop of malting barley was harvested. The transformation of the site is therefore impressive with the first harvest being planned for 2023. Everything has been done to ensure the success of the vines with the rootstock selection a mixture of SO4 and Fercal. Having studied at Plumpton, a good three hours from home, Tim said: “The wine community was very welcoming” with vineyards close to Plumpton taking time to look after him whilst he was studying. This is the atmosphere that Tim and Zoe are trying to create at this vineyard. We <<


WINE TOURISM << arrived at the vineyard on a beautiful sunny day to see two children (Maisie and Isobel; Tim and Zoe’s young daughters) amongst the vines. Maisie would later show us fossils of sea urchins they had just found. Embracing the uniqueness of the site there is a one km walk around the vines named The Six Pack Track. Young visitors are encouraged to look at the plethora of Flora and Fauna and there is plenty to see on this walk, besides the obvious; this is after all a vineyard planted on a gently sloping site with distant views of spires. Zoe is very busy at the tasting room and as word spreads about what is on offer the visitor numbers are sure to increase. Tim regularly visits the tasting room area chatting with guests; the day we visited he was taking a break from spraying and eagerly chatting to a family who had been collecting fossils. His knowledge of the local geology captivates both the wine enthusiast and the budding palaeontologist. It has not all been plain sailing for the new


venture as some 3,000 vines that were due to be planted this year failed to arrive and indeed were reported as missing. Whilst the vines are now safely tucked up in cool storage it did mean that Rutland Vineyard missed their planting window. Tim and Zoe have taken a pragmatic approach to the setback, something Tim has developed over his farming career no doubt. As we are talking, we digress to the recently released USDA report discussing the likely result on grain prices. The team at Rutland Vineyard have done their research and will start vineyard tours in June 2022. The tours hosted by John Atkinson Master of Wine are now sold out, according to their website, proving there is much scope for growth in this area. With a tasting room offering Traditional method and Charmat method English Sparkling alongside tea, coffee and excellent cake Tim and Zoe have achieved their aim of creating an inclusive atmosphere and have drawn on the unique aspects of their

site to achieve a marvellous mix that brings an experience that has the vines at its roots but includes the whole family (there are even dog biscuits for your four legged friends available on the terrace). I hope that this tourism model brings joy to a new generation of wine tourists making them feel as included as I was on my journey through the Mosel Valley giving them a passion for engaging with this wonderful part of the English and Welsh wine industry as it organically grows with the burgeoning sector. Tourism within the English and Welsh wine industry is in its early stages and just as our wine makers have been able to change the script, try new things, experiment and succeed we should be able to develop our tourism offering to be as inclusive as possible. Creating lasting memories that show that each vineyard or winery is unique, they are all worth visiting and reflect the inclusive excellence that is the English and Welsh wine industry.

> A young tourist enjoying all the vineyard has to offer

With their chosen Blanc de Noir to be produced by Defined Wine alongside two whites and two reds (including the Caberet Noir) there is much to be excited about at this vineyard “with a Jurassic nature”.



Rob S

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Keeping vines healthy around flowering




Control options

The UK weather is inherently unpredictable, so given the sensitivity of this critical growth phase, a prophylactic approach is best. In low disease pressure scenarios, a welltimed application of kresoxim-methyl may offer sufficient all-round protection, given its activity against powdery mildew, Botrytis and Phomopsis. Where risk is higher, stronger protectant chemistry is needed, which in the case of Botrytis, generally centres around cyprodinil + fludioxonil, fenhexamid, and pyrimethanil. In protracted flowering seasons, it may be necessary to alternate these actives within a three-spray programme at early, middle and late flowering. Indeed, alternating actives and mode of action is important stewardship within any fungicide programme.


A good range of products offer protection against Powdery mildew, with proquinazid and metrofenone being the stand-out choices, while sulphur plus tebuconazole, or trifloxystrobin plus tebuconazole, are good in moderate disease pressure situations, or where growing PIWI or hybrid cultivars; the sulphur providing powdery mildew control, and the trifloxystrobin and/or tebuconazole giving some powdery mildew and Botrytis control, plus additional wound protection. Potassium bicarbonate and sulphur-based products are best avoided during flowering as experience suggests they can be harsher on flowers and reduce pollination. Downy mildew options are somewhat more limited, with ametoctradin + dimethomorph being the main fungicide choice.

Integrated controls

It is always important to support chemistry with cultural disease control measures, which include careful canopy management and supporting plant health with targeted nutrition. Dense canopies of lush, ‘sappy’ growth create ideal conditions for diseases, and prevent sprays penetrating through to the forming bunches, so thinning and reducing shoot number and density can benefit disease control greatly. Exposure of lush, dank areas through leaf stripping to UV light is also an excellent way of reducing powdery mildew. Excessive nitrogen fuels canopy growth, particularly where it is applied in readily-available foliar forms. Applying non-nitrate based feeds around flowering is advantageous, as it helps 'toughen’ the cell walls within leaves and removes the nitrogen element responsible for generating excess sappy growth, reducing the risk of mildew or Botrytis. Targeted nutritional products can also help by building plant health and natural disease

resistance. Cultigrow (CBL), for example, is based on flavonoids, and in AHDB trials and empirical observations, appears to reduce powdery mildew incidence due to improved plant health. Similarly, the foliar phosphite and biostimulant Phorce, where used regularly, helps build resilience to downy mildew, so is a useful addition where fungicide options are very limited. Equally, calcium is known to help reduce Botrytis risk due to its role in building stronger cell walls. More growers are taking this plant health concept further by incorporating biofungicides or elicitors, such as Romeo, Fytosave or Prestop, into programmes, to boost natural defences and support, or even supplement conventional chemistry.

Look out for black rot

While the ‘big four’ dominate disease control programmes, it is always worth looking out for any potential new threats, such as grape black rot, caused by the guignardia fungus. It is an important wet weather disease globally, particularly in humid areas, and although not something many UK or European growers have had to worry about to date, cases were seen in Kent last year, and it may be going undiagnosed elsewhere. The four weeks after cap fall are the main infection period, with warm, humid weather increasing risk. Existing triazoles such as tebuconazole or penconazole, and other actives including kresoxim-methyl or myclobutanil, are effective against grape black rot, so consider tweaking programmes to ensure this post-cap fall period is sufficiently protected. Many plant protection products have caveats regarding their usage, so always familiarise yourself with the label requirements and/or discuss with your advisor before use.

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Vines are particularly susceptible to disease infection during flowering and immediately after, so Hutchinsons agronomists Rob Saunders and Chris Cooper offer some seasonal advice to help protect crops. Flowers and inflorescences where the caps don’t dislodge provide an ideal entry point for fungal pathogens; a risk that is exacerbated by the unsettled conditions that so often coincide with ‘Wimbledon fortnight’. Phomopsis, downy mildew, powdery mildew, and Botrytis are the four key diseases to prevent getting established, although for Botrytis, the benefits of preventing infection now may not become apparent until later in the season. Latent Botrytis infection at flowering remains ‘hidden’ until developing berries begin to soften in late summer/early autumn, when the concentration of natural anti-fungal compounds declines, and disease develops, causing rots to occur. Wet and warm conditions at flowering greatly increase the risks from Botrytis and downy mildew, and prolong the flowering process itself, creating more opportunities for infection. In warm, dry conditions, flowering is over very quickly, whereas cooler, wetter conditions could extend it for up to three weeks.



End of the academic year

Friday 27 May was officially the last day of Semester 2 and the end of the 2021/22 academic year. It was also the day when 30 students across the BA, BSc and MSc degree courses at Plumpton College were invited to spend the day at Nyetimber Manor Vineyard in Pulborough. Upon arrival, the students were greeted by Zoe and Charlie, who looked after them for the day. From inside the White Barn, Zoe outlined some of the key history behind this iconic site, its inclusion in the Domesday book and some of its previous owners, notably King Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves. Followed by a description of its more recent wine-related history that has been pivotal for English Sparkling wine. The students toured the vineyards and the state-of-the-art high-

specification pressing facility. In the pressing facility and the vineyards, Zoe and Charlie outlined the philosophy of Nyetimber, which drives all aspects of production. Students benefited from industry speaker Ben Kantsler (Head Viticulturist) speaking about his role and key aspects of vineyard management which was followed by a fascinating exercise run by Brad Greatrix (Winemaker) on how bottle size affects wine development during secondary fermentation. What an end to the year it was! “Fascinating to see the state-of-the-art Pressing Centre and learn how Nyetimber approach processing their fruit. The technical tasting with Brad was innovative, the food and wine delicious, and I enjoyed the day immensely,” said Sally Wright (MSc Viticulture and Oenology).




A passion for viticulture Virgil and Adina Moise spent a lot of time in 2021 setting up Vitis Care UK Limited. In February 2022 the business became operational and it didn’t take long before it was overwhelmed with demand. The company provides just about everything needed to plant, maintain and harvest a vineyard but its core function is the supply of much needed temporary labour.

> Virgil and Adina Moise


Virgil (who is also the CEO) first became interested in Viticulture back in 2009 when he arrived from Romania to pick grapes. He became fascinated by the people that he met along the way and how different the lifestyles were between the two countries. The interest in viticulture grew and so did his skill at Vineyard Management Services. “I worked for several vineyard establishments

over the years, met some highly skilled viticulturalists and learned many skills along the way”. There were many skilled people who helped, too numerous to mention, but two people who highly influenced Virgil were Nick Cran-Crombie who is the vineyard manager at Hambledon Vineyard, Hampshire and Art Tukker from the Tinwood Vineyard in West Sussex. “I have learned a lot from Nick, and still do” he says.

“…and at Tinwood where I held a supervisory position I learned all about spraying and tractor driving. The Tukker family have been like a second family to me and Tinwood is like a second home!” Virgil also cites Julian Searle at Agri-Science as immensely helpful and supportive. He said: “Julian taught me a lot about chemicals, discussing what is needed for the vines”. As well as running Vitis Care, Virgil is vineyard manager at Blackdown Ridge, which is situated in a beautiful setting within the South Downs National Park. “The viticulture industry has grown rapidly over the last several years and, although there are

other labour recruitment companies out there I noticed that something was missing. Vineyard managers were craving consistency and reliability. In a seasonal industry those things were hard to come by and so we wanted to ensure that we provided exceptional service where consistency and reliability were guaranteed for both our clients and our workers.” Virgil reels off what he does: Planting, trellising, pruning, spray programming, canopy management, harvesting, oh…and of course… delivering lambs. Lucinda, Blackdown’s business development and marketing manager, takes up the story: “Virgil is incredibly adaptable and

Photos: ©Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

Vitis Care UK Limited provides: ◆ Labour supply ◆ Pest and disease management ◆ Vineyard maintenance ◆ Vineyard establishment ◆ Management of plant material happily deals with anything that is thrown his way. During the lambing season I needed help with two lambs that were in difficulty. Without any hesitation Virgil came to my assistance and helped deliver them. Never have I met an individual so eager to help!” In spite of his obvious skills delivering sheep his over-riding passion remains that of a vineyard management consultant and labour provider. “Our main work is the recruitment and supply labour for vineyards and all types of vineyard work from planting to harvesting,” said the affable Vitis Care CEO. “We're devoted to building something that makes people’s lives better and also something that we can be proud of. We mostly recruit from Romania but we also have English, Portuguese and Bulgarian workers in the company and they are all happy to be a part of our ‘family’.” The third member of the team is the Chris Hackett, Contracts and Accounts Director. “Vitis Care has a common set of values that applies to all of its employees regardless of role, gender, age, nationality or background. We refer to this as our ‘MAP’ ”, said Chris, “…it is what connects us and brings out the best in each of us. It stands for ‘Making A Difference’, ‘All together better’ and ‘Proud of what we do’.“ “Every decision we’ve made along the way has been driven by the desire to operate in an ethical and socially conscious way. It helped guide our initial growth,” said Virgil. “We have three core principles: 1. Treat everyone how they want to be treated; 2. Include people in the conversation, the journey, the vision; and 3. Never ask anyone to do something that we are not prepared to do ourselves, or to stay somewhere we weren’t prepared to stay << ourselves.

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VITIS CARE UK LIMITED << “These three fundamental concepts are what we live by and will continue to live by as we grow the business of the company. We are proud of it,” added Virgil. "The UK Government and the wine industry needs a more collaborative approach to labour supply," said Chris. “There are so many variables and everyone is fighting for the same transient workforce and this is why Vitis Care has a clear understanding of its goals by providing exceptional services and taking care of its workers. “We work with clients whose values align with ours and we seek out opportunities that fulfil our long-term vision. No one ever said changing lives was easy, but we’re up for the challenge,” explained Virgil. It seems that there could be something in what Virgil says because the company continues to grow in spite of the challenges that vineyards face with labour-supply and

there certainly seems to be no shortage of glowing testimonies either (see box outs). Vitis Care does have very high standards when it comes to the welfare of its workers, and the longterm vision for providing quality service. “We are like one big family and are devoted to building a company that makes people’s lives better and that we can all be proud of,” said Virgil. Virgil acknowledges that there are many challenges ahead for the English and Welsh wine sector but also many opportunities. “Since Brexit, labour supply to British vineyards have fallen to less than a third of the required levels. Labour availability issues (since the end of freedom of movement of EU citizens) have been the focus of the industry even before Brexit.” Although Vitis Care welcomes domestic workers the majority of its workforce are from Romania but Virgil remains steadfast in his optimistic approach to the future…

“Vitis Care understands our desire for attention to detail and high quality work, and this is evident at all levels. We benefit from their open communications, dependability and commitment to deliver.” Hambledon Vineyard, Hampshire


“I have found Vitis Care to be excellent to deal with. They are very responsive and have given me peace of mind that my vineyard is in good hands.” Tinwood Vineyard, West Sussex “We face many challenges as the demands for vineyard workers grow and, in spite of this we continue to engage Romanian workers who either have settled status or seasonal visas. We are good at what we do and slowly but surely we are building a strong reputation,” he said emphatically. Vitis Care are continuously looking to expand the operation and work with new clients and Virgil doesn’t hold back on this either… “We welcome enquiries from all potential clients and are able help them maximise their earning potential by providing a consistent supply of trained workers among changing seasonal demand. We have a good working relationship with many vineyard operators throughout the south east of England and we can provide them with highly-motivated workers."


gement services, we are leaders in al service and build

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Our feathered friends or foes

Jo Cow d

The beauty of birds and the delight of their song is perhaps even better when beyond the boundaries of the vineyard – especially around harvest when their appetite for sweet grapes can see the fruits of your labour disappearing fast! Jo Cowderoy finds out the best ways to deter our feathered friends and other pesky creatures from the vines and encourage them to go elsewhere for their meals. As the grapes ripen, they become an appetising food source for many species of birds – they could almost be an alternative measure of sugar-levels to a refractometer. Most vineyard managers would be prepared to share a few berries with birds, but many species are too small to take whole grapes and their pecking damages skins allowing for secondary spoilage to Botrytis and other moulds or bacteria – with subsequent quality losses.

The damage done

According to the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB) bulletin on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), “a pest is any organism that reduces the availability, quality, or value of some human resource, including arthropods, rodents, weeds, birds, nematodes, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. However, all organisms have a natural place in the world’s biosphere. To become a pest, an organism must have the potential to cause a level of injury to our

> Danebury Vineyard’s friendly pheasant Sid. “There are no specific pheasant-repelling operations as they don’t prove too great a nuisance - they have a lot of alternative food source


vineyards greater than the cost of the control measures that we would deploy to control it (the Economic Injury Level). In practice, most growers don’t wait until the damage reaches the Economic Injury Level, but intervene at the Economic Threshold, which is the point at which an intervention is necessary in order to prevent the pest density reaching the Economic Injury Level.” Natalia Zielonka, Postgraduate Researcher at the University of East Anglia, includes

Photo: Natalia Zielonka

> Bird damage the impact of birds in vineyards as part of her research work. “It’s difficult to define ‘significant damage’ as I’m sure the definition would vary across vineyard managers,” explained Natalia. “However, I do know through talking to vineyard managers and my observations that in a bad year, birds can take 80% (or more) of the crop in a field. In the majority of cases the damage is significantly lower though, often as little as <5%. The damage is highly variable – I've seen 100% of the crop from the outer most row being taken by birds, but then no damage throughout the rest of the field. It's a well-known pattern (in the UK and globally) that damage by birds is highest around the perimeter of fields, and several vineyard managers have expressed that they see those rows as a 'donation' to birds and nature,” continued Natalia. Emma Bridge, Viticulturist for Vignette at Fox & Fox, Sussex, finds that, “damage caused by

> Kite caught in the canopy

The main bird species that cause damage in one vineyard may not be the same as the species in a different vineyard birds varies hugely by year and site in relation to locally available wild food sources and other businesses which might control or attract birds, such as a local shoot.” Natalia stresses the need for observations and surveys. “The main bird species that cause damage in one vineyard may not be the same as the species in a different vineyard, and bird damage is very likely to be temporally and spatially variable – some of the vineyard managers that I work with have found one grape variety or one field to be particularly susceptible to damage by birds. Knowing where bird damage is localised and which bird species

> Bird damage at Camel Valley Vineyard

are the main pests can inform more targeted and species-specific management, which is also often the most effective,” she explained.

Bird deterrents

There are many products available that act either as barriers, visual or audible deterrents, but birds are canny creatures and the term ‘bird brain’ is unjust as they quicky adjust to new ‘threats’. Drones and lasers, designed with an understanding of bird behaviour, are indicating early success in vineyards around the world. Netting provides a physical barrier, but they << must be erected and taken down, stored,

> Reusable nets being applied at Camel Valley Vineyard

Photo: Emma Bridge

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BIRD CONTROL << and repaired. However, Bob Lindo of Camel Valley Vineyard, in Cornwall finds that netting is a reliable method of excluding birds from his vines. “We have netted for many years, and it works 100%, whereas most other ‘mainly scaring’ methods have limited effect. In the early days, I tried bangers – which are still useful before netting can be completed, as well as electronic scarers and kites. Bird damage varies, but you can spoil major amounts of crop. The capital cost is not high and we’re still using nets we’ve had for years. The cost to put on the nets is about an hour/acre using three people,” commented Bob. “Heli-kites seem like a good idea as they provide predator outlines in the sky,” commented Emma, “so long as they stay up! We have found that the version with the feathery legs has a tendency to dive into the canopy, which is not effective, whereas other kites may not look as attractive, but are much better at staying up.” “In general, single-modal deterrents - those that just offer visual or auditory stimulus, such as balloons or gas bangers – tend to be less effective as birds can become habituated to them, where they learn that the stimulus is not an actual threat and ignore it,” explained Natalia. “More complex deterrents have been found to be more effective - these are usually multimodal. For example, studies from other grape-growing regions found that fields where multiple types of deterrents were

The most effective method for keeping birds away from the grapes are the nets. simultaneously used experienced less bird damage. Methods that exploit birds' behaviour and psychology, such as their innate fear of predators, have also been found to be more effective, these include acoustic deterrents that uses the target species' alarm calls, or calls of their predator, to scare the target species away from the field,” Natalia added. “We get a bit of everything at Plumpton College’s Rock Lodge Vineyard, West Sussex,” explained Tom Newham, Vineyard Instructor. “The birds and all the other creatures are quite persistent, so we use several different methods to deter them,” he added. “I find the kites, shaped like a bird of prey, are quite effective as long as they are set up correctly and moved around the vineyard every week or so, otherwise the birds get used to them. We also use the ‘hawk-eyes’ which shimmer in the light – and these also help to deter deer. Anything that moves in the sky helps. We have some of the audio bird scarers but do not use them as there are a couple of

> “Don't forget to keep an eye out for nests filling wraps, especially on very young vines” reminds Emma


> Wasp damage

cottages near the vineyard,” Tom commented. “However, the most effective method for keeping birds away from the grapes are the nets,” said Tom. “Netting does have a labour requirement – so I am very dependent on student help! We net the fruit zone, mainly limit to the exterior rows, and focus on the varieties such as Pinot Noir and other reds, which the birds seem to favour. Birds like to fly in from the trees and bushes around the edge of the vineyard, so we also net across the end of the rows, fixing to the anchor posts,” he added. Ensuring there are alternative food sources nearby to make the grapes less attractive could be an option. “Encouraging wild fruit in hedgerows and trees seems like a good idea, but I have no proof beyond instinct,” commented Emma. “I'm not aware of any research that directly tests the presence of alternative food sources in a vineyard or other fruit-farm setting, but I am aware of one study that was performed in sunflower fields, and it found that bird damage to sunflowers was higher in fields with little edge habitat compared to fields with complex edges which offered alternative food sources to birds,” added Natalia.

New technology

“There is definitely new technology being developed in the UK and globally,” commented Natalia. “One example is the use of drones and for this purpose, the drones are made to look

BIRD CONTROL like a large bird – such as a bird of prey. They are fitted with a speaker that plays calls of this bird species, and the flight pattern of the drone is set to mimic that of a bird. I've heard that this is effective, and they don't need to be used continuously as their effectiveness carries on after the flight – as the local bird populations think a new predator has set up a territory within the target field. This said, the use of drones as bird deterrents definitely needs more testing,” added Natalia. “I’m not a fan of drones,” commented Tom, “as I have heard that the local bird population can be scared to the point of not returning. For us, using the three methods; nets, kites and the hawk eyes seem to keep the losses and damage from birds to a minimum.”

Other pesky creatures

Vineyard space invaders are not limited to birds and while out scouting look out for creepy crawlies and larger creatures – ants, earwigs, wasps, deer, and badgers all have an eye on the grapes for their next meal. “Wasps are technically a beneficial species in the broader environment, but they're a nightmare if they get stuck into fruit, especially on tight bunches,” explained Emma. “I use traps positioned liberally near the edges of the vineyard, baited with a mixture of jam and cheap lemonade – the wasps can get in easily but out with difficulty. They definitely help. “I've seen earwig induced rot in almost

every site I've ever worked, where the bunch positioning has allowed it. Any time a bunch starts swelling around a wire, they're particularly likely to get into it for shelter and food. Avoid letting bunches close around wires – just a little prod on the way past will normally be enough, if it looks to be a risk – and decent leaf stripping to reduce the arthropod-attracting shading. Fortunately, so far, I have never worked in a vineyard that's had a significant moth or spottedwing drosophila problem. However, scale can be problematic if it reaches intense levels. There's basically no way to control it other than physically rubbing it off, ideally before they start hatching,” she added.

Wasps are technically a beneficial species in the broader environment, but they're a nightmare if they get stuck into fruit, especially on tight bunches

“Badgers and foxes both love fruit! Unfortunately, they tend to nibble at the bottom of a bunch and leave the rest – which is a good starting point for rot,”commented Emma. “It’s best to remove any damaged parts of bunches as soon as you see them. I know of a vineyard that left radios dotted around the vineyard edge near the badger setts – and played the World Service overnight. I have no idea how well it worked, but it's an idea! Badger latrines are a risk all year round, but that's to staff rather than vines. “Cock pheasants can be incredibly territorial – I had one who would jump up and peck from behind whilst I was pruning! He'd run alongside the tractor if we had the temerity to drive through his patch!“ Emma exclaimed. “The trick to keep the pheasants from pecking up from underneath to reach the lower bunches, is to close the fruit zone netting on the bottom edge with clips!” Tom added. In Emma’s view it’s best not to keep your vineyard site absolutely pristine. “Biodiversity will bring beneficial and predatory species which like a bit of untidiness and rotten wood. Whether they have eight legs or two wings, these habitats provide their bed and breakfast facilities.” Many thanks to Natalia Zielonka, a PhD candidate at University of East Anglia, funded by BBSRC (Biological Sciences Research Council) and NRPDTP (The Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership).

> Scale

Photos: Emma Bridge

> Bird damage



Managing acidity in wine begins in the vineyard Why should acidity be managed?

Acidity provides a freshness and sharpness to the flavours in a wine. It is also essential for creating the wine’s balance between bitter and sweet. A wine’s overall acidity is the product of a combination of different acids, each having different impacts on the wine. The most concentrated is grape derived tartaric acid. In an alcoholic solution, tartaric acid’s solubility is reduced and undesired crystals may precipitate. Grapes that are grown in cooler regions like the UK, generally have a high concentration of malic acid. A wine with a high concentration of malic acid will likely taste tart with a sharp mouthfeel. Acetic acid in low concentrations is inevitable in wine production, but high concentrations result in spoilage. Its appearance in wines at high concentrations is likely due to an acetic acid bacterial infection. In the presence of oxygen, this infection converts alcohol into acetic acid. Practices in the vineyard and winery must be utilised to manage this acidity so that it does not negatively affect the flavour or appearance of the wine.

What causes acidity in wine?

During grape berry development, the concentration of malic and tartaric acid increases up until veraison. Once veraison begins, the tartaric acid concentration remains relatively stable. However, malic acid concentration begins to reduce as it is metabolised to form sugars inside the grape berry. This process is accelerated by higher temperatures. Therefore, grapes grown in cooler climates have higher concentrations of malic acid, and a higher overall acidity. Other organic acids in wines are formed through various metabolic processes that occur during winemaking. However, these generally exist in very low concentrations (unless a wine has been spoiled).

How can acidity be managed in the vineyard?

Vineyards are harvested when grapes reach a certain maturity which enables a particular wine style to be produced. This maturity level is commonly (but not exclusively) determined by the grapes’ sugar and acid levels. Therefore, vineyards should be managed in such a way that sugar content and acidity are manipulated so that the desired maturity can be reached. As the cool climate in the UK is conducive to producing high acid grapes, the viticultural focus must be on ensuring that sugar accumulation is high enough and acidity is balanced. The potential success of a vineyard site is defined by its location. For vines to ripen fruit to the required maturity in the UK, heat accumulation and sunlight radiation are essential. If a site is established in an unfavourable location, for example: at a high altitude or with significant shading, it will never produce fruit with a maturity suitable for quality wine. Assuming an appropriate site has been selected, the choice of planting material is the next most significant factor. Much of the UK’s wine industry has embraced the three Champagne varieties for sparkling wine production, due to their success at producing high quality, appropriately mature fruit in cooler climates. They are successful because their phenology is short enough so that fruit may ripen in limited summers. This is an essential attribute for any variety grown in the UK. The recent increased interest in PIWI/Hybrid grape varieties offer an exciting


Tom Re


prospect for higher quality still wines, as these too have many of the same essential attributes. Once varieties have been chosen, appropriate clones and rootstocks must be selected. Rootstocks in particular have a large impact on grape berry maturity, due to their influence on the vine's vigour. A high vigour vine will produce an excess of green growth, which may create shading in the canopy that limits ripening. Finally, planting density will also alter the vigour of the vines. Planting at higher densities may reduce vigour and can improve ripening. However, in sites with ample nutrient and water availability the opposite can also be true as the vines’ vigour remains high. It is critical to use practices in the vineyard that promote the maturity of grapes in the UK. Establishing the vines on a suitable trellis system maximises sunlight exposure and increases the vines’ ability to ripen fruit. Canopy management practices such as shoot thinning and leaf stripping, which expose the fruiting zone to increased sunlight, will also improve ripening. In vineyards where vigour is too high, canopy shading can be a problem. The use of competitive cover crops to increase water and nutrient competition is a common solution. Appropriate winter pruning can improve the ripening of a vineyard. In the UK it is essential to select a pruning system which encourages an open fruiting area to ensure sunlight exposure. Pruning also provides an opportunity to control the crop load of the vines. This is important as an over cropped vine may be unable to ripen fruit appropriately. Vineyard management is not only responsible for the control of grape derived acids. Undesired acetic acid can originate in either the vineyard or the winery. In the vineyard, it is caused by sour rot infections. Sour rot occurs when berries have been damaged (often via insects or fungal infections). Acetic acid bacteria can then enter the berry and convert a small amount of ethanol to acetic acid. Management of the vineyard that minimises the incidence of sour rot is essential to producing quality sparkling wine. Ensuring the grapevine canopy is well supported on the trellis can prevent damage to berries by machinery. Canopy management practices that maximise light and airflow into the fruiting area will reduce the chance of fungal infections, which can be a precursor to sour rot. However, the primary cause of sour rot is from insect damage to the grape berries. These insects can be managed through chemical insecticide application, but an over reliance on chemical use is not sustainable. A more appropriate defence is the use of an integrated pest management (IPM) system. An IPM system would employ many other biological, cultural and physical tools before the use of chemical applications. Finally, grapes must be harvested and transported to the winery in such a way that minimises damage and exposure to oxygen and acetic acid bacteria. For example, the use of appropriately sized picking crates and minimal transport time. Considerable intervention is required in the vineyard to ensure the acidity is controlled and sugar levels are suitable for wine production. While the UK currently produces grapes with consistently high acidity, there have been exceptional years when high temperatures have caused a rapid reduction in acidity. It is important to recognise this effect of climate change, so that producers can prepare accordingly. Once grapes have been harvested, the winery must manage acidity so that the high levels are maintained, but do not dominate the wine’s organoleptic experience. In both the vineyard and winery, diligence is required to prevent spoilage through perceptible levels of acetic acid.

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Total yeastsCFU/mL

Total yeasts CFU/mL

® Torulaspora delbrueckii and Metschnikowia MPACTS OF ZYMAFLORE KHIOMP 0% 90% 1,60E+05 pulcherrima in order to adapt to all situations and INDIGENOUSS. CEREVISIAE% YEASTS 0% 64% S. cerevisiae 10% 2, 1 0E+05 preserve wine quality. 1,10E+05 90% % M. Pulcherima (MP ) ® IMPACTS OF ZYMAFLORE KHIOMP ◆ Early application to all equipment in contact ZYMAFLORE®KHIOMP 36% 1,10E+05 ® MPYEASTS ON INDIGENOUS S. CEREVISIAE Stabulation without Stabulationwith IMPACTS with the grapes: harvesting and grape MP OF ZYMAFLORE KHIO MP MP 1,60E+05 Impact of ZYMAFLORE® KHIO on indigenous ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO % Others % S. cerevisiae reception equipment, transport tankers, etc. 64% ON INDIGENOUSS. CEREVISIAEYEASTS onwith6,00E+04 ® 0% MP % M. Pulcherima (MP ) red grapes go into tank, regardless of F KHIO ZYMAFLORE KHIOMP yeasts S. cerevisiae ◆ When ® 0% % S. cerevisiae 6,00E+04 MP 10% Stabulation without Stabulationwith KHIO ZYMAFL ORE® the pre-fermentation protocol. OUSS. CEREVISIAE YEASTS 1,10E+05 2,60E+05 ® MP MP % M. Pulcherima (MP) ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO IMPACTS OF ZYMAFLORE KHIO 1,00E+04 without Stabulationwith 36% ◆ At the latest, after pressing for BIOProtection MP %Stabulation Others KHIO ZYMAFLORE® 0%YEASTS MP 2,60E+05 ON INDIGENOUS S. CEREVISIAE ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO Stabulationwithout Stabulation with ZYMAFL ®ORE® KHIO MP 0% of musts until inoculation with S. cerevisiae IMPACTS OF ZYMAFLORE KHIO 64% 1,00E+04 for 10 daysat 4°C. 2,10E+05 MP 10% 0% % Others ZYMAFLORE® KHIO BIOProtection % S. cerevisiae 6,00E+04 90% (AF). MP 0% Stabulation without Stabulation with ® MP ON INDIGENOUS S. CEREVISIAE YEASTS 5g/hL.Stabulation onwith ZYMAFL ORE® without Stabulation with at IMPACTS OF ZYMAFLORE KHIO 2,1 0E+05 KHIO %10% M. Pulcherima (MP ) is reduced, the microbiological 36% MPMP stabulation MPEndof When SOMP Stabulation ZYMAFL ORE® BIOProtection Stabulationwith ZYMAFL ORE®KHIO KHIO ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO 2

Total yeasts CFU/mL

Total yeasts CFU/mL

Total yeastsCFU/mL

Total yeastsCFU/mL

KHIO ZYMAFL ORE® MP 1,60E+052,60E+05 ON INDIGENOUSS. CEREVISIAEYEASTS ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO ZYMAFL 36% ORE® KHIO 64% pressure on the must is increased. Indigenous 1,00E+040% Endof stabulation 0% Stabulation for 10 days at 4°C. % Others 90% 1,60E+05 0% populations are larger than after conventional 0% 64% % S. cerevisiae Stabulation without Stabulation with 10% 10% Stabulation without Stabulation with MP 2,10E+05 MP ORE® KHIO at 5g/hL. At 1,the start ofBIOProtection stabulation : Inoc ulation with ZYMAFL 10E+05 90% sulphite addition. Depending on the oenological ZYMAFLORE® KHIO % M. Pulcherima (MP ) 10 2,60E+05 Stabulation for days at 4°C. ® MP MP ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO MP OF ZYMAFLORE IMPACTS KHIO ZYMAFLORE®KHIO Stabulationwithout Stabulation with context, the effect can be variable (table 2). 1,10E+05 MP 36% 36% End ofulation stabulation at 5 g/hL. At the startof 1,60E+05 stabulation :ON Inoc with ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO 0% MP 2,60E+05 Figure 2: S tabulation for 10 days at 4°C. S. CEREVISIAE YEASTS ZYMAFLORE® KHIO ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO % OthersINDIGENOUS % S. cerevisiae 64% Reducing SO2 is not just quantitative. It is also 0% Stabulationwith6,00E+04 MP 64% 10% MP At the start of stabulation Inoculation with ZYMAFLORE® KHIO at 5 g/hL. 2,1ORE® 0E+05 % M. Pulcherima (MP ) ZYMAFL KHIO 0% qualitative and reshapes the microbial balance of Stabulation for 10 days at %4°C. S. cerevisiae 6,00E+04 MP 90% ZYMAFLORE® 0% KHIO 0E+05 MP of stabulation % M. ORE® Pulcherima (MP) At1,1the startof stabulation : Inoc ulationwith ZYMAFL 5g/hL.the must. 2,10E+05 1,00E+04 36% KHIOMPat10% % Others KHIO ZYMAFLORE® Stabulation Stabulation with Stabulationwithout Stabulationwith Not all yeast species present react in the same MP 2,60E+05 1,60E+05 1,00E+04 tabulation for 10 daysat 4°C. MP ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO ZYMAFLORE® KHIO BIOProtection 36% % S. cerevisiaeZYMAFLORE® KHIO % Others 64% 6,00E+04 way to variations in SO2 levels. Among them, MP Stabulation without at 5g/hL.Stabulationwith ulation : Inoc ulationwith ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO % M. Pulcherima (MP ) 0% 90% MP stabulation 1,60E+05 ORE® KHIO BIOProtection EndofZYMAFL one seems particularly favoured in situations 0%MP 64% % S. cerevisiae ZYMAFLORE®KHIO 10% Endof stabulation 1,10E+052,10E+05 1,00E+04 where use of SO2 is limited: Hanseniaspora uvarum 90% Stabulation for 10 daysat 4°C. % Others % M. Pulcherima (MP ) Stabulation without Stabulation with MP MP : Inoc MP ORE® KHIO 36% (production of VA). At the startof stabulation ulation with ZYMAFL at 5 g/hL. KHIO ZYMAFL ORE® BIOProtection ZYMAFLORE® KHIO Stabulation for 10 daysat 4°C. 1,10E+05

MP ofulation stabulation 1,60E+05 at 5g/hL. At the start of stabulation :tabulation Inoc with ZYMAFL % Others % S. cerevisiae Figure 2:SEnd for 10 daysORE® at 4°C.KHIO 64% lationwith6,00E+04 > Figure 2: Stabulation for 10 days at 4°C. At the start of stabulation Inoculation with MP At the start of stabulation Inoculation with ZYMAFLORE® KHIO g/hL. MP % at M.5Pulcherima (MP ) Stabulation for 10 days at 4°C. ® MP ORE® KHIO % S. cerevisiae g/hL 6,00E+04 ZYMAFLORE KHIO at 5 At MP the start of stabulation : Inoc ulation with ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO at 5g/hL. ZYMAFL ORE®KHIOMP 1,10E+05 % M. Pulcherima (MP) 2 1,00E+04 MP % Others KHIO ZYMAFLORE® Stabulation without Stabulation with Distribution of the different yeast populations With inoculation: significant colonisation of 1,00E+04 on for 10 daysat 4°C. MP ® BIOProtection ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO % S. cerevisiae Comparison of Merlot grapes from the same % Others KHIOMP, limiting the development in the must at the end of stabulation (counting on ZYMAFLORE 6,00E+04 MP Stabulation without at 5g/hL.Stabulationwith oc lationwith ZYMAFL ORE® KHIO % of M. Pulcherima (MP ) vinified without SO and both with and MP of indigenous S. cerevisiae yeasts (only 36% harvest specific medium). stabulation BIOProtection EndofZYMAFL ORE® KHIO 2 ZYMAFLORE®KHIOMP without BIOProtection: total yeasts). BIOProtection limits the risk of Control tank: more than 90% of the microflora Endof stabulation 1,00E+04 Stabulation for 10 days atstarting 4°C. spontaneously during % Others In the case of the grapes without sulphite fermentation present at the end of stabulation are indigenous Stabulation without S. Stabulation with MP MP ORE® KHIO at 5g/hL. At the start of stabulation : Inoc ulation with ZYMAFL BIOProtection ZYMAFLORE® KHIO and without BIOProtection, the microbiological stabulation. cerevisae yeasts. Stabulation for 10 days at 4°C. MP pressure of the must is such that it prevents the ofulation stabulation At the startof stabulation :tabulation Inoc with ZYMAFL Figure 2:SEnd for 10 daysORE® at 4°C.KHIO at 5g/hL. inoculated S. cerevisiae yeast from becoming MP At the start of stabulation Inoculation with®for ZYMAFLORE® KHIO at 5 g/hL. Stabulation 10 daysat 4°C. TDMP established after the pre-fermentation period. At the startof stabulation : Inoc ulationwith ZYMAFLORE® KHIOMP at 5g/hL. The consequences are oxidative markers at The LAFFORT® solution for the BIOProtection of grapes higher levels than in the case of the no-sulphite and musts, particularly suitable as part of an SO2 but BIOProtected grapes, for which the alcoholic reduction strategy fermentation has been better controlled.

Effect of BIOProtection in the context of SO reduction


Influence of sulphite levels according to the species at the pre-fermentation stage

SO2Saccharomyces cerevisiae



No sulphite Analysis during AF


Starmerella bacillaris



Low fermentation activity



Torulaspora delbrueckii


> Table 2: PREFERMENT project - Albertin et al., 2014.


Analysis at end of AF


Establishment of the S. cerevisiae strain



TL35 (mg/L)



Ethyl acetate (mg/L)



VA (g/L H2SO4)



> Table 3: Check of colonisation carried out after inoculation with an active dry yeast S. cerevisiae (20 g/hL), coupled or not with ZYMAFLORE® ÉGIDE TDMP (5 g/hL). The must underwent a 48 hour pre-fermentation period at 12°C

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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.

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@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

WineGB Awards The WineGB Awards is the major competition for Great Britain’s wines and wine producers. It is judged each year by an expert panel comprising sommeliers, retailers, trade buyers and wine writers and chaired by Susie Barrie MW and Oz Clarke OBE. The wines are divided into different classes and style categories so they can be accurately accessed alongside their competitors. This year’s competition

> Oz Clarke OBE judging at the WineGB Awards


attracted the highest-ever number of entries: a total of 325 wines. Our nine judges tasted and analysed each wine last month at Exton Park. We will be holding an Awards Lunch on Friday 15 July when the trophy winners will be unveiled. Both medal and trophy winners will be listed on the WineGB website as a digital catalogue with search options. This is shared with the trade, press and visitors to the WineGB website. Photos: Tom Gold Photography

Trade Tasting


The annual WineGB Trade and Press tasting will take place on Tuesday 6 September this year at the RHS Lindley Hall in London. It is the major event for the industry in the wine trade calendar, and is attended by top trade buyers, press, writers and influencers. In 2022, we are also hoping to attract more retailers and sommeliers. This year’s event will feature individual exhibitor stands, including some producers exhibiting for the first time; stands representing regional vineyard associations, featuring smaller commercial producers and regional tourism initiatives; free-pour focus tables to highlight some of the styles now produced in Britain including the trophy winners from the WineGB Awards and a range of SWGB-accredited wines; and focused masterclasses will be held in a separate room. Trade/press visitors can register to attend by visiting

> This year, the free-pour tables will return to the WineGB Trade Tasting

Export news While the pandemic has left its mark on exports, overseas sales in both 2020 and 2021 grew by roughly 20%, an impressive performance in the current climate. The Nordics remain GB wine’s top markets, particularly Norway, where sales through the monopoly Vinmonopolet grew by a remarkable 85% in 2021, compared to the previous year. This year, WineGB is working closely with the Department for International Trade (DIT), who have already helped to run a webinar with the Swedish and Finnish monopoly buyers. We will be hosting these key buying teams at our annual trade tasting in September. This year, WineGB attended the trade show ProWein, held for the first time in three years in Düsseldorf, Germany. A greater presence at this key export event is being planned for 2023 in collaboration with DIT. WineGB has also focused its attention on the USA, another important market for GB wine. In April, 10 leading wine professionals from New York took part in a four-day visit to seven vineyards across Kent, Sussex and Hampshire. Producers Ridgeview, Hattingley Valley and Gusbourne also took part in the five-day Nantucket Wine Festival, supported by the GREAT campaign, the UK government’s international brand marketing initiative.

15 July WineGB Awards Lunch 18 July WineGB One-Day Wine School 24 July Vineyards of Hampshire Fizz Fest 19 August WineGB East Awards 6 September WineGB Trade & Press Tasting

WineGB members are eligible for a 10% discount on WineGB courses provided by 29 WSET Approved Programme Providers (APPs) across England, Scotland and Wales. Visit the members’ area of the WineGB website for the discount codes.


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The new kid on the block for supplying and servicing Bobcat’s impressive range of vineyard-friendly machines and attachments is Versatile Equipment Ltd. Versatile Equipment, which has been trading since 2003, is now the authorised Bobcat dealer for Kent, Surrey, Essex and East and West Sussex as well as Greater London. Customers old and new are promised a warm welcome at the company’s expanded headquarters on the Hornet Business Estate in Borough Green, featuring a revamped customer reception and dedicated showroom, together with parts, service, warehouse, administration and sales departments. Lee Chater, Sales and Marketing Director, said that as well as expanding the headquarters, the company had recruited new sales and customer support staff. “We made similar improvements at our hydraulic repair company, HPS in East Grinstead, to provide an increased service for local customers in this part of our new territory,” he explained. “Eighteen months on from our appointment at the beginning of 2021 we are enjoying the relationship with Bobcat, helping to significantly increase the company’s share of the agriculture and viticulture, construction, rental, landscaping, waste management and other markets in London and the south east.”

Next Is Now

Under its new Next is Now initiative, Bobcat has entered the European wheel loader market for compact wheel loaders and small articulated loaders, as well as launching new generation R-Series compact loaders and R2-Series five and six tonne mini-excavators. The company has also added a full range of new light compaction machinery, developed in collaboration with the Ammann Group. Also new is an expanded line of new generation agricultural specification telehandlers, all Stage V compliant and with lifting heights from six to eight metres and capacities of 2.6 tonnes to 4.3 tonnes.

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Next is Now As of 1 January 2021, Doosan Bobcat EMEA appointed Versatile Equipment Ltd with sole responsibility in the south east for sales and service of the market-leading range of Bobcat skid-steer and compact track loaders, mini-excavators, telehandlers, compact wheel loaders, light compaction and attachments. Bobcat has also entered the European wheel loader market for compact wheel loaders, where it has introduced the L75 and L85, and small articulated loaders (L23 and L28).

Light weight, Big Lifter

Small articulated loaders can take on a multitude of big challenges in small spaces, while disturbing the ground as little as possible. Bobcat’s nimble

loaders offer a tight-turning circle thanks to an articulation joint that allows manoeuvrability in tight spaces. A lightweight footprint and turfsafe drive mode helps limit the chance of ripping into the turf as it turns or hauls a load. Bobcat’s small articulated loaders offer impressive lifting capability and a compact size that allows them to work inside, vineyards, orchards, nurseries and fenced-in landscapes. They are also light enough to be transported from site to site by trailer if necessary. As with all Bobcat machines, the size and layout of the cab or open canopy is designed with the operator in mind, maximising comfort and visibility and offering intuitive controls and superb operator feedback. All the smaller telescopic loaders are available in agricultural configurations, while four option levels offer increasing operator comfort and productivity. Newly appointed agricultural business manager David Sawicki explained that while compact for their size, Bobcat models offered better lifting performances than equivalent competitor models.

Available models

The Bobcat range offers 12 skid-steer loaders, including the new R-Series S66 and S76 models, along with a selection of seven compact track loaders, including the latest R-Series T66 and T76 models. The Bobcat excavator range comprises 17 models, with operating weights from 1.0 tonnes to 8.8 tonnes, with recent additions being the exciting R2-Series E50z, E55z and E60 models. The newest release is the E88, Bobcat’s largest compact excavator, now built at the same factory as its smaller siblings rather than being a Doosan-built unit. The expanded line of new generation agricultural specification telehandlers consists of seven Stage V compliant models, with lifting heights from six to eight metres and lifting capacities from 2.6 tonnes to 4.3 tonnes. Four levels of ‘agriculture specific’ trim and performance are available, with numerous individual options allowing customisation at every level. An eighth model is due for release soon, filling the long empty compact slot at 2.2 tonne lift capacity and five to six metre lift height. Taking a new direction and in conjunction with Ammann, Bobcat now offers a wide range of compaction equipment including vibrating plates, trench rammers, pedestrian rollers and twin drum rollers.

Specialist Rental Fleet

Versatile Equipment also runs one of the UK’s largest state-of-the-art rental fleets of compact loaders and attachments and has a team of experts to offer customers advice on the best machinery to hire for their project. Lee Chater explained: “Not only do we offer one of the UK’s largest rental fleets of compact loaders, but we also have a huge fleet of attachments to increase the versatility of the machines. “We can cater for a wide range of needs, whether you need to rent a skid-steer or compact track loader with just a bucket or with a selection of attachments to undertake numerous tasks. All machines in our hire fleet are under three years old, fully certified and have a thorough pre-delivery inspection.”

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*Terms and conditions apply.

In stock now, the Boomer range of tractors from 24hp to 57hp across 6 models Micheldever SO21 3DN Tel: 01962 794100

East Ilsley RG20 7DJ Tel: 01635 281222

Horsham RH12 3PW Tel: 01403 790777

Great Chart TN26 1JJ Tel: 01233 822205

Wrotham Heath TN15 8LW Tel: 01732 880880

Uckfield TN22 5RB Tel: 01825 841100





Hear what Camel Valley Vineyard have to say: “For us the ‘TONY’ is so much more manoeuvrable on our site. No more ‘Austin Powers’ turning on the headlands. Being able to have more implements in front of you whilst using it is a lot more comfortable. Being articulated, the TONY it is very comfortable to drive and much safer on the steeper slopes that we have here at Camel Valley.” Sam Lindo, Camel Valley Vineyard


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More comfort and power for speciality tractors John Deere’s 5G series tractors now offer more model diversity and comfort for the varied tasks involved in high-value crop farming. The series has undergone a complete update for all tractors above 75hp, including five new, more powerful models in the GV, GN, GF and GL configuration.

New features for cab versions

A key new 5G feature is the five-speed Hi-Lo PowrReverserTM Eco-transmission, which enables travel at 40kph with reduced engine revolutions, making the tractors more fuel efficient and more comfortable to drive. To meet individual customer requirements, new models have been added to the 5G Series. Chief of these are the new 5115 tractors for the GF, GN and GV model series that deliver up to 120hp maximum power from a 3.6l fourcylinder engine. Furthermore, John Deere offers more power versatility for operation in the tightest rows in the vineyard as the GV model range gets two new power ranges – the 5105G and 5115G with a maximum power of 105 and 120hp respectively.

Tailored to the operator

The redesigned cab is now better adapted to the driver’s needs. The new design offers improved ergonomics as well as more legroom, which increases driving comfort and makes working with the new 5G tractors an even more enjoyable task. A significantly reduced bonnet height provides an unrivalled view to the front. More visibility, especially during the night, is also provided by the optionally available LED lighting. While the new cab makes the work more comfortable, the driver’s health will also benefit. The Category IV filter system (in accordance with EN 15695) integrated into the roof of the driver's cab is optionally available and provides protection against dust, aerosols that are hazardous to health, and vapours. Another highlight of the latest 5G Series tractors is the new 5-inch digital display, which presents important vehicle information centrally in front of the driver and even allows various tractor and machine settings to be changed conveniently.

Tailored to efficiency

The new tractors are not only easier to operate, they are also getting smarter. The tractors can optionally be equipped with Isobus and retrofitted with the JD-Link telematics module. This allows the tractors to be connected to the free of charge John Deere Operations Centre, which saves time and money. Operations can be digitised and planned more easily as state-ofthe-art fleet management tools come with the tractor for free. To manage the work on steep slopes and narrow rows even more efficiently, the tractors can be equipped with comprehensive features such as Dynamic Steering and AutoClutch. With Dynamic Steering, steering wheel resistance automatically changes with ground speed. At slower speeds, the steering effort required is significantly reduced, especially during tight turning manoeuvres, while higher steering wheel torque is made possible when driving on roads at transport speed. This improves the driver's comfort and control over the tractor. The AutoClutch function makes it easier to maneuver on slopes, as the clutch is engaged with the brake pedal.

Additional updates

In orchards with low-hanging pergola crops, John Deere's 5G series also offers an open station (OOS) or a low-profile cab. While a new 105hp tractor for the GL range offers more power versality, the larger driver's seats provide more driving comfort for orchard work.


Vitifruit Equipment Sales and Hire






VINE TRIMMERS /vitifruitequipment


 01732 866567


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

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vid Sayell & a D

c ha Ri

Compost spreading

rd Witt

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> Roche Broadcast Tractor driven machines for compost and manure spreading come in many different shapes and sizes from small mounted machines to larger trailed types. Some can only side-spread to form a row of mulch under the vines while some can also broadcast across the whole soil surface. Spreading light compost or wood chip is less demanding than cow manure or wet claggy compost so the style of spreader must suit the material to be spread. As vine rows are relatively narrow it follows

> Under the vines at Greyfriars that the carrying capacity of the hopper can't be too big as the longer the trailer the more difficult it is to turn on the headlands without taking out end posts and wires. To assist with tight turns it's normal to have an articulated drawbar with wide angle pto shaft but there is also the further option of a hydraulic steering facility on the trailer's wheels which is especially valuable where headlands are extremely tight. If a consistent depth of mulch material is required it can be tricky, so to have full adaptability it is possible to have in cab control

of both the bed speed delivery of material into the beaters but also the rotational speed of the cross conveyor or rotary spinners. Loading the spreader is best done with a mechanical shovel or loader bucket and care must be taken not to introduce stones, bricks or lumps of concrete into the spreader; when dumping lorry loads of compost in the field select a suitable site. Smaller mounted machines are made by Gamberini, medium duty trailed machines by Rink and the heavy duty ones by Roche.

Utility vehicles, compact tractors, fertiliser spreaders, sprayers and much more!

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

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