Vineyard October 2021

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VINEYAR VINEYARD YAR Y D for viticulturists in Great Britain ™


Creating joy INSIDE ◆

Matthew Jukes’ sweet sensations

Low down on downy

Wine club top tips

Keeping it clean


Registration open, see page 16


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

Matthew Berryman 07710 765323



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VINEYARD for viticulturists in Great Britain


Showcasing the Wines of Great Britain


Frazer Thompson steps down VINEYARD Kelsey Media, The Granary, Downs Court Yalding Hill, Yalding, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 6AL 01959 541444 EDITORIAL Editor: Jo Cowderoy GRAPHIC DESIGN Jo Legg Flair Creative Design ADVERTISEMENT SALES Jamie McGrorty 01303 233883 PHOTOGRAPHER Martin Apps MANAGEMENT CHIEF EXECUTIVE: Steve Wright CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Phil Weeden MANAGING DIRECTOR: Kevin McCormick PUBLISHER: Jamie McGrorty RETAIL DIRECTOR: Steve Brown RENEWALS AND PROJECTS MANAGER: Andy Cotton SENIOR SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING MANAGER: Nick McIntosh SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING DIRECTOR: Gill Lambert SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING MANAGER: Kate Chamberlain SENIOR PRINT PRINT PRODUCTION MANAGER: Georgina Harris PRINT PRODUCTION CONTROLLER: Kelly Orriss DISTRIBUTION Distribution in Great Britain: Marketforce (UK) 3rd Floor, 161 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9AP Tel: 0330 390 6555

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The Vineyard and Winery Show Exclusive branded glass for every visitor.

In conversation...

Founder of Grape Britannia, Matt Hodgson, became so excited about English and Welsh wine that he switched career to join this amazingly dynamic, positive industry.

20 Matthew Jukes

I fell in love with sweet wines on the very first day of my wine trade career.


Meet the people behind the wines

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


The vine post

Harvest preparations.


The agronomy diary


Spoilt by choice


Fermentation focus

Take charge of local SWD threat. Some considerations when selecting bottle closure. Various fermentation protocols are outlined to maximise the flavour and styles from your harvest.

50 Sustaining closure

Since 1774 Rankin Brothers & Sons, a leading supplier, manufacturer and designer of closures, stoppers and corks has been supporting the wine, beer and spirits industry. Vineyard speaks to Jim Rankin to find out how innovation and new technology will drive the transition to more environmentally positive materials.

PRINTING Precision Colour Print Kelsey Media 2020 © all rights reserved. Kelsey Media is a trading name of Kelsey Publishing Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden except with permission in writing from the publishers. Note to contributors: articles submitted for consideration by the editor must be the original work of the author and not previously published. Where photographs are included, which are not the property of the contributor, permission to reproduce them must have been obtained from the owner of the copyright. The editor cannot guarantee a personal response to all letters and emails received. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Publisher. Kelsey Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties.



Representing you



WineGB Trade Tasting – what you need to know…. Running a sustainable vineyard.

Front cover image: Squerryes Estate

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CONTENTS Features In the business of creating joy


Vineyard discovers how the spirit of the family motto 'Licet Esse Beatis', meaning 'It is permitted to be joyful' is at the heart of everything at Squerryes.

Low down on downy


The wet weather, rationed armoury – and limited opportunity to use it – have created the perfect storm for downy mildew.

Join the club


What is there not to like with a wine club? For the winery subscription-based wine clubs are a predictable source of income bringing the higher margins from direct-to-consumer sales.

Keeping it clean – part 1


We only want wine in our wine, so winery hygiene is essential for producing a quality product, avoiding contamination and unwanted taints.

Jo C

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

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From the editor

Education is key

The Vineyard


eroy d ow

Taking a quick look at some of the job websites, it was interesting to see how many posts are available in our sector, with adverts for winemakers and assistant winemakers, vineyard managers, cellar hands and more. It’s encouraging to see the career options – but worrying to hear that many employers are struggling to find suitably qualified applicants. It is well recognised that a skills shortage, across all levels, is one of the threats to our industry and a barrier to its development. In order to advance, the sector needs well-qualified, knowledgeable people, that have the breadth of experience to enable them to adapt to challenges and be equipped with the skills to diversify. They also need the confidence to embrace technology and recognise innovation, to be able to anticipate and adapt – and to be resilient in difficult conditions or changing environments. Training can provide the many skills needed in the vineyard and winery, but it is education that underpins the knowledge – the science behind viticulture and winemaking. As Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” There is also a well-known proverb about ‘leading a horse to water…’ If the industry is to continue its development, its members need to value education and training and be willing to invest – both time and money. I believe the WineSkills training programme from Plumpton College is to be re-launched soon and I hope that there is a good uptake and realisation of the importance of up-skilling and continuing professional development. When it comes to degree level education, I am always so pleased to see the achievements of Plumpton College alumni in our industry, as well as in other wine regions around the world – as winemakers, vineyard managers, in marketing, sales and wine buying. These are the people that are often behind our most successful, award-winning wines – setting high quality standards. The degree programmes at Plumpton College will continue to supply a steady stream of graduates in the future – but we also need to encourage new people into the industry, to attend courses, and make them realise that there are exciting careers to be had. We also need to keep banging on Westminster’s door to secure training support for this growing sector!


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Showcasing the Wines of Great Britain

The WineGB Trade & Press Tasting is to take place on Tuesday 7 September at RHS Lindley Hall in central London, from 10.30am to 5.30pm. Open only to trade buyers and press, this is the key event for the English and Welsh wine industry, with producers from across the country exhibiting their wines. The annual tasting will be one of the first major London wine tastings to take place since the pandemic. The event will be showcasing some of the most exciting developments in the UK wine industry as well as featuring a wide selection of wines from UK producers – who are all looking forward to meeting up with wine trade buyers and press again. Strict measures will be in place to ensure that visitors will be tasting in as safe an environment as possible.

Event spotlights

◆ Individual exhibitor stands, including some producers exhibiting for the first time ◆ Stands representing regional vineyard


associations, featuring smaller commercial producers ◆ Focus tables to highlight some of the styles now produced in Britain ◆ Focus tasting table featuring the Trophy winners in the WineGB Awards 2021 ◆ The latest industry data and industry strategy will be outlined at a breakfast briefing led by CEO Simon Thorpe MW. Instead of the free pour line-up of wines of previous years, there will be a number of focus tables looking at specific wine styles: ◆ Classic Method Sparkling White Wines aged for minimum 36 months on lees ◆ Classic Method Sparkling Rosé ◆ Still Red Wines ◆ Bacchus – all wine styles ◆ Innovations – such as Pet Nat, canned wines and Charmat

WineGB top awards to be announced At the tasting the top Trophy wins, including

Supreme Champion, will be announced by Head judges Susie Barrie MW & Oz Clarke OBE, along with unveiling the top regional winners in the competition. The WineGB Awards category trophy winners will feature on their own tasting table. WineGB’s Head of Marketing Julia Trustram Eve commented: “We are thrilled to be able to host our flagship event once again and be part of the trade calendar as it gradually returns. “It is a very exciting time for the sector. The focus on domestic holidays has led to a boom in wine tourism in the UK and shopping local, which has put renewed focus on the industry and has had a positive impact on retailers and the hospitality industry alike. The final quarter of the year is a crucial buying period for the trade in the lead up to Christmas and we will be focusing on this. “We know that there is a very real appetite to explore more about what the UK wine industry is now offering and really look forward to welcoming trade visitors to our tasting again.”

To pre-register visit the Trade & Press area of the WineGB website –

> Peter Richards and Susie Barrie

> Matthew Jukes


> Hattingley Valley Vineyard


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Frazer Thompson steps down from Chapel Down Chapel Down has announced that Andrew Carter, currently Managing Director Chase Distillery will be succeeding Frazer Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down in September 2021. Andrew will be joining the business as CEO on 13 September and Frazer will work with Andrew to ensure a seamless handover of office. Commenting on the move, Martin Glenn, Chairman of Chapel Down Group said: “Frazer has decided to retire after 20 years of building Chapel Down into England’s biggest wine business and has helped put English wine on the map. It is difficult to overstate his impact and leadership. He leaves with the great gratitude of the Chapel Down Board. “We are fortunate to be able to announce the hiring of another high calibre executive, Andrew Carter, who has a great track record in building wines and spirits businesses and who can drive further growth at Chapel Down for the benefit of customers and shareholders alike.” Frazer Thompson, CEO commented: “After 20 years, with the company in good shape after the pandemic, and with a really exciting period of growth ahead, I have decided that now is an ideal time for me to step aside as CEO and for the company to introduce some fresh energy and leadership to the business. “I am delighted that Andrew has joined us. He brings a wealth of drinks experience and has the talent and energy to lead a fantastic team to new

> Frazer Thompson heights. I love this business and brand and I will remain both as a substantial shareholder and advisor. “It has been a remarkable journey and a privilege to have had the opportunity to change the way the world thinks about English wine. We have built a fantastic team and an exciting brand with great growth prospects. I truly believe that the journey has just got more exciting.” Andrew Carter commented: “I am delighted

to be joining at such an exciting time. Chapel Down is the leading English winemaker and I look forward to further building the business and team to deliver the next stage of transformational company growth for our customers and shareholders. Frazer has been an extraordinary pioneer of the English winemaking industry and I will work closely with him and the Chapel Down management team to ensure a seamless transition.”

Black Chalk introduces first still wine


Hampshire-based, sparkling wine producer, Black Chalk has released its first still wine. ‘Dancer in Pink’, a rosé – is a blend of three varieties: Pinot Noir (62%); Pinot Noir Précoce (35%); and Pinot Gris (3%) and will retail at £19 from the Black Chalk shop and website as well as a small number of local retailers and restaurants. Dancer in Pink is the first wine in the Black Chalk portfolio to be sourced from the estate’s own vineyards, which were acquired in January 2019. It is also the first wine made in Black Chalk’s winery, which was completed just days before the 2020 harvest started. Jacob Leadley, winemaker and CEO, commented: “2020 was our first harvest at our new home in the Test Valley. Taking control of mature vines that included a small area of Précoce and Pinot Gris immediately made the winery team think of still rosé. We selected a block of 779 Pinot Noir in March 2020 and managed the yield to ensure maximum ripeness. The Précoce and Pinot Gris were co-pressed and co-fermented, whilst the Pinot Noir was handled separately, having been picked at the end of harvest;

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thanks to a great growing season, the fruit was a delight. “The aim was to produce an easy drinking, fruit forward taste of summer, best served chilled with friends. We are always looking at new projects and are proud to add Dancer In Pink to the Black Chalk range and feel it compliments our sparkling range perfectly.”

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Mereworth winemakers add new gins to range Kent winemaker, Mereworth Wines, have launched two new gins, bringing together winemaking techniques of blending and macerating, as part of their new range of spirits. Mereworth’s fruity, pink ‘Harvest Gin’ is made in recognition of the jubilance of harvest time and is made using the fruits and botanicals grown in the fields surrounding the winery, with the steeping of juniper, home-grown strawberries, raspberries, orchard apples and meadow flowers. The second new addition is their ‘Oak Aged Gin’. Having already won medals in the ‘Gin Masters’


and ‘International Wine & Spirits Competition’ prior to its release, this gin allows the team at Mereworth to bring their English vintner’s touch to a timeless spirit. Having steeped carefully selected botanicals in 100% wheat spirit, this is then married with some of the finest toasted oak available in winemaking, imparting deliciously nutty, spicy and citrus flavours to this amber-gold gin. These gins now sit alongside the newly released ‘Marourde Aperitif’ – a new go-to drink this summer. Blending 9,000 years of history and a passion for winemaking, this thoroughly modern

aperitif is made by steeping herbs and botanicals in Mereworth’s own honey-wine. Mereworth Wines planted their vineyards in 2016, releasing their first vintage in April 2020. Their English Sparkling wines are made by the traditional method, with grapes hand-picked from their vineyard. Will Boscawen, Owner, commented: “We wanted to create spirits which echo our work as winemakers and the time-honoured techniques this encompasses, as well as the importance we place on the land that surrounds our vineyards and winery here in Kent.”

First accredited wines announced The first wines to be made from Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB) certified vineyards and wineries have been released. Ten wines from four producers have now received SWGB certification. These wines now have the right to have the newly approved SWGB Trade Mark on their labels. The first SWGB-certified wines are: ◆ Gusbourne Guinevere Chardonnay 2019, Pinot Noir 2019 and Pinot Noir Rosé 2020 ◆ Henners Vineyard Gardner Street Rosé 2020 ◆ Three Choirs canned wine range: Sparkling, White, Rosé and Red ◆ Yotes Court On the Nod Bacchus 2020 and Best Turned-Out Pinot Meunier Rosé 2020 These wines were required to be made from grapes harvested in the same years from which vineyards and wineries sourced their audit data. Wines made from grapes picked in 2019 and 2020 at a SWGB-certified vineyard, that were made at a SWGB-certified winery, qualify. Five wines on this list were entered into the recent WineGB Awards and all received medals. Gusbourne’s Guinevere Chardonnay received a Gold medal and the Trophy for the Best Still Chardonnay, while the producer’s other two certified wines received Silver medals. Yotes Court also won a Gold medal

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for its Best Turned Out Pinot Meunier Rosé and a Silver for On the Nod Bacchus. There are now a total of 61 members of the SWGB Scheme, which account for some 33% of the area under vine in the UK. They consist of major wine producers through to growers and boutique vineyards as well as contract winemakers. The full list of members can be found on the WineGB website. The certification process entails an annual self-evaluation to monitor progress against guidelines set out to fulfil the SWGB objectives. All certified members must measure their carbon footprint every year using the WineGB Carbon Calculator, a tool specifically designed for the British wine industry that measures carbon sequestration as well as emissions. Upon joining, then every three years, each self-evaluation score is then rigorously checked and verified by independent auditors and environmental consultancy firm Ricardo PLC. The SWGB Scheme is backed by a range of leading industry suppliers and supporters, including Waitrose and Marks & Spencer. A number of these wines will be on show at the WineGB Trade & Press Tasting on 7 September. SWGB accredited producers will be marked accordingly in the tasting booklet, to highlight the importance of sustainability within WineGB and the industry at large. Commenting on the release of the first SWGB-certified wines, Chris Foss, chair of SWGB, said: “I am thrilled to see the first wines bearing the SWGB logo hit the shelves. This is a highly significant event for the British wine industry, as it demonstrates that we now have a fully functioning national scheme that enables our wine producers to clearly demonstrate their commitment to the environment, biodiversity and climate change mitigation. The SWGB Trade Mark on a bottle of wine is a clear indication that producers are striving for environmental sustainability by implementing the SWGB Scheme guidelines.” CEO of WineGB Simon Thorpe MW, added: “WineGB recognises the importance of sustainability to the British wine industry and that is why we have included it as one of our five strategic pillars. Through SWGB, we aspire to ensure environmental sustainability is at the heart of the English and Welsh wine industry. Congratulations to the four producers who have produced the SWGB Scheme’s first certified wines. I look forward to seeing more wines with the SWGB Trade Mark on their labels as the years go by.”

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Talk to us! @VineyardMagGB

Improving opportunities for sustainability through diversity Dear editor, As we are faced with increasing challenges in the world of wine it is perhaps useful to reflect on some of our understanding and traditions. Within the last 50 years much of our thinking around grapegrowing and winemaking has been prescribed through teaching and legislation, creating specialisation and focus. This has led to a replicated approach across many international wine producing areas. This lack of diversity and ensuing fragility is being highlighted by many of the influences which we are all clearly becoming more aware of. It is the consideration of diversity in all aspects of the wine business which points both to opportunities, resilience and sustainability and fortunately we are increasingly seeing divergence in many areas e.g. orange wines, grape varieties, fermentation vessels, packaging formats and closures etc. The resistance to the transition to organic and biodynamic illustrates some of the obstacles of our narrow approach. Apparently over 50% of pharmaceutical products are derived from naturally occurring compounds,


Chapel Down has recently been listed as the UK's best vineyard, alongside being awarded platinum, gold and silver awards for their wines at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA). Who is your favourite UK winemaker?

therefore it shouldn’t be so surprising that already in 2016 there were 299 registered biopesticides, derived from natural materials, registered with the USA EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). This example of some of our bias is evident in all types of areas of our wine thinking. It is often quoted “a rising tide floats all boats” however a better analogy might be to think of people wading in the water and what happens when the tide rises. The UK has advantages of being a relative newcomer to the world of wine production – that can bestow advantages and disadvantages. It is in understanding these and the possible choices, which will create wine business sustainability. So when you next think about grape varieties, trellis systems, vine pruning, planting densities, wine making regimes etc consider the alternatives and reflect that when you assume other people’s wisdom they do not assume your responsibilities. Jonathan Rodwell, Freelance vine and wine technician

In agreement

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Happy Friday evening! So looking forward to the weekend! Can’t wait to try this Pinot Noir from Giffords Hall in Suffolk a recent purchase from my holiday! #lovesuffolk #suffolklife #suffolkwine #englishwine #vineyards #britishwine #redwine #redwinelover #supperclub #britishproduce #ukwine #giffordshallvineyard #snapemaltings

Dear editor, I thought your editorial in September Vineyard magazine was brilliant. I agree with your comments about the still wines in the UK – and that needed to be said. It was a brave thing to say, and many people would not have done so. People need to be realistic about the current standards if we are to make truly world class still wines. As you know, it takes complete focus and dedication to achieve this – and even more so in this country. Duncan McNeill, McNeill Vineyard Management

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For viticulturists in Great Britain 24th November 2021

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Exclusive branded glass for every visitor The Vineyard & Winery show is proud to announce Urban Bar as the show’s glassware sponsor, providing an exclusive branded glass for every visitor. Urban Bar have been designing market leading bar and glassware for the drinks industry for over 40 years. “Our aim is to produce shapes that enhance the pleasure and enjoyment of the drinking experience. “We offer machine and handmade glasses and a comprehensive range of our own barware. All of our items have been designed with purpose, practicality and longevity in mind. We believe that the effort put into producing or making a drink should be reflected in what it is served in,” commented Nick Andrews, Director. “We work with the world’s leading spirits and drinks brands to develop glass and barware to suit their brand characteristics, decoration requirements, budget, route to market and ultimate use. We offer a complete design service so suppliers can develop their own style of glass, working with them through to production to develop a bespoke design which perfectly matches the demands of their brand,” he added. Jamie McGrorty, Publisher, Vineyard, commented: “Providing every visitor to the show with a complimentary branded glass in

Who should attend?


◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Viticulturists and vineyard owners Winemakers Viticulture suppliers (vines, trellising) Packaging suppliers (bottles, labels, corks, cases) Vineyard machinery and equipment suppliers

a box is a really nice touch by Urban Bar – and each glass is a gift for the visitor to keep, and a lovely reminder of our first show. “During these Covid-19 sensitive times it will also ensure that everyone will feel safe with ◆ Winery machinery/equipment suppliers ◆ Companies that supply winemaking sundries and supplies (yeasts, nutrients, cleaning products) ◆ Winery services (contract winemaking, contract bottling) ◆ Labour providers

their own personal glass, which is important for us. We will also provide individual disposable spittoons. We are absolutely delighted to be working with Urban Bar for our first Vineyard & Winery Show.” ◆ Business services (marketing/PR, legal, insurance) ◆ Retail, wholesale or wine trade ◆ Soil and plant health companies ◆ Students and educational organisations ◆ Consultants ◆ New entrants to the sector


Exciting seminar programme The seminar programme on 24 November, has an exciting line up of presentations with speakers, all experts in their field who will share their experiences, communicate their ideas, and encourage discussion and networking. Seminar sessions, in affiliation with WineGB and chaired by Simon Thorpe MW, chief executive will take place throughout the day on a first come basis. Speakers will provide top level advice on topics that are current and pertinent to the industry and its sustainable future – in viticulture, winemaking and marketing – along with a dedicated session aimed at new

Venturing into viticulture in a changing climate Dr Alistair Nesbitt, VineScapes: The future climate for grape growing in the UK Simon Thorpe MW, WineGB: What can WineGB do for you? James Dodson, Vine Works Ltd: The costs and practical considerations of setting up a vineyard Mitchel Fowler, Ferovinum Ltd: Innovative inventory finance to fuel the next chapter of growth for UK Wine

Malolactic fermentation: why, when and how

High achievers: yield and quality

Emma Rice, Hattingley Valley Vineyard: Why do MLF: The benefits and risks

Dr Greg Dunn, Plumpton College: Securing sustainable yields in a UK vineyard

Nick Lane, Defined Wine Ltd: When to do MLF: Sequential or co-inoculation

Matt Strugnell, Ridgeview Wine Estate: Quality vs yield vs style

David Cowderoy, BevTech Ltd: How to do MLF: Inoculated or spontaneous

Alex Valsecchi, Albury Organic Vineyard: Yield management for organic vineyard

Building a sustainable business through wine tourism Julia Trustram Eve, WineGB: WineGB Best Practice Guidelines Paul Harley, Plumpton College: Who is the wine tourist? Jo Smith, Wine Garden of England: Best practice in action – working collaboratively to develop regional presence

Don’t miss out



Get your free ticket to the show

entrants to the industry. The seminar programme is sponsored by Ferovinum Ltd, a working capital platform that enables wine producers and wholesalers to release capital against their inventory during ageing and marketing periods. Mitchel Fowler, Founder, Ferovinum Ltd commented: We’re thrilled to be sponsoring the seminar programme this year. It’s an opportunity for the industry to come together and cultivate ideas, innovation and strategic discussion at a crucial moment for the flourishing UK wine producing industry.

The Vineyard & Winery show will be an unmissable event for anyone working in viticulture and wine production in the UK. The show will take place on 24 November 2021 at the Kent County Showground. Organised by Vineyard magazine and supported by WineGB, it will be an invaluable opportunity for all viticulturalists, winemakers, suppliers and the trade to come together. There will be a packed programme including a seminar programme from WineGB, tastings of the UK’s top wines, lots of machinery and equipment to see – as well the opportunity to network with peers. Purchase your ticket on Eventbrite via the Vineyard & Winery show website

◆ Network with the key players in the UK wine industry ◆ Meet with industry experts ◆ Learn the cutting-edge technology and see demonstrations of the latest machinery ◆ Take part in the Matthew Jukes tutored wine tasting. The worldrenowned wine writer and columnist Matthew Jukes will present 6 still and sparkling wines. Tickets are £20 and the proceeds are donated to the Drinks Trust charity. (Numbers are limited to 120 – so book early!) ◆ Visit the Wine Hub and taste some the UK’s best wines – up to 100 different wines available to try on the day ◆ Attend the WineGB seminars – Expert speakers will cover viticulture, winemaking and marketing topics – aimed at new entrants to the industry as well as those already established ◆ Join some of the biggest names in the industry such as CLM, Hutchinsons, Vitifruit, Bruni Erben, Royston labels – and many more





In conversation...

Matt H od

Founder of Grape Britannia, Matt Hodgson, became so excited about English and Welsh wine that he switched career to join this amazingly dynamic, positive industry and create the opportunity to share his passion with a broader audience. Grape Britannia was formed, and in 2020, as a new business was thrilled to be awarded the Best England & Wales Specialist prize in the prestigious Decanter Retailer Awards. Creating Grape Britannia


The seed for Grape Britannia was probably sown 15 years ago when my wife, Natalie, and I got married at our local vineyard, Chilford Hall, just outside Cambridge. We were really impressed by their wines, served their sparkling rosé at the reception and received great feedback from our guests. I thought then that there was great wine being produced in our own back garden – but that no-one really knew about it. My previous career was in international tax – I’m one of a long list of former accountants who’ve transitioned to the wine industry! Having a finance background has certainly helped though. For a lot of entrepreneurs, doing the books is probably one of the parts of running a business they like least – for me it is almost relaxing! Originally Grape Britannia was just going to be an e-commerce business and I was busy looking for a warehouse to store stock when a shop across the road from where we live became vacant. I thought it would be much nicer sitting in a shop than in a warehouse fulfilling orders. Then when my local friends heard about our plans, they said, “You’ve got to have a bar in there” … so that’s what we ended up doing! And I’m really glad we did, not just because it’s a nice community hub now, but because I get immediate feedback on the wines – I can see on people’s faces their true reaction to the wines. We offer wines by the glass and change them every fortnight, so people get a chance to really explore English and Welsh wines without having to commit to buying a whole bottle. Fortunately, almost all the feedback has been incredibly positive. We were thrilled to be awarded the Best England & Wales Specialist prize in Decanter Retailer Awards 2020. It was a strong shortlist, and we pipped the previous year’s winner, Waitrose, into second place. The awards are judged on quality, value, range, service, innovation and performance – all things we hold dear at Grape Britannia, so we were delighted to get this recognition.


Like most independent retailers, we care deeply about the experience of our customers and the quality of our products. Lots of our customers appreciate our focus on sustainability, from sourcing our wines exclusively from within

England and Wales, to doing local deliveries by cargo-tricycle, to reusing all our packaging where possible. If you look at our overall set-up: solely English and Welsh wines, ecommerce plus physical shop, we do have a combination that differentiates us.

Selecting wines

Initially we selected wines by visiting vineyards, tasting the wines and talking with the owners. We selected the first vineyards based on a mix of large and small, local (to our shop in Cambridge) and further afield, well-established and just beginning. The pandemic forced changes, and we ended up getting samples sent to us – although we’re now trying to get out to visit the vineyards again as it’s important to us to build relationships and understand the story behind the wines. In the early days, we were the ones reaching out to make contact; now that we are established and recognised as a premier English and Welsh wine retailer, it’s more common for vineyards or wineries to get in touch to introduce themselves to us. We obviously can’t commit to stocking the wines of everyone who sends us samples, but we do promise to give considered feedback. It’s important to us to have a balanced range that has exceptional wines in all the key categories and sub-categories, so that’s part of the decisionmaking process too.

Increasing sales

There is certainly more and more interest in English and Welsh wines. The pandemic has made it hard to draw firm conclusions on sales trends, but we’ve been pleased to see that online sales since April this year are more than 50% up on last year. The long-term trends toward sustainability and localism for consumers and increased choice, quality and value from producers hopefully underpins continued growth.

The future and its challenges

The bestsellers

Our bestselling wine over the past 12 months is Three Choirs Vineyard English House Dry NV which is a still white wine retailing for £8.99 – the price point is definitely part of the appeal. Our top English Sparkling wine is Harrow & Hope’s Brut Reserve NV at £27.99, and I can understand why: it’s exceptional value for money, with immense depth of flavour but classic English Sparkling wine freshness – oh, and a beautiful bottle too! In terms of red wines, although it’s only recently come into our range, the Danbury Ridge Wine Estate Pinot Noir 2018 at £34 is selling extremely well – which is a reflection of the rave reviews it’s received from the wine press.

Tips for producers

It may sound facile but branding and shelf appeal really helps sales. Of course, different people are drawn to different label designs and bottle shapes – but it remains the case that gorgeous labels sell bottles! It’s always massively helpful when vineyards give me the heads up on a forthcoming vintage change or when stocks of a particular wine are running low – having advance notice of changes gives me the confidence to plan ahead and promote wines accordingly, particularly for our wholesale business.

I’m enormously excited about the future of English and Welsh wines. A huge amount of potential is being realised today, but there is plenty more to come, in our view. It’s not a novel observation, but it’s worth repeating: one serious challenge is how the sector navigates demand and supply pressures, given that so many vines have been planted in the last few years. My sense is that the next decade will see some consolidation in the sector, and sadly not all vineyards will succeed – even if they are making good wine.

Any favourites?

My favourites change all the time! At the moment, sparkling-wise I’m particularly enjoying the new vintage Saffron Grange Classic Cuvée 2018 and All Angel’s Sparkling Rosé 2014, while for still wines the Heppington Vineyard Chardonnay 2020 and Artelium’s Meunier Rosé 2020 are really hitting the spot. Natalie would go for a sparkling Blanc de Noirs – from Raimes or Roebuck Estates perhaps – or Balfour Hush Heath’s Sparkling Red. She loves White Castle Vineyard’s Regent 2017 for her still wine pick.

Any spare time?

I’m afraid spare time is a distant memory! There is always more to do when running your own young business. That said, time spent with our three daughters is always precious and we have a screen-free Sunday every now and then – misleadingly christened ‘Victorian Day’ in our house! – so that we can get the board games out and decompress.

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Mat h e w

Sweet treats

es Juk

I fell in love with sweet wines on the very first day of my wine trade career. globe-asia paper-plane

> Biddenden Vineyard There is a wonderfully unfashionable style of wine that I love with every fibre of my being. While we may have collectively, and hopefully only temporarily, fallen out of love with sweet wines, I can tell you that consumers go wild every time I show a great example at an event. I hope that this means that sweet wines have fans out there and we need to communicate with them. After all, sweet wines are treats. They tend to get opened when you have guests around and have bothered to make a dessert. They finish off an evening’s merriment without the need to get into the hard stuff, and so they help you to navigate the morning after a heroic dinner with more success than if you had got stuck into the drinks trolley. They tend to be made by wineries who love the

In association with

stuff too, which immediately endears them to my sensibilities. I fell in love with sweet wines on the very first day of my wine trade career, back in 1987 when I tasted a half-bottle of 1983 Château Rieussec – it changed my life, and I still feel that I carry some of those molecules with me today. The same is true of the three sweeties opposite, and they each have their unique allure. Whether late picked, frozen, off-dry, dried on the vine, rot-affected or whatever – there are a number of ways of making sweet wine. One thing is certain, Biddenden Vineyard has most likely set a new record in our market when in the epic 2018 vintage, they late-picked some of their beloved Ortega, and the grape must prior to fermentation weighted in at 325 g/L. The resulting wine, which sports a spectacular 122 g/L residual


All proceeds raised go to


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Sponsored by

c a e 0 2 £ S T E TICK

sugar, is the most complex and intricate sweet wine made, to date, on our shores. It’s funny how, when I wrote up the 2018 Biddenden Ortega dry wine earlier this year, I noted, ‘there is a touch of off-dry, silky, tropical fruit here, and this makes it an enticing prospect’. Well, multiply this note by 100, and you have the decadent sweetie on the opposite page. Rare, sweet wines are some of the longest-lived and most sought after on the planet. You only have to look at the prices of some of the TBAs (Trockenbeerenauslese) from the top estates in Germany. We can make this style of wine as well as all of the other styles too, right here in the Allwill proceeds go to The Drin UK. Whether wineries be temptedraised is another Trusts matter, but if you taste the three wines opposite, I am confident you will want more.



World renowned wine writer and monthly Vineyard columnist Matthew Jukes will be conducting a structured wine tasting for 120 guests at this year’s Vineyard & Winery Show. This is your opportunity to have an exclusive insight into the very best of British wines with one of the world’s leading wine writers.


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All proceeds raised go to The Drinks Trusts. To book go to:

2019 Knightor, Three Barrel Bacchus £18.00

There were only 900 bottles made of this exquisitely perfumed sweet white wine. This is one of the most magical and rewarding wines in the country, and it is a triumph of unexpected winemaking and open-minded imagination. A small amount of Bacchus at Knightor was fermented in three year old French oak with the intention of blending it into the stainless steel portion to provide complexity of flavour in their dry wine. These three barrels stopped fermenting, with a sizeable portion of residual sugar remaining. With a further six months spent in oak to add even more complexity and detail, and eventually coming in at a dainty 8% alcohol, this is an enchanting wine with an otherworldly air. While some might compare it to a Riesling Spätlese from Germany or perhaps a Vendange Tardive Pinot Gris from Alsace, it has none of these wine’s traits because it was not intentionally left to ‘sweeten’ on the vine. Bacchus has a fraction of the exoticism of Riesling and Pinot Gris, too, and its fruit notes cover a thrilling but narrow citrus and herb quadrant. This is why Three Barrel Bacchus is such a rare and unusual wine - it confounds the senses with its glorious flavours.

2017 New Hall Vineyards, Purlai Gold, Limited Edition £17.50 half bottle

Made from Bacchus and Schönburg and seasoned in chestnut barrels, this is a lush, pear juice-soaked, sensual sweetie which reminds me of old Jurançon demi-secs from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Nostalgic and rather quaint, this is the wine with the most conventional flavour on this page, but if I told you that it was made using a cryoconcentration technique, then you will understand that this is a technically impressive creation, too. It just goes to show that you can make your very own version of an ice wine without it having to snow in your vineyard. Clearly, you have to use tip-top quality fruit, and New Hall selects only the finest, hand-picked bunches from the oldest vines on the property for this purpose. The result is a wine which lives up to its Gold billing.

2018 Biddenden Vineyards, Late Harvest Ortega £122.00 half bottle The Barnes family has lovingly tended their vineyards for decades, and this wine is a culmination of the vines themselves and the land thanking them for their respect and their diligence. The grapes were left on the vine until 15 October, resulting in them having the highest natural sugar levels of any grapes in the UK. If you would like to dip your toe in the sweet wines from this amazing winery then look no further than the 2020 Biddenden Schönburger (500ml, £12.70). It has tremendous delicacy and elegance, and it’s the kind of sweet wine that those without a sweet tooth will love. But my featured ‘legacy wine’ is an entirely different creature. It is mind-bendingly stunning and multi-layered with exoticism, succulence and creaminess all balanced with epic acidity. This is a must for every serious sweet wine fan in the world.

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Harmony and contrast are the juxtaposition of Squerryes ancestral estate with its modern and contemporary brand subtly creating places where people can connect with the wines, with fine dining and with events. Vineyard discovers how the spirit of the family motto 'Licet Esse Beatis', meaning 'It is permitted to be joyful' is at the heart of everything encountered at Squerryes.


In the business of creating joy

Jo Cowdero y

Squerryes estate covers 2,500 acres, including 50 acres of vineyards, as well as extensive farmland, parkland and woodland. The Kent estate borders Surrey to the west and London to the north. At the heart of the estate is Squerryes Court, a late 17th century manor house which has been in the Warde family for 300 years. One of the first members of the family was Sir Patience Warde who was Lord Mayor of London in 1680. He is thought to have traded wool from the estate with the French for red wine – bringing pleasure to Londoners. Henry Warde is the current custodian of Squerryes, but it was his father, John Warde, who began planting the vineyards in 2006. John Warde is the seventh generation, and Henry the eight generation of the Warde family at Squerryes. Although the current vineyards are a relatively recent addition to the estate, “local historic records indicate that there was a Roman centurion, after the Roman invasion, that was granted a swath of land and planted a vineyard on the land that is now Squerryes estate,” explained James Osborn, Squerryes estate Commercial Director. “I wonder what he would have thought of the vineyards here now?” he smiled. Many years later, in 2004 a Champagne House visited Squerryes, interested in buying some of the land for vines. “When John and Henry Warde realised that the geology at Squerryes was similar to the ‘Côte des Blancs’ in the Champagne region, they decided not to sell, but to plant 36 acres of vines themselves. The Squerryes family now see

“We only use grapes from our own vineyards.” > James Osborn joined Squerryes Estate in 2017 as Commercial Director to develop the brand and grow the business the vineyards as a great legacy for the future,” commented James. The land has proved to be perfect for sparkling wine production, demonstrated by the many awards, including Gold in the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships in 2020 and the Best in Show at the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards. Squerryes are in the business of creating joy – from the maintenance of beautiful spaces through to bottling joy in the form of vintage sparkling wine. “The crest proudly adorns the Court’s front door with the words – 'Licet Esse Beatis' – 'It is permitted to be joyful'. This motto is the spirit that defines Squerryes and our brand story, it is the beating heart of everything we do, from the wine we make to the spaces, places and events we create here,” said James.

Lofty vineyards

The vineyards now extend to 50 acres and are planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier. These include the ‘Rosé’ vineyard, planted in 2010 and the Pilgrims Way vineyard planted in 2006. The vineyards are high – planted at a lofty 150 metres above sea level on the North Downs, so are a degree or so cooler than other vineyards in the region. “This means cooler summers allowing for long slow ripening at the end of the season, and time for the aromas and flavours to develop. We are able to preserve a good backbone of acidity which is perfect for our long ageing,” explained James. “We only use

grapes from our own vineyards, we are proud of our unique terroir and the purity of the flavours and aromas it produces,” he added. John Warde still oversees the vineyard with the help of an apprentice, who will be attending Plumpton College from September 2021, along with a team of people who share their time in the vineyard with other tasks on the estate.

Places and spaces

Although Squerryes has a very long history, the restaurants started more recently in 2018. “We started with a summer pop-up lunchtime menu on the terrace, relaxed al fresco dining with seafood and sparkling wine – a perfect combination! This went so well so we created two restaurants here at the winery, The Terrace for ‘al fresco’ summer dining and the ‘Bottle Store’ for all year-round dining – connecting people to the Squerryes estate and our winemaking business,” added James. The Terrace restaurant at Squerryes combines a stylish Napa Valley style winery with the delights of the Provence region of southern France; creating a stunning outdoor dining space with spectacular views across the estate’s ‘Rosé’ vineyard. “We realised, that to bring people to visit, it was important to offer somewhere to eat and not just a wine tasting. In the UK people are more familiar with going out to eat, than visiting a winery – they feel comfortable. Many people, especially if they have not visited a winery for a wine tasting, <<

> Licet Esse Beatis, meaning ‘it is permitted to be joyful’



“Lunch at Squerryes is an extended affair.”


<< would not necessarily know if they needed to dress up or wear wellies; to drive or not – and this forms a barrier to visiting,” explained James. Lunch at Squerryes is an extended affair and tables are available from 12 noon to early evening. “This means that the restaurant can serve around 120 guests,” commented James. If it rains then there is the option for guests to quickly re-locate to the covered terrace or indoors to the Bottle Store restaurant above the winery, with equally beautiful views across the Kent countryside. “The spaces are created for people to enjoy life’s simple pleasures with friends and family through delicious food and wine. “The menu is designed by estate chef, Alexander Baillieu, whose focus is to create delicious food, simply cooked expressing the natural flavours of seasonal ingredients. We are lucky to have a bountiful larder on the estate and locally. We have a forager on the estate with a trained dog to hunt our own truffles! We have an increasing number of beehives to provide honey – and even the winery lawn has raised beds with herbs and other kitchen garden ingredients,” explained James. “Of course, the food is complemented by our own sparkling wines and other wines selected by our resident Master of Wine, Laura Evans – including many contemporary English brands, such as Simpsons Wine Estate,” he added. “At Squerryes we only produce vintage wines, in order to achieve the purest expression of terroir, allowing the fruit to tell the story of the year. But 2012 - despite being the celebratory year of the Queen’s Jubilee and the London Olympics – was not a good year for vines. The 2012 vintage was released after four years, but as it was not in keeping with the Squerryes style, the wine was withdrawn from sale. The 2012 legacy remains

as the bottles have become a spectacular artistic feature as part of the Bottle Store restaurant wall. They also remind us that the weather doesn’t always do what we want it to do,” James exclaimed. The impressive, Cork Room used for tastings brings to life the spirit of Squerryes Court and the Warde family ancestral story, with historical portraits and artefacts creating a sumptuous backdrop that mirrors the character and quality of the wines. “The private Cork Room is for our tours and tastings, and the many ‘props’ tell the stories. It’s a magnificent room and a popular space for corporate or private hire,” commented James.

Classic method sparkling wines

With the vineyards positioned high on the North Downs the fresh acidity that is retained allows for a long lees ageing – up to 10 years – and late disgorging. The grapes are currently pressed off-site, but the wine is finished on-site, while plans are developed for a new winery facility at the Pilgrims Way vineyard site. “The existing winery, which can be viewed from the Bottle Room restaurant, will become an exciting wine experience venue,” commented James. Squerryes traditional method sparkling wines are multi-award winning. “We are proud to have won a gold medal for five consecutive vintages in the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships – a unique achievement for an English wine. In 2021 we won the 'Best English Sparkling Wine' Trophy in the International Wine Challenge and 'Best in Show' in the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards, which places Squerryes in the top 50 wines in the world,” commented James. “This demonstrates the quality of our fruit and

> Alexander Baillieu

dedication by the winemaking team,” he added. Squerryes craft their wines using the ‘Great British Classic Method’, with only estate grown fruit and traditional method winemaking. “At Squerryes we are proud to display the Great British Classic Method logo – a campaign which

is supported by the national body, WineGB, to communicate the quality of Great Britain’s sparkling wines created by this method,” explained James. "Royston Labels have been the perfect partner throughout, from sourcing the best materials

for the brief to working with our design agency to ensure everything fitted together. They have provided Squerryes with a much improved label solution, one that is befitting of our premium position in the market and highly recommend >> them,” added James.

R E D, WHITE, GREEN. At Royston labels, we are leading the way in producing sustainable solutions for our customers brands that look beautiful, feel exceptional and have strong environmental credentials. Through our extensive supplier base, we are using responsibly sourced facestocks and labelling materials with recycled content, without compromising on quality or finish. Visit or call us on +44 (0)1763 212 020 to discuss your requirements.

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Exclusive wine club

Around 55% of the wine is sold to the 2,000 plus wine club members. “Squerryes have worked hard over the last three years sharing our story – especially locally, within 30 minutes’ drive time,” commented James. “The membership has been so successful that we have now reached the limit and opened a waiting list. Much of the membership has come by word of mouth; as the saying goes ‘influence the few to influence the many’. It’s more than a wine club – it is a very special experience that members are sharing with their friends,” he added. There is no joining fee, only a commitment to purchase 12 bottles per year. Members receive discounts on the wines and at the restaurants, but the key benefit of membership is exclusive access to the Squerryes estate with invitations to signature events. “These include the summer party in June, with its picnics and jazz bands, and


an invitation to the harvest party and barbeque in October. Members also have first access and special rate tickets to the many cultural events including plays and concerts, as well as wine and food experiences. So, the membership is more of an exclusive access to the estate for members,” said James. “The membership and signature events help to engage people and allows immersion into the brand – and our brand is meaningful – it is the permission to be joyful! In fact, our marketing budget is very small, as I think we have a smart approach to how we engage people and how we have built the brand,” he explained.

Wine sales

With the majority of the wine sold through the membership, remaining sales are in the restaurant and Squerryes estate’s ‘Flint and Oak’ farm shop offering the very best from local

> Cork Room


producers, including the wines from the Wine Garden of England. “We also supplied to the local Waitrose, three local restaurants, including The Pig, and four local wine merchants." Squerryes are one of the seven Kent vineyards which form the Wine Garden of England tourism group. “We are the first port of call when escaping London to experience the Kent countryside and explore the wines of the region.”

Squerryes ensure that sustainability is an important focus for all aspects of the business across the estate. “We have sustainability schemes in place for the woodland and hedgerows and invest in the natural ecosystems and habitats. Sustainability and celebrating seasonality are an important focus on our menus,” commented James.

Shared values

The future

Celebrating British craftmanship and everything British has led to a natural alignment and partnership with Bentley. “We have shared values. Craft is about the importance of hands – Bentley’s leather seats are hand stitched; our vines are tended by hand. We will launch our joint events in September, one at Squerryes Court, and one at the vineyard. This will be an opportunity to introduce customers of both Bentley and Squerryes to experience the brands and the level of craftmanship,” explained James.

The next chapter at Squerryes will see the creation of a boutique hotel, with restaurant and spa, on the estate by the Pilgrims Way vineyard. “The hotel with be a conversion of a lovely old farmhouse with 30 bedrooms and offer fine dining and a relaxing spa. Its close proximity to London means it will be the perfect escape destination,” said James. Squerryes will be launching a new luxury wine brand at the end of 2022 or early 2023, that will celebrate the essence of long lees ageing, with

a new name yet to be revealed. “With the high vineyards on chalk enabling the perfect acidity the new brand will capture the characters attributed to long ageing. With long ageing and limited availability, the retail price will be at the higher end,” commented James. “The wines selected to be part of the story book and ceremony of the Squerryes experience could be classic cuvees or blanc de blancs, as long as they are 10 years old, with long lees ageing, and have achieved a gold medal in a significant competition. “The 2013, a classic cuvee, will be the first to be released. It will be launched next year to the members of Squerryes, the media, and selected restaurants and wine merchants. The label and packaging are still under wraps – so ‘patience’ is needed,” James smiled. “Our vision is to be the Goodwood of the wine world by 2030. The Goodwood estate is a fantastic place for its members to eat, drink, relax in a spa, and enjoy sport – our plans are to create amazing places and spaces across the estate to experience the brand, where Squerryes is the social lubricant, and the spirit of joy is implicit throughout,” James exclaimed.

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Low down on downy The wet weather, rationed armoury – and limited opportunity to use it – have created the perfect storm for downy mildew. Vineyard speaks to some of the experts for their tips on tackling this funguslike disease with its potential to cause significant crop losses.

> Primary infections show up as a yellow oily spot on the topside of the leaf

> Within Secondary infection – white down-like spores on the corresponding underside of the leaf

Downy mildew has been a frequently muttered word amongst vineyard managers this year – and the general consensus is that early detection and timely treatment is critical as a few infected leaves can result in a rapid spread of downy throughout the canopy with risks to the crop. “The weather has been perfect for downy, regular heavy rain causing splashing, and there is very little we can use against it on an organic vineyard,” commented Will Davenport, of Davenport Vineyards, Sussex. “The soils are wet, there is lots of moisture and most mornings a heavy dew can be seen as temperatures rise – steam can be seen coming of the land – all perfect conditions for downy mildew,” added John Buchan, agronomist. “There are many benefits of cover crops, but they do retain moisture and can provide an environment for perfect infection conditions for downy mildew. The weather has also been a challenge for product application – as we need to have enough hours without rain for them to be effective,” said John.

What is downy mildew?

Downy mildew is caused by the fungus-like pathogen called Plasmopara Viticola, which needs a host plant for part of its lifecycle. “It can grow on all green parts of the vine; leaves, shoots and fruit,” explained Joel Jorgensen, consultant viticulturist with Veraison, speaking at a recent WineGB webinar. “If unchecked, and with the right conditions, the infection can spread rapidly causing leaves to brown as they turn necrotic, leaving them unable to photosynthesise. Infection causes the die-back of shoots, early leaf fall, crop losses and the increased chance of attack by other pathogens,” Joel added.

The perfect conditions


“The primary infection is from soil to vine and the rule of thumb 10:10:24 refers to the conditions required for the overwintering spores to germinate,” explained Joel. “These conditions are - 10mm rainfall, while the temperature is 10°C or more over a 24-hour period.” Once the overwintering spores have germinated sporulation occurs regularly under these conditions, which are carried by rain splashes onto wet leaves in the vine canopy. The spores begin to grow hyphae into the

leaves. “This primary infection shows up as a yellow oily spot on the topside of the leaf,” added Joel. “Within about 24hrs, the oil spot starts to show a spore producing white down on the corresponding underside of the leaf, which is the start of the secondary infection,” explained Joel. These secondary spores are spread on wet leaves and by rain splash to infect other leaves, shoots or berries, and infection can spread fast in the right conditions. “We have already seen downy mildew on berries this year, as a white down – this is active sporulation and the mycelium can be seen using a spy glass,” commented John. Overwintering spores are formed in the late summer and autumn from infected leaves or fruit that fall to the ground into the litter or soil. The spores have a thick protective coat, so are able to withstand adverse weather, and are fairly indestructible –they are essentially poised and ready to cause a primary infection next season. “It is important to know your vineyard, especially its history with disease incidences. If there has been downy mildew in the past then there will be spores in the soil and litter,” added John. “The secondary infection causes the shoots to start browning, the tips are stunted, and the internal tissue desiccates. This is a particular problem for guyot pruned vines as the damage from the infection can result in no suitable canes to select for the following year. “Unprotected fruit is then easily infected – symptoms include bright white down-like spores on berries and rachis. The berries turn necrotic and remain totally un-harvestable. I know of a grower that lost over £80,000 of fruit by not spraying at the right time,” exclaimed Joel.


Management of downy mildew is dependent on forecasting, by using weather stations that monitor and predict conditions that are favourable for the disease, along with a range of apps that can give disease risk alerts. “Along with weather monitoring its crucial to get into the vineyard and scout for symptoms,” Joel advises. “This should be done at least every two weeks, ideally weekly or even twice a week, and not just for downy mildew. Walk through the vineyard, mix up your route and really get into the canopy.

Get to know your vineyard as there will likely be ‘hot spots’, often the sheltered areas where it is wetter and more humid. And, if you spot symptoms – act immediately,” added Joel. “We have found more incidences of downy in the sheltered wetter ends of the vineyard, and areas where we have not kept on top of the canopy management,” commented Will. Many vineyard managers use hand lenses to check suspect spots on leaves, and sample leaves can be taken to do the ‘bag test’ – where suspect leaves are moistened and incubated in a warm place in a sealed bag. If an infection is present it will become evident in just a day or two providing an advance warning of what may happen in the vineyard.

> Infected berries

Cultural options

John Bucan’s mantra for downy mildew control is, ‘canopy management, canopy management and canopy management.” He explains that it’s important to get good air flow into the canopy, especially in the fruit zone. “Maintain a balanced, thinned and trimmed canopy and keep canopy away from the soil. Leaf strip early to get good airflow and allow sprays to penetrate. Keep weeds controlled. Try and maintain airflow in sheltered areas or tree lines around the vineyard. To avoid spreading infection, it’s best not to work in the rain and to regularly clean equipment,” advised Joel. “Prevention is better than cure,” commented Ben Brown, agronomist from Agrii, speaking at a recent WineGB webinar. “Healthy vines are less susceptible, so ensure a comprehensive nutrition programme,” added Joel.

The armoury

This year the favourable weather conditions for downy mildew have, for some vineyards, corresponded with a lack of suitable plant protection products. “Mancozeb, lost its approval in Europe, but received a three-year extension of approval by CRD (Chemicals Registration Directorate) in the UK after Brexit – but unfortunately the supply chain didn’t anticipate this, so we now have a lack of approved supply,” explained Rob Saunders, Agronomist, Hutchinsons. “Percos was in short supply for a while so some vineyards may have missed out on using this at a critical time, leaving them vulnerable to downy mildew,” said John. “ Percos is an eradicant as well as protectant and would be the first choice on sites where SL567a (metalalxyl) resistant strains of downy are suspected, especially if intervals were stretched due to continuous wet weather,” added Rob. “We have limited products, so we have to use them effectively,” explained Rob. “We have Option (cymoxanil) which is somewhat of an eradicate and a short duration protectant, but it’s not very useful by itself in a 10 day spray programme. We

Photos: Joel Jorgensen

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can use Frutogard (potassium phosphonate) – but be aware of the 24-day no vine handling exclusion period for any manual work in the vines. I think that copper, which is already restricted, will probably loose approval in time, as it has for use in apple orchards. However, there are agrochemicals that are active on downy mildew that have approval in other crops, but so far haven’t managed to gain approval for vines – unfortunately vines are still considered a crop of minor importance, so manufacturer support isn’t great and CRD require lots of data,” commented Rob. “Biological control agents such as Romeo, which is fully approved for organic use, can add efficacy to other products,” explained John. “It contains Cerevisane, an extract of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and helps the plant strengthen cell walls and its natural defences. It can be applied up to ten times a year, but it’s not really a stand-alone product and best used with other products. “Romeo and Fytosave act as elicitors so do not have any curative effect, however they can help the plant with its own defence response,” added Rob. “In organic production copper is the main defence against downy mildew, but we are restricted to 4kg per hectare per year. I think that Potassium bicarbonate has some effectiveness,” explained Will. “This year we have had to do three copper sprays. However, we regularly analyse our soils for copper, and they remain low, and being organic we have good soil health. “I also find that our organic vines have much tougher leaves, they are more leathery, and I’m sure this helps the plant not to succumb to ◆ Prevention is better than cure, as we have limited chemistry disease and make them more resilient, as our ◆ Tighten spray intervals if possible, down from 14 days to 10 vines are usually relatively clean. days or even 7 days “I haven’t found a biological control agent ◆ Check sprayer set up and nozzles yet that I have confidence in. Some of these ◆ Check spray coverage using water sensitive paper sprays are very expensive – and I’m not sure ◆ Use apps with weather alerts that they work. ◆ Mix active ingredients, and rotate active ingredients to avoid “We have full grass cover, which does resistance increase humidity – but the grass does ◆ Monitor regularly, as the pathogen enters the plant and encourage a particular ladybird which I think propagates but can be asymptomatic for two weeks before might eat the spores,” commented Will. the visible signs of oil spots ◆ Be aware that some varieties are more susceptible such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier. “SL567a now has widespread resistance and should not be used on its own. Resistance has started to build over the past seven years or so, and many vineyards have found it has stopped working, as they now have a resistant population,” advised Rob. John agreed: “ SL567a has been overused on some sites and there are now resistant strains. The product may or may not work – certainly in parts of Sussex. It is not a stand-alone product and needs to be used in combination, the classic has been copper, but it can also be used with potassium phosphonate to help boost efficacy.” “Some varieties are more susceptible than others. The more fungal-resistant PIWIs are less susceptible but still need to be treated as they are not 100% bomb proof. They do however seem more tolerant of downy mildew and when they have it, it doesn’t seem to spread as fast,” commented Joel. “It is a mistake not to treat newly planted vines or young vines, as there is a risk of allowing infection to build in the wood,” warns John.

> Infected shoots

Top tips from Ben Brown, agronomist, Agrii


Latest technology

> Necrotic leaf


Reports, from a French laboratory, indicate that DNA testing to find out which strains of downy mildew are present in the vineyard are possible. This means that the most appropriate plant protection products can be selected. Cornell University, USA, has trailed robots equipped with UV light to control downy and powdery mildew as the UV light reportedly damages the pathogen’s DNA. There are also reports that robots with sensors are being trialled in vineyards that recognise the early signs of disease, which will allow for spray applications only where needed.

JOINED UP ACTION FOR FOOD AND FARMING SUSTAINABILITY Green Horizons is Agrii’s action plan to prepare for and meet the challenges of tomorrow, whilst ensuring agriculture remains sustainable and profitable. We understand these challenges and are working with our customers and our partners in the industry, towards achieving truly sustainable farming systems.

We have now published Green Horizons Insight Report 3: Providing Integrated Whole Farm Solutions This is the third of five Insight Reports that we will be releasing over the course of the next year. To access your copy, scan the QR code.

Find out more at greenhorizons INSIGHT









Agrii is pleased to be working with Squerryes For more information, please contact your usual Agrii agronomist, our Customer Services Team on 0845 607 3322 or email


ox, Fox & Fox dF

Meet the people behind the wines

ica a nd Gera n r Jo

The first ‘life-changing’ vines were planted in 2004, by Jonica and Gerard Fox, with the philosophy to simply make the most delicious wines – to make every glass poured joyous. Fortunately, they already had a portfolio of skills which have been invaluable in developing their thriving boutique business Fox & Fox – but have also found themselves mastering skills they had never even heard of! Vineyard speaks to Jonica Fox. Planting the vineyard

It was Gerard’s bright idea to plant vines, in 2004, and it was life changing for both of us. We were one of the earlier of the “English wine renaissance” vineyards. That first 1.5 hectares took us straight into the top 30 vineyards by size at that time. It is incredible how far the industry has come in less than two decades. We added Lakestreet Vineyard, of 10 hectares, in 2010, which we sold last year. We’ve just done our final plantings, increasing the Chardonnay and doubling the amount of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier we grow. We grow the classic grapes, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay – a mix of Dijon and Champagne clones selected for flavour and quality. All of our vintages to 2019 are estate grown grapes only, from 2020 onwards we have been buying in grapes from selected Growers to add to our own grapes.

Previous careers

Gerard was originally a city slicker, and I had an advertising and marketing background, giving us an invaluable range of skills. Gerard has recently completed his post-graduate degree in Energy and Environmental Economics and is also Chairman of the East Sussex Pension Fund trustees. I went to Plumpton College to study Viticulture & Oenology, which was brilliant – I learned so much. Since then, we have both expanded our skills through experience and learning as much as we can. My year group at Plumpton were the first to be able to do the BSc and it was one of the best things I have ever done.

Boutique producer

We value being a boutique producer, it allows us to be creative and innovative whilst focussing on quality. We only make sparkling wines; it’s how we’ve built our reputation and it’s what we do well. We sell our wines nationally through our brilliant local wine merchants, our partnership with our distributor, a limited number of excellent online merchants and from our online shop. We are now building back our exports having been hard hit last year by the perfect storm of Covid-19 and Brexit.

The future


We are committed to our core cuvées and are continuing to push the boundaries with some enticing vintages and some scintillating limited-edition wines to come! I am excited to see and taste some brilliant table wines from English vineyards as well as wonderful sparkling wines. That feels like a coming of age to me. I hope the industry will continue to innovate on all fronts, especially product and packaging. I think we need, as an industry, to continue to improve our distribution capacities.

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Jonica’s words of wisdom

If you are setting up a vineyard business be prepared for it to take over your lives! If you are running a business yourself, you will find yourself mastering skills you have never heard of and turning your hand to everything. You need to be in it for the long haul, it takes time to build a business, longer to build a brand – and an age to turn a profit!

Favourite wine – other than your own!

The last English wine we drank was a very pretty Pinot Gris fizz from Yorkshire vineyard Dunesford – their Pinot Gris 2018. It’s a different style from our Pinot Gris, the Inspiration Brut 2014, but beautifully light and airy – and it slipped down too easily!

Any spare time?

We both love being outdoors, summer BBQ’s, enjoying wines, entertaining and exploring the UK if we have time. Every now and again I take a day off to sleep!

C her r y


The vine post

Co e tabl

Harvest preparations Whether you’re harvesting solely by hand, by machine or a combination of the two, there are numerous considerations and preparations to be made in advance of harvest time. Start with the basics of canopy management: ensure all canes are tucked in, wires clipped and the fruit zone foliage stripped on both sides. Only pickable fruit should be hanging on the vine at this stage. Keep the under-vine strip weed-free so that crates of fruit can be tucked underneath the vines to avoid being pressed prematurely by tractors, and mow the alleyways to aid walking. Discuss the results of your yield estimations with your winemaker to decide on a harvest date and make sure to book picking teams, winery space and transport long in advance. It is of utmost importance to ensure your pickers/ machine harvester, winery and logistics are all lined up for the same days. Each of these vital cogs will of course need regular updates along with your cooperation and flexibility. Coordinating picks at multiple sites a day (each with their own idiosyncrasies) and lining their picks up with available space in only a handful of grape presses while working around the changeable English weather, labour constraints, machinery technicalities, fruit

ripeness, disease pressure and insect threats is no walk in the park. For hand-harvesting, bear in mind that a tiny bunch takes just as long to pick as a large bunch. When deciding how many pickers to source, work on a rate of roughly 50kg of fruit picked per person per hour.


◆ Picking crates – enough for two day’s picking and laid out under the vines the day before. Consider size, ease of handling, load capacity, manoeuvrability, stacking ability, ease of cleaning etc ◆ Secateurs – sharp, clean and numbered. One pair per picker plus spares. ◆ Buckets – standard 15-25L plastic buckets with handles. One per picker plus spares. ◆ Disposable gloves – blue, food grade ◆ Boxes of plasters – blue, food grade

Collecting (ground crew)

You will need a team of three ground crew: one tractor driver and two to collect crates of fruit. Roughly one team for every six tons per day, depending on ground conditions, crate sizes, trailer size, row length, distance to loading area etc. ◆ Tractor – fuelled and serviced

◆ Trailer – tailgate dropped where possible ◆ Gloves


◆ Pallets – 300-500kg of fruit per pallet. Mark or discard any pallets which cannot be lifted using a pallet truck. ◆ Pallet wrap ◆ Labels/permanent markers ◆ Scales to calculate average weights ◆ Logbook ◆ Pallet truck/forklift

Loading and transport

◆ Forklift or some means of loading a lorry ◆ Lorry plus driver for transport to winery ◆ CAD documents with every load – to be given to the winery/buyer. The ultimate aim is to transport your fruit as quickly and safely as possible with minimum damage to the grapes and with maximum efficiency. By making considered decisions about equipment, logistics and capabilities, we can all look forward to a Happy 2021 Harvest!

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Rob S

ders un

Take charge of local SWD threat


Adult flies are attracted to both ripe and underripe fruit to lay their eggs, with red grapes generally being most attractive, although white grapes can also be at risk for a relatively short period towards the end of the season when Brix levels reach 15 or above. Ripening bunches damaged by SWD are more likely to develop botrytis and sour rot, plus the Acetobacter bacterium that causes fruit to rot can create further problems in the early stages of wine production. At this time of year, good crop hygiene is therefore one of the most important ways of discouraging adult SWD from coming into the crop area, so all ripe, overripe, damaged and diseased grapes should be removed as quickly as possible.

effective than homemade materials. It also says the new formulation offers better product stability which means it remains attractive to SWD for longer, requiring less frequent replacement. The firm also offers another product (Combi-protec®) that it says increases adult SWD feeding, which, when sprayed immediately before an insecticide for SWD control, increases insecticide uptake. This achieves faster mortality over a straight insecticide treatment and without the reduction in dose level required by the adjuvant regulations. Trials have shown Combi-protec® can be used to allow repeat low-dose spinosad applications for SWD control, potentially using less spinosad over the season. Discussions are ongoing with CRD to legalise this position.

Exploring novel solutions

With limited chemical controls for SWD, new integrated pest management options are continuously being sought. NIAB EMR for example, is leading a three-year (2019-2022) collaborative project looking at developing a natural deterrent. It builds on previous research which found that SWD avoided laying eggs in or around fruit previously exposed to another fly species, Drosophila melanogaster. The aim is to identify the chemicals responsible for this avoidance behaviour and use them to produce a naturally-derived product to protect crops.

Monitor populations

Temperature is critical to the development and mortality of SWD, as females are active from around 10°C, with development and activity peaking at 27°C. Small populations can multiply very quickly given the pest’s capacity to complete its life cycle in just 7-14 days, resulting in up to 13 generations per year. Numbers generally peak in autumn and early winter due to an abundance of food sources, but as this availability declines, adults disperse into


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per Coo

Crop hygiene

hedgerows and woodland for food and protection over winter. SWD are weak flyers, so generally move on the wind. Precise monitoring of vines throughout the season, and of background populations at other times of the year, is therefore key to managing the risks, especially as chemical approvals become more problematic. All growers should take responsibility for monitoring and managing their own local population. The general recommendation is for DrosoTrap and Drosal® Pro monitoring to start in March and continue through to November, however there is a strong case for year-round monitoring, especially as attractants are likely to be more appealing when other food sources are less abundant. Homemade attractants based on cider vinegar or home-brews of yeast, sugar and jam, for example, can be cheap options, but they are unlikely to offer the same selectivity as materials formulated specifically for attracting SWD. When presented with a trap containing many different species, it can be difficult and time-consuming to identify which are SWD, so any cost savings may be short-lived. There are many products on the market, but leading supplier, Andermatt, has recently launched a new formulation of its DrosaLure® attractant – ‘DrosaLure® 2.0’, which they have shown has consistently caught more SWD than the old formulation in soft fruit trials, and will be more



Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) can pose a serious threat to grape quality in the run up to harvest so growers must manage the risks now and throughout the year, as Hutchinsons agronomists Rob Saunders and Chris Cooper explain. SWD may not currently be a widespread problem in every vineyard every season, but as the UK’s climate gradually gets warmer this invasive pest could well become a more established threat across a wide geographic area. Chemical options remain extremely limited, and although CRD has once again granted a 120-day Emergency Authorisation for the cyantraniliprolebased insecticide Exirel 10SE on wine grapes this season, growers must look to integrated controls based around precision monitoring to effectively manage risks longer-term.



Join the club What is there not to like with a wine club? For the winery subscription-based wine clubs are a predictable source of income bringing the higher margins from direct-to-consumer sales. For the customers the benefits include the exclusivity of limited releases, special offers and invitations to events – as well as a regular delivery of their favourite wines. Vineyard finds out how wineries are building closer relationships and customer loyalty, while boosting sales. One of the impacts of the pandemic and lockdowns experienced by many wine producers is an increase in their online sales, and for many a shift in their businesses toward e-commerce and the development of subscription-based wine clubs. The draw for their customers is not always just about buying wine but experiencing everything that goes with it – and feeling part of the story from the work in the vineyard, to the harvest and winemaking. “People were telling us that they wanted to be more involved with goings on at Furleigh – what the harvest was looking like and when we had new releases. They even wanted to come and help us at harvest! This made us think we could probably charge people for this and our first Wine Club was born,” explained Rebecca Hansford co-owner of Furleigh Estate in Dorset. “At Albury local people asked us how they could get more involved with the vineyard,” said Nick Wenman, owner of Albury Vineyard in Surrey. “The obvious answer was to start a club to give

them an insight to the operation of the vineyard and the production of our wines,” Nick added.

Benefits to the business

Elisabeth Else, e-commerce website specialist for the3bottles and Wine Cellar Door, first got interested in the business potential of wine clubs talking to producers in Sonoma, California, who were recovering from devastating fires. “They said that the regular income from wine club members was what had kept them going and it occurred to me that many UK producers would be grateful for some regular income!” Elisabeth has now helped several UK producers set up and run wine clubs. “Watching our clients with wine clubs in action, it’s evident that giving discounts and putting on special events repays itself many times over – with members not only taking regular deliveries of wine, but also in adding more bottles to the deliveries they have committed to – and making additional purchases in between. Also, the producers we’ve worked with have all said, “surely people will want to buy

their wines from more than one place?” and have underestimated how much loyalty and interest their brand has,” commented Elisabeth. From the wine producer’s perspective, “a wine club gives you predictable, loyal and regular sales,” commented Justin Howard-Sneyd, who runs a wine club for his own Roussillon wine, Domaine of the Bee, has worked with Laithwaite’s wines clubs, and offers advice on starting and running a club. “A wine club encourages customers to buy regularly and makes it likely that they will become advocates. Operating a mixed case programme gives the winery the flexibility to select stock – improving stock, sales and cashflow forecasting,” Justin added. “Ridgeview has had a wine club from the beginning, so for over 20 years now,” explained Mardi Roberts, Director of Communications. “Our original wine club has evolved in format from initially a paid membership to now a subscription-based club called OurView. The central importance remains the same, giving the loyalty they deserve to our best customers and <<


WINE CLUBS << developing longevity in the connections and relationships with our members by keeping them closer to our brand. “The wine club is incredibly beneficial to our business; it has brought us closer to our most valuable resource – our customers. It is also a fantastic sales tool which has increased the retail arm of our business. By being a subscriptionbased club, we are now guaranteed two large retail consumer shipments throughout the year which is an invaluable sales benefit,” Mardi added. “Gusbourne Estate set up their wine club in 2018, very soon after the launch of The Nest, our tasting room,” said Sophie Sturdy, Gusbourne’s Marketing Manager. “We were pleasantly surprised by how interested our visitors were, and by how often they bought a case to take home with them. Inspired by many successful wine clubs in the USA and Australia, we decided to launch Gusbourne Reserved. The key driver was that as a small producer, we have limited bottles to sell, so we wanted to make sure that our most loyal customers could guarantee regular access to Gusbourne, both with collectors and more casual drinkers in mind. “Fundamentally, it helps us organise the supply of our wines long in advance, so that we have time to plan the perfect time to disgorge our wines and age them before release, as well as providing predictable cash flow. But this group of customers are amongst our most loyal and passionate too. They are great bellwethers – we often try out new wines with them at tasting events, and this helps to guide the way in which we talk about those wines with consumers more broadly. It also gives us space to innovate and try new things, as it gives you a market for wine produced in very small amounts – we have been known to create a specific wine especially for member purchase,” Sophie added.

Meeting the needs of the customer


Wine club members need to feel special and valued – they are treasured loyal customers and potentially great ambassadors. They need to receive exclusive offers, limited editions and, often more importantly, they should be made to feel part of the vineyard or winery with invitations to events. “Currently we just have one level of membership at Furleigh and there is no joining fee,” commented Rebecca. “Our members get 20% off normal website and cellar door prices. They also get two free tickets for our wine club exclusive harvest days. In return they agree to buy at least six bottles of wine every quarter. We are planning to introduce a new membership level soon, which will allow members to choose the frequency of their wine shipments, how many bottles they commit to in each shipment

and the type of wine (i.e. still or sparkling or mixed). Fortunately, Commerce7 deals with all this choice without us having to get involved with complicated record keeping,” Rebecca added. “Every May and November, Gusbourne Estate send Reserved members their personal allocation of that year’s releases: two bottles each of Gusbourne Brut Reserve, Gusbourne Rosé and Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs. Membership also offers preferential rates and exclusive access to our library of limited-edition and rare wines. We offer pre-release access to all our wines before they go on general sale, and priority access to events and tastings. We also invite members to come and visit us in Appledore, Kent, for a complimentary members-only event twice a year,” commented Sophie. Justin Howard-Sneyd offers customers a 20% discount on the normal retail price of his wine. “This doesn’t undermine the retailers who sell at the retail price, and it is a significant discount to our most loyal customers. We also offer exclusive

access to older and rarer wines. And access to member events, such as our harvest weekends,” commented Justin. At Ridgeview, the OurView Wine Club members join free of charge but sign up to a commitment of shipment of a case of six wines twice a year. “Members are entitled to 20% discounts off all purchases, exclusive member events, discounts in our Wine Garden, reserved cellar space and access to new releases and rare archive wines,” explained Mardi. “We restrict the wine club to just 100 members and 20 ‘Premier Cru’ members, explained Nick from Albury vineyard, “so we don’t need any sophisticated software to run it, just an excel spreadsheet! We are fortunate in that we had built up a database of over 5000 active followers of the vineyard and we used this to promote the wine club offer. “Members get a range of benefits including some free wine, discounts on additional wine purchases, a free members only event each year

WINE CLUBS when we launch new wines, priority booking for events, involvement in the harvest, an invitation to the harvest party and discounts from other local businesses. Premier Cru members also nominally own 20 vines of their own, which they look after with our help, and they also get involved with producing the wine including involvement in dosage tastings,” Nick added.

Choosing the right tools

The benefits of a subscription-based wine club for both the business and the customer are clear, but without the right technology, the e-commerce platform and website software, the club can be time consuming and difficult to manage. “I think the fear of a huge administration overhead is what stops many producers setting up a wine club, so it’s important to choose the right tools,” explained Elisabeth. “There are producers managing wine clubs with spreadsheets and separate mailing lists, but unless you’re a small producer with a very limited membership, it’s all

too easy for the amount of admin to overwhelm the benefit,” she added. “We chose to work with Commerce7, software which integrates with WordPress, because it has phenomenally powerful wine club functionality – the producer ‘proposes’ a case and invites the member to tailor the case, or they can just take it as it is. “We’re finding that around two out of three people edit their cases – meaning that they get wine that they actually want. If all that did was increase customer satisfaction, it would be great, but in fact the average order value of edited cases is around 70% higher than the proposed case. This ability to edit cases is, in my view, the gamechanger. “Although most members actually sign up online, everything suggests that the decision to join takes place face to face – when a customer is enjoying a tour or tasting and feels an affinity with your wines and your tasting room. This is why it’s very important to make your proposition

clear and have all your team talk about the wine club. We’ve also recommended putting wine club leaflets in with suitable orders, maybe the larger value ones that aren’t gifts, for example,” advised Elisabeth. “The Ridgeview OneView wine club is linked to our website with the subscriptions on Go Cardless while we use MailChimp to stay in touch with our members. We are reviewing all of our systems as the more the membership grows the more complicated this is to stay on top of data. Our database has built up over time by requesting permission from our customers to join our mailing list at the point of sale or on our website. Like everyone we had to cleanse our database during the process of adopting GDPR however this has worked in our favour as a customer list is only as worthy as its most engaged audience and should be constantly evolving,” commented Mardi. “We have built our club at Gusbourne slowly, through word of mouth, and largely though >> in-person visits to the winery,” explained

> Tour at Ridgeview

> Harvest at Albury Vineyard



Wine club do's and don’ts from Elisabeth Else << Sophie. “Having passionate staff who genuinely understand the value of the club has been really important, and it’s testament to their enthusiasm that our customers become so passionate too. We run the club by email and spreadsheet, but we also have a bespoke website which is useful as it can adapt as we evolve our offering,” Sophie added.

The social media


As with so many aspects of marketing the correct use of social media is an asset and support, a chance to reach out or stay in touch or – as Furleigh Estate have found – to encourage FOMO (fear of missing out!). “Our wine club is another thing to talk about on social media. We also make sure we have stuff which it is clear is just for our members,” said Rebecca. “At Ridgeview social media is a valuable resource in our marketing tool kit of promoting awareness of our wine club and the benefits in joining. By following our social media our audience become closer to the brand, feel more a part of the whole process and then more inclined to join our wine club,” explained Mardi. “We find the majority of sign-ups happen when people are visiting us in person at Gusbourne, so social media is a small part of our strategy,” said Sophie. “However, we use cues and beautiful images to talk about what makes the wine club compelling, mentioning it when we release a new limited-edition wine for instance, or when we release tickets to a sought-after event,” she added. Justin Howard-Sneyd has not found social media the best way to recruit new club members: “In my experience, our best recommendations are through word of mouth, and through sampling at events where new people can meet the team and taste the wines. By far the best form

of communication is an email newsletter, and we work hard to make ours entertaining and compulsive reading.”

Wine club top tips

Rebecca at Furleigh said: “Make sure your staff really understand the wine club – almost all our wine club sign ups happen in the shop or after tours. If you need inspiration look at what they do in the US. Some of them have amazing Cellar Door experiences, matched by all sorts of Wine Clubs.” “Respect and value the importance of your customers, if they feel a part of the brand they will become incredible long term supporters and ambassadors for you. Think outside the box for exciting exclusive events to keep your wine club members engaged and provide access to money can’t buy experiences,” advised Mardi. “Start small and think big. Manage customer expectations to make sure you can fulfil your promises. Start locally, those engaged on a local level can become some of your best ambassadors. Treat customers with the respect they deserve as one of your most valuable resources,” she added. “At Albury we make members feel special by giving them a personal welcome when they visit the vineyard, communicate regularly with them via email or a newsletter, and generally make them feel part of the team by inviting them to some member only events. For us the wine club is a core element of our focus on increasing direct sales to consumers which now represents 40% of our sales by volume. However, it does take time and resources and you should measure the financial contribution if you can,” explained Nick. “Don’t just pay lip service to the advantages of club membership – make it different and make it fun,” Justin Howard-Sneyd advised, “run regular events for members only, make special wines available only to members and give members

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◆ Do let people choose what’s in their cases if you possibly can ◆ Do engage with club members and make them feel special ◆ Do think about how big you want your wine club to be, whether you will be able to fit everyone in for events ◆ Do make it easy for club members to get their special price via all channels ◆ Do prepare for the days when most club cases are sent out and bring in extra resources to help with pick, pack and despatch of orders ◆ Don’t underestimate the attractiveness of your offering ◆ Don’t get drowned in admin

other privileges – such as the chance to bring guests for free. I think it is good to operate a waiting list as it allows you to control the number of members, and to bring in a predictable batch of new members when you have the stock to support it. It also serves to maintain the aura of exclusivity! “Wine selling is a human-to-human business – you are selling to real people, not just names on a spreadsheet. It works best when you like them, and they like you. So, make sure they get to meet you, spend time talking, and listening, to them – like friends, and not just customers,” Justin added. “I always suggest to clients that it should be easy to join and easy to leave – as people are more likely to join if they don’t feel too locked in. Our clients were pretty concerned about people joining up, getting a discount and then leaving, but in fact they’ve had very few leavers,” commented Elisabeth.



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Keeping it clean – part 1 We only want wine in our wine, so winery hygiene is essential for producing a quality product, avoiding contamination and unwanted taints. Winery hygiene is also crucial for the health and safety of both consumers and winery staff. Wineries are also tourist destinations, so clean premises make a good impression! It’s a big topic and this is part one of a series of articles on cleaning and sanitising from Vineyard. Why clean and sanitise the winery? Wine is essentially a food product, so the winery or producer has an obligation to create wine that meets relevant legislation and is safe for consumption. According to the WineGB website, “UK wine law is based on European Union law and is enforced by the Wine


Standards Branch (WSB) of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).” Further information for producers can be found via links from the members’ area of the website, The Wine Standards team’s enforcement covers the safety, quality, authenticity and correct labelling of wine products, in vineyards, wineries and bottling plants – and further information can be found at

regulation. However, very little of the legislation relates directly to cleaning and sanitising, only to the consequences of poor hygiene. Campden BRI publish ‘Cleaning and disinfection of food factories: a practical guide’, which can be found on their website. Campden BRI is the UK’s main accredited laboratory providing scientific and technical analysis of wine along with regulatory support.

Rachel Rees, Wine & Spirits Technical Manager leads the laboratory team at Campden BRI, so is aware of all the issues that arrive in the lab. “In fact, most of the contamination that we see is due to poor cleaning of the bottling line equipment after filling the previous product – it may not be a risk to health, but the wine is contaminated,” explained Rachel. “Wine is classed as a food product and there are regulations to be followed on good hygiene for food production. Spoilage organisms that

can affect the wine are bacteria and yeasts, which commonly come into the winery from the vineyard, particularly on picking crates, but also from second-hand barrels and equipment. So, anything coming into contact with the grapes, juice or wine needs to be clean and sanitised. Some wineries may want to use wild yeasts – but this still needs to be controlled,” explained Moyra Williams, Technical Sales Consultant, Holchem, a manufacturer of cleaning products for wineries and breweries. “If purchasing second-hand barrels and winery equipment, ensure they are of a hygienic design and can be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised. Also, be aware that if equipment is not designed for winemaking it may not be so easy to clean. Tanks may have ‘shadow’ areas, nooks and crannies that can’t be reached by a spray head. Even equipment designed for winemaking may have ‘shadow areas’, such as lips under tank doors, fittings and pipework that can harbour spoilage microbes. Surfaces that are not super shiny are hard to clean and any scaling will need an acid descale – as rough surfaces are a great place to hide!” “All food contact surfaces should be smooth, non-porous, easily cleanable and free from irregularities such as pits, folds, poor welds or crevices. It is generally accepted that smoothness is a key requirement to cleanability,” advised Moyra. “A clean winery will discourage pests and reduce accidents. It’s also important to keep plant and equipment clean to avoid loss of efficiency, for example fouling in pipes will inhibit flow. Tank door rubbers need to be checked for cracking as this is another hiding place for microbes, as are floors and drains. “Any cleaning regime has to be validated to check it is actually doing the job – never assume! For example, if a spray ball used for cleaning a tank has any blocked holes– it will not be reaching all areas. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) swabs are a good way to check if surfaces have been sanitised in an effective hygiene monitoring regime. If ATP is present it indicates that there is a biological residue – such as spoilage organisms. Where possible, always visually check that

equipment is clean. Cleaning and sanitising are a two-stage process – cleaning to remove all soiling should be followed by a sanitisation/ disinfection process. You cannot disinfect a dirty surface! Fittings from tanks also need to be cleaned before they are put into a soak bath to sanitise,” added Moyra.


“At Campden BRI we see incidences of the spoilage organism Brettanomyces (Brett), as we can analyse for one of its metabolites, 4-ethylphenol. If present, the 4-ethylphenol highlights that the wine has been in contact with Brett, and this could be from a barrel that is infected, or from a Brett contaminated wine that had previously been in the barrel,” explained Rachel. “Brettanomyces is incredibly difficult to get rid of, every winery potentially has it,” commented Sarah Midgley, Plumpton College Wine Division lecturer and former winemaker. It’s a yeast that comes into the winery from the vineyard, on grape skins, it’s on the winery floor, in the tanks etc. It’s safer to assume that it’s all around and keep the winery as clean as possible. Wine needs to be stored properly with the correct level of SO2, with full tanks, or if there is any space make sure the wine is covered with inert gas. I also prefer to sterile filter wine. “Wines that are being stored or aged are at risk; the Brett population number can climb. Reserve wines are a particular risk, so need careful monitoring and management of their free SO2. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to get rid of Brett taint, which is often described as a dirty horse stable or hamster cage smell – but its detection does depend on an individual’s sensory threshold, and at low levels can be considered favourable by some!” “One of the most common issues I see from poor cleaning is Brett, and wineries do not want this spoiling the finished wine. In fact, any yeast from poor cleaning and winemaking can potentially cause problems in bottle including lactic acid bacteria or acetic acid bacteria. A good hygiene regime will help reduce these << risks,” added Moyra.

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“Poor winery cleaning, damp conditions, and stored damp cardboard, can result in the presence of haloanisoles in the wines,” explained Rachel. “Haloanisoles are chemically related compounds, that contain chlorine or bromine, and includes the most commonly known, trichloroanisole or TCA that migrates into the wine and results in the ‘damp cellar’, ‘wet cardboard’, ‘musty’, smell known as ‘cork taint’. Each of these haloanisoles has a similar odour but possesses different sensory thresholds. “The haloanisoles come from various materials, including oak products such as barrels, chips, or staves, bentonite, cork and other closures – even the wadding material in screw caps can pick-up airborne haloanisoles. The haloanisoles are created when some microorganisms are in contact with chlorinated phenolic compounds – which is why chlorinated cleaning products should not be used in a winery,” commented Rachel. “Geranium taint is another undesirable or ‘faulty’ odour in wine which can be caused by using sorbic acid in the winery – which is an anti-fungal but not anti-bacterial agent. The lactic acid bacteria, used in winemaking for malolactic fermentation, can metabolise the sorbic acid producing a compound called 2-ethoxyhexa-3,5diene which has an off-odour similar to the smell of geranium leaf,” added Rachel.

palate, and include acetic acid and ethyl acetate – which is a bit like nail polish remover. Having a clean environment reduces the population numbers of the bacteria that cause VA. It’s a fault and indicator of uncleanliness,” explained Sarah. Plumpton College’s newly appointed winemaker, Deepika Koushik, explained that, “there are also legal limits on ethyl carbamate, which can rise if urea is used in the vineyard – it’s not common but can happen. Fortunately, fermentation is a biological process and so, in most incidences, any contaminants that come into the winery from the vineyard, such as diesel, oil or pesticide residues – if harvest interval periods have not been respected – will inhibit the yeast and fermentation will not take place.” Deepika added.

Volatile acidity

Health and safety

There may be no legal limits on Brett or TCA, but there are legal limits on the level of volatile acidity (VA) in wine. “With a dirty winery it is easy to end up with too much VA in the wine. These are acids that are apparent on the nose, rather than the

Cl > TCA (2,4,6 – trichloroanisole), the compound commonly responsible for ‘cork taint’

“In fact, with HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point), which is for reducing the risk of safety hazards in a food production environment, there are really not that many critical control points for wine – as fermentation is a biological

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process that needs the right conditions to proceed. The most critical time to ensure winery hygiene is at bottling. In practice, operators need to wear gloves and hairnets, all equipment needs to be steam cleaned to achieve sterility and usually the wine needs to be sterile filtered. Basically, the winery or bottling area needs to be cleaned to within an inch of its life!” “There are occasions where an older wine is considered stable, particularly if it has been aged in barrel, and the winemaker may not consider it necessary to sterile filter before bottling – but in my experience that is risky if it is a commercial wine,” Sarah added. “In the Plumpton College winery, every student does a risk assessment and each cleaning product has a COSHH document (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health), along with procedures for spillages. Fortunately, most of the cleaning agents we use are designed for the dairy and food industries. All the students have goggles and gloves, and for using steam, they follow strict protocols and wear heat-proof gloves. Student are taught how to use caustic soda for cleaning safely and signed off by a staff member – it’s important that they know how to use caustic soda safely as they may be required to use it when working in a winery,” added Sarah. “Water for cleaning has to be potable and many wineries are not on mains water, so any water used for cleaning needs testing, including for Legionella and Coliform bacteria, and in fact it is a requirement for SALSA and BRC schemes. If the water is not mains it may need be to be treated, for example with UV, or filtered,” explained Sarah. “Water hardness can also affect the formulation of cleaning products such as caustic soda,” added Moyra.



roy de w

Spoilt by choice

The closures most commonly used in the UK Natural cork Cork has many merits, the chief one being its highly elastic nature. It can take up deformities in bottles and work successfully with corkers which have seen better days. Problems I have encountered are: ◆ ‘pushing’ where the wine has high dissolved CO2. This is not necessarily a fault of the cork but a fault of incorrect diameter and moisture (which affects the expansion rate). ◆ Difficult extraction. This can happen when corks are stored for too long and the surface coating (designed to ensure proper extraction) changes in property and becomes like a glue. I would not use corks beyond three months of manufacture. ◆ Variability in ageing, from bottle to bottle. The oxygen transmission rate (OTR) ranges from 0.5 to 20mg O2/yr and whilst manufacturers aim to grade the corks to quality brackets, it is a natural product and

Screw cap summary – BVS 30 H 60



h y/

W in e

Some considerations when selecting bottle closure. Bottling is the final step in the long and complex winemaking process and once the closure is applied, the fate of the wine is sealed – for better or worse. BevTech have been providing mobile bottling services to UK wineries since 2015 and this article touches on some of the challenges and issues we have encountered. The functional requirements of a closure are in fact very simple: ◆ It does not leak ◆ It does not impart, nor strip flavours ◆ It must be durable enough for the expected ageing period ◆ It must be easy to remove ◆ Any gaseous exchange (oxygen in, CO2 out) must fall within expectations for the maturation.




P h o t o: To

there will always be some variation. ◆ Haloanisoles (including TCA). The most nefarious of problems with corks, be it stunningly obvious or a ‘stealth’ cork that reduces flavour and aromas. The cork industry has made huge advances over the last 20 years and the problem is now far rarer. But you do get what you pay for.

o mG



◆ Consumer needs no special tool for extraction Nevertheless, it is easy to forget that screw caps have very tight tolerances for the caps, bottles and application. This is exasperated by the fact the surface area of contact between the bottle and liner is extremely small. See picture 1. This ranges from 30 to 70mm2, compared to over 2,000mm2 for a 38mm cork. For a correct seal, bottles must confirm to the BVS30H60 standard. Reputable bottle manufacturers have QC in place to ensure this. But molten glass is fluid and problems can arise. These are typically ovality of the neck, fissures, sagging, blemishes and contact area less than the standard. Plus of course non conformity to the standard. In addition, different screw cap manufacturers have different application parameters. See table. When screw caps fail, they fail big time. We have also seen spasmodic failure due to manual handling (and knocks) plus storage in stillages with a neck-on-neck contact.

‘Technical’ corks These are made from natural cork particles which have then had a binder added to them before being re-formed or moulded. A grading process of the particles has been added which enables tight control of the physical properties of expansion and also OTR. Then the particles are treated to remove TCA. The first process developed uses super-critical CO2 which has the penetrating properties of a gas but the dissolving properties a liquid to strip out the TCA. Other processes use steam. Both enable the manufacturer to test and certify corks with TCA amounts below detection levels.


Screw caps

Whilst Vinolok has been around for many years, they have only recently been used on English wines. They are completely inert, have a greater surface and sealing contact area than screw caps and have an OTR of approx. 2.0mg O2/yr. The principal challenge with these closures is the application, as very few bottling lines are equipped to handle them. Plus, there are also issues with compatibility of bottle and closure as it is not as simple as just taking a bottle designed for cork and using Vinolok – and this can have a major effect on the OTR. As with every step of winemaking, the final choice of bottle closure is dictated not just by marketing requirements but by suitability, practicality and reality. For 2022, BevTech will have a new mobile line which will be capable of cork, Vinolok, screw cap and also Stelvin Lux.

Around 90% of the still wine we bottle is under screw cap. There are many attractions of these closures: ◆ Free from TCA taint ◆ Low and consistent OTR. As low as 0.02 mg O2/yr, depending on liner ◆ Can handle high dissolved CO2

> Pic 1: BVS30H60 3D scan






180 to 200

180 to 200

160 to 200


160 to 120

Tuck under rollers lateral pressure (Kg)

8 to 12

8 to 12

9 to 11


8 to 13

Thread rollers lateral presssure (Kg)

8 to 12

8 to 12

12 to 14


8 to 13

Axial load (Kg)

Data indicative only

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M a rk C


Fermentation focus


n pto

The pressures this year are apparent both in the supply chain and with the weather, optimum fermentation is achievable however and outlined are various fermentation protocols to maximise the flavour and styles from your harvest either focusing on varietal or as part of a blend to develop and achieve your wine style.

Focus on overexpression of particular characters

For white wines: ◆ Aromatic characteristics determined by enzymatic activities are important in the wine style; of relevance to white winemaking are thiol production, ester production and terpene release. ◆ Choosing a POF-strain and using an enzyme preparation purified from cinnamate esterase activity to minimise the formation of vinyl phenols before they reach a critical level that has a detrimental sensory impact. ◆ Alcohol, pH and temperature tolerances should be taken into account. ◆ Starting SO2 levels and yeast strain production of SO2.

◆ Understanding YAN and correct supplementation to ensure support for biomass production based on starting YAN, potential alcohol and nitrogen requirements of the yeast strain. For red wines: ◆ Aromatic characteristics determined by enzymatic activities are important for wine style. ◆ Choosing a POF-strain is not critical as red wine phenolics inhibit this reaction. ◆ Use of an enzyme preparation purified from cinnamate esterase activity is key to minimising the amount of precursors available to B. bruxellensis; limiting the proliferation of B. bruxellensis post alcoholic fermentation will minimise ethyl-phenol production. ◆ Alcohol, pH and temperature tolerances should be taken into account. ◆ Starting SO2 levels and yeast strain production of SO2. SO2 binding is even more critical here as there are more SO2 binding compounds naturally present in red must. ◆ Understanding YAN and correct supplementation to ensure support for biomass production based on starting YAN, potential alcohol and nitrogen requirements of the yeast strain


Dealing with under-ripe grapes and green character ◆ Limited extractability from the skins (reduced colour and mouthfeel). ◆ Unripe and green seed tannins (astringency). ◆ Green character in the wine (“green pepper”). Concerns about making red wine from under-ripe fruit: Issue: Limited extractability from skins. Under-ripe grapes often have thicker skins, which have a limited extractability. Anthocyanins, tannins and aroma precursors will be harder to release from the inside of the grape cell. Solution: The use of an enzyme will help break open the cell wall structure and release the anthocyanins, aroma precursors, and soft tannins from the grape cell. Getting colour and soft tannin extraction before the alcoholic phase of maceration will help reduce the level of astringent character in the finished wine. ◆ Add LAFASE® FRUIT enzyme during first pump over at 40 g/ton. Issue: Under-ripe tannin and green seed tannin. When phenolic maturity does not happen at the same rate as sugar accumulation the fruit can have harsh tannin. When this happens in conjunction with seed tannin extraction, the result can be an increase in final wine astringency. Solution: Limit the maceration time and the extraction regime during the alcoholic phase of fermentation. This shorter maceration time can result in lower overall tannin content and lower colour intensity and stability. Use fermentation tannins to build structure, stabilize colour, and help reduce green character perception in the wine. ◆ Add at grape processing: TANIN VR GRAPE® (100% grape skin and seed tannin): 200 – 400 ppm or TANIN VR SUPRA® ÉLÉGANCE (blend of ellagic and proanthocyanidic tannin) 200 – 400ppm.


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Aromatic Whites, and Rosé > Winemaking protocol for Sauvignon Blanc, Aromatic Whites, and Rosé


Pressing Enzyme Treatment Increase free run juice yields, shorten press cycles, decrease phenolic extraction, and extract aroma precursors from the skins.



Granulate option. Dosage: 30 g/ton

Liquid option. Dosage: 30 mL/ton

Applied to grapes before pressing

Juice Fining Preventative treatment of oxidation, preserving aromatic profile. Eliminate oxidized phenolics, prevent browning and pinking during aging period.



Vegetable protein (patatin) and PVPP Dosage: 300 – 500 ppm

Thiol Revelation



Pectinase blend specific for releasing more aromatic potential during fermentation. Add just after fermentation begins. Dosage: 30 - 50 ppm

Casein and PVPP Dosage: 200 – 400 ppm

Add to juice settling tank or add during fermentation

Yeast Choice - 200 ppm ZYMAFLORE® X5

Modern Bright, clean fermentation profile, helps express thiols (grapefruit, boxwood). Alc. Tol.: 16%, Temp: 55 - 68°F


Classic High expression of grapefruit & passion fruit, enhances mouthfeel (Hsp12 peptide). Alc. Tol.: 14.5%, Temp: 59 - 70°F


Terroir High expression of citrus & lychee, gives sweetness sensation and mouthfeel. Alc. Tol.: 14.5%, Temp: 57 - 72°F

Yeast Rehydration SUPERSTART® BLANC

Yeast rehydration product rich in sterols and minerals that help yeast develop more intense fermentation esters and thiols. Timing: dissolve in yeast rehydration water at 104°F before adding yeast. Dosage: 200 ppm.

Aroma Protection & Mouthfeel - Glutathione FRESHAROM®

Glutathione based product to help protect wine aromatics from oxidation during cellar aging and bottling, giving the wine greater aging potential. Timing: add at 1/3rd fermentation completion (~15 brix). Dosage: 300 ppm

Fermentation Nutrition THIAZOTE® PH

Diammonium phosphate (DAP) and thiamine. Dosage: 100 - 500 ppm


Complex yeast nutrient, composed of organic nitrogen, DAP and thiamine to optimize wine aroma. Dosage: 200 - 600 ppm


100% organic nitrogen from yeast origin. Dosage: 300 - 600 ppm


◆ Add at 1/3rd alcoholic fermentation: TANIN VR COLOR® (blend of tannin sources, rich in catechin for colour stabilization): 200 – 400 ppm. Issue: Green Character in the wine Fruit with under ripe phenolic maturity can impart a green or veggie character into the finished wine. Solution: It is possible to reduce or mask the green character during fermentation and after fermentation with different tools: ◆ Use toasted oak granular during fermentation: NOBILE® SWEET VANILLA (3 - 4 g/l). ◆ Use a yeast strain that produces lots of fermentation esters: ZYMAFLORE® FX10 or ZYMAFLORE® RX60 (200 ppm). ◆ Use a yeast derived product rich in mannoproteins and polysaccharides: POWERLEES® ROUGE (200 – 400 ppm).

◆ Do an early fining treatment on all press wine: POLYMUST® PRESS (200 – 400 ppm). ◆ Use toasted oak chips during aging (2 - 3 g/l): - NOBILE® SWEET VANILLA: Red fruits, vanilla, toasted marshmallow. - NOBILE® INTENSE: Dark fruit, mocha, toasted almond.

Thiol optimisation

Thiol defintion: Thiols are sulphur-containing organic compounds with a sulphur atom bound to a hydrogen atom, which creates the 'thiol' group (SH group ('sulfhydryl'). A pungent and desirable family of glutathionylated, thiol precursors are present in grape skins, enzymatic hydrolysis is needed to extract the precursors for yeast fermentation. Thiols of particular interest are 3MH (grapefruit) 3MHA (passionfruit) and 4MMP (boxwood). >>

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and Full-Bodied Whites


> Winemaking protocol for Chardonnay and Full-Bodied Whites



Granulate option. Dosage: 5 - 20 ppm

Added to juice after pressing

Liquid option. Dosage: 1 - 3 mL/hL

Juice Fining Eliminates phenolics, preserves aromatics, prevents browning and removes bitterness.



Casein and PVPP Dosage: 200 – 400 ppm

Add to juice settling tank or add during fermentation

PVPP, calcium bentonite and vegetable protein (patatin). Dosage: 400 - 1000 ppm

Yeast Choice - 200 ppm ZYMAFLORE® X16


Modern High aromatic producer; pear, pineapple, & peach. Alc. Tol.: 16.5%, Temp: 54 - 64°F

Classic Meyer lemon, fresh almond & hazelnut aromas with creamy mouthfeel. Alc. Tol.: 16%, Temp: 57 - 72°F


Terroir Peach, pear, & toasted bread aromas. High polysaccharide production. Alc. Tol.: 15.5%, Temp: 57 - 68°F

Yeast Rehydration SUPERSTART® BLANC

Yeast rehydration product rich in sterols and minerals that help yeast develop more intense fermentation esters and thiols as well as help prevent stuck ferments. Timing: dissolve in yeast rehydration water at 104°F before adding yeast. Dosage: 200 ppm

Aroma Protection & Mouthfeel OENOLEES

Eliminates bitterness, enhances mouthfeel and adds perception of sweetness. Adds rich sur lie aging character. Timing: add at 1/3rd fermentation completion (~15 brix). Dosage: 200 - 300 ppm

Fermentation Nutrition THIAZOTE® PH

Diammonium phosphate (DAP) and thiamine. Dosage: 100 - 500 ppm



Complex yeast nutrient, organic nitrogen, DAP and thiamine. Dosage: 200 - 600 ppm


100% organic nitrogen from yeast origin. Dosage: 300 - 600 ppm

complexity (300 ppm). << Process to maximise thiols: A reductive process is necessary to limit THIOL loss to oxygen contact as they are highly sensitive to ROS. CHECK SUPERSTART® BLANC & ROSÉ: Enhances the overall yeast potential of aroma production and revelation. To be added to the Saccharomyces Pressing: To limit harvest bruising and to maximize free-run yields, 141 yeast rehydration water (200 ppm). extract a maximum of juice at low pressures. LAFAZYM® PRESS (30 g/ton) or LAFASE® XL PRESS (30 ml/ton). CHECK Thiol revealing yeast*: ZYMAFLORE® X5, ZYMAFLORE® DELTA, Flotation/settling: In special conditions such as low maturity of the ZYMAFLORE® VL3 (200 ppm). *Inoculate the S.cerevisiae 24h to 72h after ZYMAFLORE® ALPHA. grapes, hard-to clarify grapes or in order to accelerate depectinization ® Nutrition: NUTRISTART® AROM: complete nutrient (organic and mineral before flotation: LAFAZYM 600XL ICE (0.5 - 1 ml/hl) on must after pressing Stabulation: Hold juice cold on juice lees for extended time to extract nitrogen), lifts the aromatic complexity. (200 - 600 ppm according to more aroma precursors from the juice solids. This is not extended nitrogen needs). maceration, it is a different technique involving a highly inert process. Fermentation: Fining during alcoholic fermentation (Add at 1/3 Enzyme: LAFAZYM® THIOLS[+] (30 - 60 ppm) on must after racking and fermentation completion) choose between Vegecoll or Polymust Rose. before yeasting. ◆ VEGECOLL®: Vegetable protein (potato) to prevent oxidation and eliminate oxidised phenolic compounds. (30 - 200 ppm on free-run Fermentation: Yeast selection juice; 200 - 300 ppm on press juice) CHECK ZYMAFLORE® ALPHA: non-Saccharomyces yeast to increase aromatic

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Juice Clarification Enzyme Treatment Pectolytic enzymes for faster clarification, more compact lees volume, and efficient post fermentation settling and filtration.

BENCH TRIALS WINEMAKING Bench trials are an essential step in determining dosage rates for treatments during wine aging. With fining treatments, you BENCH TRIALS want to add just enough product to remove the unwanted character, but not over-fine the wine and remove aromatics or BENCH TRIALS Bench trials are an essential step in determining dosage rates for treatments during wine aging. With fining treatments, you desired texture. With tannin and mannoprotein treatments, each wine has a “sweet spot” where the mouthfeel comes into


want to add just enough product to remove the unwanted character, but not over-fine the wine and remove aromatics or Bench trials essential in through determining dosage rates for treatments during wine aging. With fining treatments, you balance and are thisan can only be step found bench trialing different dose rates. desired texture. With tannin and mannoprotein treatments, each wine has a “sweet spot” where the mouthfeel comes into want to add just enough product to remove the unwanted character, but not over-fine the wine and remove aromatics or balance and this can only be found through bench trialing different dose rates. desired texture. With tannin each wine hasasa possible. “sweet spot” where the mouthfeel comes into The team at LAFFORT® wantsand to mannoprotein make the benchtreatments, trial process as painless balance this can only be found bench trialing With theand correct tools, bench trials through can be quick and easy. different dose rates. The team at LAFFORT® wants to make the bench trial process as painless as possible. With the correct tools, bench trials can be quick and easy. The team at LAFFORT® wants to make the bench trial process as painless as possible. With the correct tools, bench trials can be quick and easy.

50 or 100 mL

0 to 1 g

Pipette tips

100 mL

TIPS 1TIPS - For powder or granulate products: Prepare a 5% solution 2 hours ahead (exception TIPS 1 - with For powder or granulate products: ICHTYOCOLLE® – prepare a 1% solution).

1 to 100 µL

6 - Mix wine samples thoroughly after addition. 76 - Fining agents require 2 – 4 days of settling. Look for compact Mix wine samples thoroughly after addition.

lees layer at bottom of sample bottle, then decant clean wine

Prepare a 5% solution 2 hours ahead (exception 12 -- with For or granulate products: For powder liquid products: ICHTYOCOLLE® – prepare a 1% solution). Prepare a 5%directly solution(no 2 hours ahead (exception Use product dilution necessary). 2 - with For liquid products: – prepare a 1% solution). ICHTYOCOLLE® 3 - Use Make a plan: product directly (no dilution necessary). 2 - For liquid Write downproducts: your dosage rates and calculate the volume of 3 - Use Make a plan: product directlyneeded (no dilution necessary). bench trial solution for each sample. Write down your dosage rates and calculate the volume of 3 Make a plan: 4 - bench Organize workspace: trial the solution needed for each sample. Write down your dosage rates and calculate volume of Label all wine sample bottles/glasses before the adding 4 - bench Organize the workspace: trial solution needed for each sample. the bench trial solution. Label all wine sample bottles/glasses before adding 4 -- Homogenize Organize the bench workspace: 5 trial solutions the bench trial solution. Labelbefore all wine sample bottles/glasses before adding right pipetting into wine sample. 5 - Homogenize the bench trial bench solution.trial solutions right before pipetting into wine sample.

76 - for Fining agents require 2 – 4 days of settling. Look for compact Mixsensory wine samples thoroughly after addition. analysis.

lees layer at bottom of sample bottle, then decant clean wine

78 -- for Fining agents requiretannins: 2 – 4 days of settling. Look for compact Structure building sensory analysis.

lees layer bottom of sample bottle, then decant clean wine TANIN VRatGRAPE®, TAN’COR GRAND CRU®, TAN’FRESH®,

8 - TANIN Structure building tannins: for sensory analysis. GALALCOOL SP® are best evaluated after 48 hours


contact time with the wine. 8 - of Structure building tannins: TANIN GALALCOOL SP® are best evaluated after 48 hours TANIN VR GRAPE®, TAN’COR 9 - of Finishing products: contact time with the wine. GRAND CRU®, TAN’FRESH®, TANIN GALALCOOL SP® are best evaluated after QUERTANIN® range, AUTOLEES®, MANNOFEEL®, and48 hours

9 - of Finishing products: contactSP® time with the wine. STABIVIN can be added and tasted immediately after mixing QUERTANIN® range, AUTOLEES®, MANNOFEEL®, and

wine sample. 9 - into Finishing products: STABIVIN SP® can be added and tasted immediately after mixing QUERTANIN® range, AUTOLEES®, MANNOFEEL®, and into wine sample. STABIVIN SP® can be added and tasted immediately after mixing into wine sample.

5 - Homogenize bench trial solutions

right before pipetting into wine sample.

LAFFORT® CONVERSION CHART LAFFORT® CONVERSION CHART ppm or mg/L 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 LAFFORT® CONVERSION CHART 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 ppmg/hL or mg/L 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 lbs/1,000 gal ppmg/hL or mg/L lbs/1,000 g/hL gal

0.8 10 100 0.8 10

1.7 20 200 1.7 20

2.5 30 300 2.5 30

3.3 40 400 3.3 40

4.2 50 500 4.2 50

5.0 60 600 5.0 60

5.8 70 700 5.8 70

6.7 80 800 6.7 80

lbs/1,000 gal


















mL/1000 38 189 379 757 1,136 1,514 3,785 mL/hL gal 1 5 10 20 30 40 1,893 50 100 mL/gal 0.04 0.19 0.38 0.76 1.14 1.51 1.89 3.79 mL/1000 38 189 379 757 1,136 1,514 3,785 mL/hL gal 1 5 10 20 30 40 1,893 50 100 mL/gal 0.04 0.19 0.38 0.76 1.14 1.51 1.89 3.79 gal® ROSÉ: 38 PVPP189 379 757 (potato) 1,136 1,514 1,893 3,785 ◆mL/1000 POLYMUST and vegetable protein to preserve colour and eliminate (300 -1.14 800 ppm), mL/gal 0.04 oxidized 0.19 compounds 0.38 0.76 1.51or Thiol 1.89 3.79 Optimisation Protocol 3 F. ◆ Aromatic protection FRESHAROM®: specific formulation of inactivated yeast with high protective power, rich in glutathione (200 - 300 ppm). 164 Aging: Enzyme LAFAZYM® AROM (ß-glucosidase): strengthens the 164 aromatic complexity and the thiol perception through the revelation of terpenes (20 ppm). 164

Fermentation management of rot infected grapes: white wine

Step 1: BIOProtection on grapes and materials in order to control the indigenous microflora on botrytized grapes, the use of a yeast



12 x 750 mL case = 2.37753 gal 90 100 900 1000 12 x 750 mL case 1 gal = 3.785 L 1=barrel = 225 7.5 8.3 2.37753 galL 1L = 1000 mL 90 100 900 1000 59mL gal case 12 x =750 1 gal = 3.785 L 1=barrel = 225 2.37753 galL 7.5 8.3 1L1hL = 1000 mL 90 100 = 100L 59 gal gal approx 1 ton = =165 = 26.40 gal 1 barrel = 225 L 7.5 8.3 1L1hL = 1000 mL = 100L 59 gal gal approx 1 ton = =165 == 26.40 gal 200 300 1 lbs 454 grams 1g/L = 0.1% 1hL = 100L 1 ton = 165 gal approx 7,570 = 26.40 gal 200 11,355 300 lbston = 454 grams 1g/Lton = 0.1% 11US = 2000lbs 1 metric = 1000 kg 7.57 11,355 11.36 = 907 kg = 2205 lbs 7,570 200 300 lbston = 454 grams 1g/Lton = 0.1% 11US = 2000lbs 1 metric = 1000 kg 7.57 11.36 = 907 kg = 2205 lbs 7,570 11,355 preparation for BIOprotection be considered. Apply dry form 1 US tonshould = 2000lbs 1 metric ton in = 1000 kg on the harvesting or7.57 by spraying, 11.36 ZYMAFLORE®= EGIDETDMP 907 kg = 2205machine, lbs the grape transport bucket, and the cellar equipment at the reception. Dosage: 20 - 30g per ton as dry weight of ZYMAFLORE® EGIDETDMP. Ask the LAFFORT® team about the technical information for the sprayer use for BIOprotection. 1 gal = 3.785 L

Step 2: Estimate level of rot in U/ml Level of Rot (%) Level of Rot (%) Laccase activity (U/ml)


1 -5












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for Pinot Noir


> Winemaking protocol for Pinot Noir


Fruit Forward Pinot Noir

Full - bodied Pinot Noir Cold Soak


Torulaspora delbrueckeii strain. Add during cold soak to prevent spoilage organisms in must. Reduce VA production during cold soak and fermentation. Compatible with all Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Pectolytic enzymes for efficient aroma, color and tannin extraction



Dosage: 30 g/ton For enhanced fruit aromas, gentle extraction and minimization of cold soak time.

Dosage: 30 g/ton For maximizing color, tannin and polysaccharide extraction.

Yeast Choice (200 - 300 ppm)





Aromatic purity, low production of negative sulfur compounds, enhances mouthfeel with polysaccharides and notes of cherry & blackberry. Alc. Tol.: 16%, Temp: 59 – 86°F

Burgundian strain giving notes of cherry, cranberry & raspberry. Contributes to elegant mouthfeel and preserves color. Alc. Tol.: 15%, Temp 68 - 90°F


Yeast rehydration nutrient rich in sterols to help build healthy yeast membranes for greater temperature and alcohol resistance. Timing: dissolve in yeast re-hydration water at 104°F before adding yeast. Dosage: 200 - 300 ppm

Color Stabilization



Fermentation tannin, high in catechin specific for stabilizing coloring matter. Contributes to overall structure and balance of the wine. Dosage: 100 - 300 ppm

100% grape catechin tannin for color stability and compensates for natural grape tannin deficiency. Can be used during fermentation or aging. Dosage: 100 - 300 ppm

Fermentation Nutrition


Inactivated yeast rich in mannoprotein and Hsp12 peptides, plus ß - glucanase enzymes, to maximize mouthfeel and fruit flavors. Will give a perception of sweetness to the finished wine. Timing: Add any time during fermentation or aging. Dosage: 150 - 300 ppm



Diammonium phosphate (DAP) and thiamine. Dosage: 100 - 500 ppm

Complex yeast nutrient, organic nitrogen, DAP and thiamine. Dosage: 200 - 600 ppm


100% organic nitrogen from yeast origin. Dosage: 300 - 600 ppm


Step 3: Pressing Reductive cover (CO₂) as soon as possible, then add: Level of Rot (%) U/ml

Low Rot contamination

Medium Rot contamination

High Rot contamination




Sulphites Tanin Galacool


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U/ml LAFAZYM CL (ppm) LAFAZYM 600XL ICE (ml/hl)

80-100 50-70

Step 4: Pressing Addition of enzymes on must in tank after pressing:











*Purified enzymes selected for their ability to not produce vinyl phenols, important as these can mask fruit. Cool juice to 10°C, then add: Rehydrate the wine yeast (250 ppm) with SUPERSTART® BLANC at 300 ppm

WINEMAKING > Winemaking protocol for Fruit Forward Reds

Maceration Enzyme Treatment

Pectolytic enzymes for efficient aroma, color and tannin extraction from grape skins. Increases pressing yields and aids in more efficient post fermentation settling and filtration.



Granulate option Dosage: 30 g/ton

Liquid option Dosage: 20 mL/ton

Add to must at destemmer.

Fermentation Tannin - Protection & Structure

Helps prevent oxidation, preserving aromatic profile. Eliminate oxidized phenolics, prevent browning during barrel aging and remove bitterness.



Fermentation tannin, blend of skin, seed, and wood tannins. For enhancing structure, stabilizing color, and inhibiting oxidative enzymes (laccase) from mold infection. Dosage: 200 - 400 ppm

Fermentation tannin, high in catechin tannin specific for stabilizing coloring matter. Contributes to overall structure and balance of the wine. Dosage: 200 - 400 ppm Add during first 1/3rd of fermentation.

Add to must at first tank mixing.

Yeast Choice (200 - 300 ppm) ZYMAFLORE® XPURE



Finesse Aromatic purity, low production of negative sulfur compounds, good mouthfeel with notes of cherry & blackberry. Alc. Tol.: 16%, Temp: 59 - 86°F

Modern Very high aroma production. Raspberry, blueberry & blackberry. Excellent fermentation kinetics. Alc. Tol.: 16.5%, Temp: 68 – 86°F

Terroir Isolated in Tuscany, high production of red fruits, and high glycerol production. Excellent choice for Mediterranean varieties. Alc. Tol.: 16.5%, Temp.: 68 - 86°F

Yeast Rehydration


Yeast rehydration nutrient rich in sterols to help build healthy yeast membranes for greater temperature and alcohol resistance. Timing: dissolve in yeast rehydration water at 104°F before adding the yeast.. Dosage: 200 - 300 ppm

Fermentation Nutrition


Inactivated yeast rich in mannoprotein and Hsp12 peptides, plus ß - glucanase enzymes, to maximize mouthfeel and fruit flavors. Will give a perception of sweetness to the finished wine. Timing: Add any time during fermentation or aging. Dosage: 150 - 300 ppm



Diammonium phosphate (DAP) and thiamine. Dosage: 100 - 500 ppm

Complex yeast nutrient, organic nitrogen, DAP and thiamine. Dosage: 200 - 600 ppm

to ensure a strong fermentation finish. Compensate for nitrogen deficiency in the juice, if necessary, by adding THIAZOTE® PH, or NUTRISTART® range. Use nutrient online tool (LAFFORT® Website). Recommended yeast: ZYMAFLORE® CX9, ZYMAFLORE® X5, ZYMAFLORE® X16 or ACTIFLORE® BO213. It is recommended to carry out a secondary fining during fermentation to remove the residual oxidised and/or oxidisable phenolic compounds. U/ml POLYLACT (ppm) POLYMUST PRESS (ppm)












100% organic nitrogen from yeast origin. Dosage: 300 - 600 ppm

To improve the spectrum of elimination of oxidised and/or oxidisable phenolic compounds, it is advised to alternate the fining products according to what was carried out on the must. The recommended doses are determined for the application of a double fining on the must and during fermentation. If only one fining will be performed, the doses can be increased. Maintain anaerobic conditions until all laccase activity has disappeared. Press wines will have a higher laccase activity resulting in a low filterability index due to a high colloidal content. Treatment with an enzyme preparation of pectinase/ß-glucanase such as EXTRALYSE® at 100 ppm in the last 1/3 of alcoholic fermentation will help to improve the filterability of the wine.

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Sustaining closure Since 1774 Rankin Brothers & Sons, a leading supplier, manufacturer and designer of closures, stoppers and corks has been supporting the wine, beer and spirits industry. Vineyard speaks to Jim Rankin, commercial director and sixth generation, to find out how innovation and new technology will drive the transition to more environmentally positive materials and shape the business for the next 250 years.


Closures have an important function, but it’s easy to overlook how critical they are to a wine’s overall packaging. “The label catches the eye, but the closure is the first touch point for the customer when interacting with the product. If it is not right, if it is poorly applied, ill fitting or not decorated, it negatively impacts the brand value and what the brand is aiming to express – a good closure is subtly sophisticated and goes beyond function,” explained Jim Rankin, Rankin & Sons Commercial Director. For nearly 250 years the Rankin family business has been growing, harvesting and producing cork from their own forests in Portugal, as well as producing a range of closures for different sectors. As the sixth generation of the Rankin family Jim tried his hardest to escape the clutches of the family business. “I worked in Australia, at Penfolds in the Barossa in the 1980s and I was half a cork away from pursuing a career as a winemaker. But my grandfather reached out and said there were opportunities for me to develop the family business. I leapt at the chance – but took the scenic route back from Australia via South East Asia arriving in the UK over nine months later! “When I started with the family company, in the early 1990s, there were five cork businesses in South London alone, competing for the same space – all with long ties to Portugal and the cork industry. However, we felt that Rankin had a better offer, and it was my job to promote it further. In those days the large importers, such as Scottish & Newcastle, with their wine division Waverly, were bottling bulk wine in London for their own tied business in the on-trade but now

everything has consolidated, and bottling is done by a few large facilities such as Accolade and Greencroft. The 1990s also saw the emergence of the English wine producers, and I am proud that we were part of the early developments in the 1990s, with pioneers such as Peter Hall at Breaky Bottom, the Carr-Taylors and the Cowderoys at Rock Lodge. It was a sector in its infancy, and my goodness how it has changed seismically in the last 30 years,” added Jim. Rankin Brothers & Sons currently employ 48 people over two sites, the head office near Oxford and the production facility in Buckinghamshire. Rankin’s own 4,500 acres of cork forests in Portugal employing a core team plus seasonal harvesters.

Supporting UK wine producers

“During the pandemic, which was a challenging time for so many, we were so impressed by the UK wine sector and how businesses were quick, agile and imaginative, establishing new ways to sell their wines – online, home deliveries, drive throughs and click and collect – enabling them to ride the storm,” commented Jim. “We are excited to be part of this UK wine journey, to see how the industry has developed over time, how it has grown from artisanal and hobbyist into a sector that is now producing wines to better their competitors elsewhere in the world, exporting and winning international accolades. We genuinely enjoy being in this space and supporting our local industry,” added Jim. Rankin Brothers & Sons are patrons of the national body, Wines of Great Britain and sponsors of the Vineyard & Winery show. “Our patronage of WineGB is crucial, it allows us to reach out to producers individually or collectively and it’s an ideal forum for sharing ideas, knowledge, innovation and of course for education. “For Rankins it’s all about giving back and UK

RANKIN BROTHERS & SONS producers need a local, loyal and expert supply base if they are to achieve their future ambitions as regards quality and volume. We want to see the sector continue to thrive and prosper. For a family business like ours its hugely important that we give back and our sponsorship is just one example of us making a positive contribution – and enjoy sharing the success. “There is now no doubt the UK is able to produce quality wines, and that it has the chance for a successful future. However, I would like to see more of a diverse offer, even if that means we see some producers with only vintage wines for special occasions, some with only charmat wines for every day, but with others producing a range including, with hopefully a little more warmth, easy drinking reds,” added Jim.

Sustainably cork

Twenty or so years ago supermarkets started to shy away from corks, due to problems with cork taint, selecting screw caps or plastic ‘corks’ instead. “Rankin, fairly early on, developed a range of natural, micro-agglomerated and other cork hybrid closures, that mitigated cork taint, and nowadays it is no longer a problem, due to innovative technological advances and robust production controls. In fact, cork taint or musty aroma can originate in damp cardboard and

even to the wadding element inside screw caps. Our partners at Cork Supply offer a buy back bottles guarantee for genuine cork taint issues,” commented Jim. “Cork is increasingly popular – and people have come back to cork for two reasons. Firstly, it’s now more reliable and consistent, with better manufacturing controls that meet quality

expectations. Secondly buyers, brand managers and consumers are aware of the positive sustainability and eco credentials of cork, as a natural material,” said Jim. “I passionately believe in cork and the role it plays in environmental sustainability and the mitigation of climate change. We have had our own cork forests since the 1800s, located by my <<


















Quality Stoppers and Closures Since 1774

+44 (0)1844 203100

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> The Rankin family << ancestor, William Rankin. We are custodians of a rich and biodiverse ecosystem and activities in the cork forests, their management and conservation are part of our long-term strategy of sustainability. Our cork trees are not felled, the cork bark is harvested on a nine-year cycle, and we are continually planting new trees. The cork trees are hugely positive for the environment, they sequester CO2 and are a significant carbon sink. They also host many unique habitats and support rare and endangered species, such as the Iberian Lynx and the Shrike,” explained Jim. “We are aware of our responsibilities in supporting the local economy, sustaining unique skills and livelihoods and preserving the environment. We are members of the European Cork Confederation. We are committed to managing the forests in a manner which is ecologically, economically and socially sustainable. We are proud to have FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification for our environmentally sustainable working practices,” added Jim. Corks can be recycled, but not currently through kerb-side collections, but by an increasing number of schemes, such as Recorked (, who offer collection points around the country, including many UK wineries. These corks can be returned


> Jim Rankin to Portugal for grinding up to make other cork products, or they may be used to make household products. “We need to improve uptake of this process, it needs promoting and the cork and wine industries need to collaborate to encourage consumer behaviour. The danger of the corks entering the kerb-side recycling is that they may end up in landfill,” commented Jim.

Tools for future

For Rankin Brothers & Sons the future is about sustainability as well as continued investment in research and innovation. “We have lots of exciting projects in the pipeline so that we can transition as quickly as possible from industrial products to more environmentally positive materials. Sustainability is not just about recycling, although important, but also about having a tool kit – such as a range of materials and options to select from that are more environmentally positive. If a product can’t be recycled, at least we can ensure that it is biodegradable, or produced from sustainably sourced biomaterials,” commented Jim. “We have a dizzy matrix of trials incorporating lots of different materials, including using ocean waste. Our partners and manufacturers of quality foils and capsules, Sparflex of France, have a Green Line range that uses biomaterials derived from sugar cane, bio-sourced polyethylenes and


> Inspecting cork water-based inks in place of oil-based products and solvents. “As plastic injection moulders, we are reviewing all the materials we currently use in order to transition from oil-based to environmentally positive options and thereby lessen our impact on the environment. There are many materials we would like to use, but we do have to prioritise optimal performance – the fit and function of a closure. “Our corporate strategy and pathway towards a more sustainable future is called NOVA – and it is a project with ambitious goals. It is about developing a tool kit which will enable us to move to the adoption of more environmentally positive materials. This will help keep us ahead of the legislative changes that are coming down the track and importantly, knowing that we are reducing our carbon footprint, it will energise the business to do more and achieve more ambitious goals. “People want a more sustainable choice but often the infrastructure to support their demands is lacking, as an example if corks go into kerbside recycling, they are likely to end up in landfill. We need to lobby hard to local and national government to ensure that organisations are incentivised to put in place robust solutions,” commented Jim.

Rankin Brothers & Sons can be contacted via the website:

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

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

WineGB welcomes new board members WineGB Trade Tasting – what you need to know…


The annual WineGB Trade Tasting is back. Members of the trade and press will once again be welcomed through the doors of the RHS Lindley Hall, London on 7th September. Strict limits on numbers and spacing within the hall are being enforced to provide the best and safest environment in which to taste wine. The low-down: ◆ Over 40 producers and regional associations exhibiting ◆ Focus tables highlighting popular styles and the WineGB Awards trophy winners ◆ A spotlight on the newly accredited wines from Sustainable Wines of Great Britain ◆ Oz Clarke OBE and Susie Barrie MW to announce the top winners from this year’s WineGB Awards: Top Still wine, Top Sparkling Wine, Supreme Champion, Estate Winery of the Year and Contract Winery of the Year. ◆ WineGB’s CEO Simon Thorpe MW to outline the current industry data and set out WineGB’s strategic vision.

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Following the departure of Simon Roberts, Peter Gladwin and Tim Ingram-Hill from its board, WineGB would like to welcome three new members. Earlier this year, it was announced that Sam Linter, head winemaker and managing director of Bolney Wine Estate, would take over the role of chair of WineGB. Sam Linter will be joined on the board by Ned Awty of Oatley Vineyard, who joins as a Group A director, and Guy Smith, owner of Smith & Evans, who takes over as regional director. Before returning to the family vineyard in Somerset, Ned Awty had a 20-year career at a global FTSE100 company where he gained extensive experience in marketing, consumer insight and strategy development. Guy Smith has a background in wine sales and marketing, and later went on to plant his own vineyard in Somerset in 2008 after a four-year search for the perfect site. He also works as a wine trader and is chair of WineGB West. WineGB is now on the hunt for a Group B director following the appointment of Sam Linter as chair. The duty of all directors is to promote the interests of WineGB as a whole, but a Group B director is also likely to have particular regard for the interests of Group B members. These are WineGB members with vineyards over 15 hectares or who produce 60,000 or more bottles of wine per year. Interested persons should apply by email to Simon Thorpe, CEO:

DATES FOR THE DIARY We have a great line-up of events over the coming months: AUGUST

21st - 22nd August WineGB North & Midlands Wine Competition 24th August WineGB Wessex Waffle & Walk, Black Chalk 27th August WineGB East Anglia Wine Competition


1st September 7th September 14th September


Date TBC: 11th November: 16th November: 24th November:

WineGB South East Rosé Wine Benchmarking (for winemakers only) WineGB Annual Trade and Press Tasting WineGB West Wine Competition WineGB Winemaking Conference, Denbies Wine Estate WineGB Wessex Wine Competition WineGB Industry Celebration, Vintners’ Hall, London Vineyard and Winery Show

WineGB Partner, Patron and Sponsor update

Photo: Natalia Zielonka

WineGB is indebted to its community of Partners, Patrons and Sponsors. Together, they help the organisation to raise funds to support activities that benefit the membership and the wider industry. WineGB now has a total of four industry Partners – Brewin Dolphin, NFU Mutual, Paris Smith and Strutt & Parker – as well as five Gold Patrons and 14 Silver Patrons. Most recently, WineGB welcomed Surrey-based Detail Design Consultants as a new Silver Patron. Detail Design is a brand design agency which also offers marketing communications and website design services. It has experience in working with vineyards but has a wide client base, with customers including financial services provider Deloitte, paint manufacturer Mylands and the Royal Horticultural Society. Sub-group Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB) is supported by a further 23 Sponsors, while the WineGB Awards is backed by two main Sponsors – Waitrose and Rankin – and has 12 trophy Sponsors.

Spotlight on sustainability In August, SWGB announced the launch of its first certified wines. This announcement, coupled with the fact membership has doubled in a year, is a major achievement for the wine industry of Great Britain and demonstrates both the progress and success of the SWGB Scheme. During September, SWGB will launch its ground-breaking Data Repository. For the first time in British wine history, wineries and vineyards will be able to compare their performance in terms of sustainability against an industry standard. This online tool will enable members to store and present their data for audit, as well as measure progress against key performance indicators. Examples of best practice and areas for improvement will be easily and quickly identified.


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IN STOCK! STURDY AND DURABLE ‘ Our forward bin tipper is far safer and quicker than our previous manual one plus it only requires one operator which is ideal! ’ George Chambers, Northiam Farm

SRX 7800

Kirkland UK, Griffins Farm, Pleasure House Lane, Maidstone, ME17 3NW. Tel. 01622 843013 E.




Vitifruit Equipment Sales and Hire


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 01732 866567


Addressing the major challenges posed by viticulture automation On 29 June 2021, Kubota Corporation officially joined the 170 members of Inno’vin, one of the leading clusters in Europe dedicated to viticulture innovation. This partnership will allow both organisations to work together to identify and respond to the current challenges faced by the wine sector, including labour shortage and issues related to the development of sustainable agriculture. Thanks to the various actions carried out by the Inno'vin cluster, Kubota will be able to access high-tech startups in vineyard automation and boost new collaborations, such as pilots and proof of concept projects to deliver integrated solutions with the cluster’s members, or directly invest in companies. In recent years, labour shortages have become a global problem, especially in vineyards, which use labour-intensive practices and are currently in need of a skilled and non-skilled workforce. “Through its membership of the Inno’vin cluster, Kubota aims to find partners and start-ups that might have an impact on growers’ sustainability, profitability and well-being. We are also looking into the possibility of establishing innovation projects with cluster members experiencing cultivation issues, which will allow for technology transfers,” said Daria Batukhtina, Business Development Manager at the Kubota Innovation Centre Europe. Kubota has a proven history of providing farmers with efficient and reliable agricultural machinery. However, the global economy is undergoing a major transformation, particularly in the areas of food, water, and the environment, exactly the ones in which Kubota operates. “In the next 10 years we will see major changes in this area, and we definitely need to keep up with the pace of the market regarding sales and services. In order to respond to this, it is necessary to shift the business from product sales to providing comprehensive solutions. Through this co-operation, and by means of potential further investments in start-ups within the wine industry, we aim to provide a comprehensive solution for vine growing,” explained Hervé Gérard-Biard, VP Business Development Kubota Holding Europe. From robots and drones designed to help winemakers get the best out of their vineyards to consumer-oriented apps, the wine industry is already taking advantage of new technologies.

In areas such as wine growing and harvesting, in which mechanisation has not yet been fully implemented, Kubota is already collaborating with start-ups that rely on advanced technologies to provide a connected service that anticipates the issues that farmers will be facing in the future. “Innovation is achieved through different synergies: between people, between areas of activity, and between technologies. All of them share a common focus on farmers’ needs. In this regard, Inno'vin makes every effort to ensure that these activities are carried out efficiently. We are glad to have Kubota among our members and closely working with players within the

ecosystem,” said Gilles Brianceau, Director of Inno’vin cluster. “We had already started our efforts to optimise vineyards and production processes, whilst gaining a better understanding of the most recent customer needs and demands through the Inno’vin cluster. We know that there are many partners throughout the world with advanced technologies that will have a huge impact on society in the future. We are looking forward to leading the way toward innovation in the wine industry with the help of Inno’vin,” concluded Daria Batukhtina, Business Development Manager at the Kubota Innovation Center Europe.

> From left to right: Gilles Brianceau, Director of the Inno’vin cluster; Dominique Trioné, President of the Inno’vin cluster; and Hervé Gérard-Biard, VP Business Development Kubota Holding Europe




Haynes Agri



RICHARD SMITH 07483 035922



Your specialist tractor and machinery dealership


58 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 1 | V I N E YA R D

vid Sayell & a D

c ha Ri

rd Witt


Running a sustainable vineyard The rewards of running a sustainable vineyard are there for those seeking improved soils, biodiversity, naturally healthy vines, reduced chemical sprays and fertiliser inputs however it brings extra challenges for which special equipment is needed. Most of the kit is available for hire or purchase, says David Sayell of Vitifruit Equipment. Sustainability starts with soil care so take care not to damage it with heavy tractors having narrow tyres pressing down and compacting the soil, if possible plant wider alleys and fit wide low ground pressure tyres. Dealing with the vast amount of vegetation in the rows requires well built flail or rotary mowers but the biggest challenge is dealing with the vegetation under the vines so use something like the Boisselet fitted with either the Filmatic strimmer head or a soil cultivation head. Establishing cover crops or wild flower meadows also requires special tools with much depending on soil type and surface conditions where stones or crop residues may block some drill types so a selection of drills and cultivator drills has to be made. A light tickle of the top to make a fine seedbed and mix in surface trash can be done with a rotavator drill combination or if conditions permit use a direct drill fitted with discs or tines.

> Vitifruit Equipment was at Itasca Wines to help deal with the almighty amount of vegetation growing under the vines, mainly sow thistles. Simon Porter of Itasca Wines is out there using an under vine strimmer right now!   01732 866567 paper-plane

Rycote Lane Farm, Milton Common, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 2NZ Unit 12, Newton Business Park, Newton, Nottinghamshire, NG13 8HA Coldridge Copse, Shefford Woodlands, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 7BP Wharf Farm, Coventry, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 0NB Holmbush House, Holmbush Ind. Est., Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9XY London Road, Twyford, Reading, Berkshire, RG10 9EQ

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VIN10 RIDDLING AND DISCORGING LINE Itasca Wines is delighted to announce our Riddling and automated Disgorging Line is now fully operational! Our Disgorging Line, custom designed by TDD, with high end laser guided vision control and jetting, labelling and packaging line is ready for use.

If you require your wines disgorged call Itasca Wines! Riddling, Disgorging, Labelling, Packaging, Storage, Dosage Advise and Consulting. Temperature Controlled Storage available Full label design services with our inhouse Graphics team. Let Itasca Wines turn your ideas into that special and distinctive label.

Contact us to find out more | | 01252 279 830

Itasca Wines, Penn Croft Winery, Clifton Farm, Croft Lane, Crondall, Hampshire, GU10 5QD

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