Vineyard November 2021

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VINEYAR VINEYARD YAR Y D for viticulturists in Great Britain ™

Sliding into wine




Registration open, see page 16

Matthew Jukes tastes some extraordinary Pinots

British flair with savoir-faire

The export safety valve

Royston brings your brand to life


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

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VINEYARD for viticulturists in Great Britain VINEYARD Kelsey Media, The Granary, Downs Court Yalding Hill, Yalding, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 6AL 01959 541444 EDITORIAL Editor: Jo Cowderoy GRAPHIC DESIGN Jo Legg Flair Creative Design

NEWS 8 Gusbourne appoints Global Sales Director

12 Great vibes at the WineGB Trade & Press tasting 2021

REGULARS 16 The Vineyard and Winery Show Over 70 exhibitors confirmed for first show.

ADVERTISEMENT SALES Jamie McGrorty 01303 233883

20 Matthew Jukes


37 The agronomy diary


38 The vine post

DISTRIBUTION Distribution in Great Britain: Marketforce (UK) 3rd Floor, 161 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9AP Tel: 0330 390 6555 PRINTING Precision Colour Print Kelsey Media 2020 © all rights reserved. Kelsey Media is a trading name of Kelsey Publishing Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden except with permission in writing from the publishers. Note to contributors: articles submitted for consideration by the editor must be the original work of the author and not previously published. Where photographs are included, which are not the property of the contributor, permission to reproduce them must have been obtained from the owner of the copyright. The editor cannot guarantee a personal response to all letters and emails received. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Publisher. Kelsey Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties. Kelsey Media takes your personal data very seriously. For more information of our privacy policy, please visit Kelsey Media takes your personal data very seriously. For more information of our privacy policy, please visit . If at any point you have any queries regarding Kelsey’s data policy you can email our Data Protection Officer at

Speaking fluent Pinot.

Avoid a downy mildew legacy.

What future do PIWI varieties have in English and Welsh wine?

41 Optimising pressing for suboptimal fruit

42 The origin of sweetness in dry wines

44 Meet the people behind the wines Profiling the careers of people working in UK vineyards and wineries.

46 Representing you Save the date: WineGB Technical Winemaking Conference

49 Machinery AgriAgro focus on crop scanning and precision technologies. Front cover image: Simpsons’ Wine Estate © Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

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CONTENTS Features In conversation...


Red Johnson, former TV broadcaster and lover of the drinks industry, set up The British Bottle Company in 2014 to assist British drinks brands in developing their export business.

British flair with savoir-faire


Vineyard speaks to Charles and Ruth Simpson to find out how a desire to be part of an emerging and evolving region brought them back to the UK.

The export safety valve


Vineyard finds out from WineGB, and exporters Gusbourne Estate and Hattingley Valley, why an export strategy is so important for the health of the industry.

Royston brings your brand to life


Vineyard speaks to Royston Labels to find out how their gold star service, skills, technology and craftmanship ignites your label and brings your brand to life.

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

PI-oneer WI-nes

The Vineyard


eroy d ow

This year’s cool damp season has certainly brought challenges to many growers, with disease pressure high it is difficult and expensive to achieve a clean crop. The woes of a marginal cool climate. We don’t really know what weather patterns our changing climate may bring in the future, but I have noticed that some of our more prominent viticulturists are taking quite an interest in the PiWi varieities. These are the interspecific hybrids bred to be more resistant to fungal diseases, with later bud bursts that could skip through our risky frost periods, that are also quick growing and early ripening. I gather that in the last few weeks many have travelled to Germany for tours of the pioneering breeding nurseries, visits to productive PiWi vineyards, and tastings of some impressive wines. I was fortunate to attend a tasting of PiWi wines organised in the UK – and it was such an eye-opener! I suspect, like many, my mind and palate were guilty of being stuck with memories of the rather disappointing early days of Regent or Rondo – but I can assure you those days are over, and the varieties I have had the opportunity to taste are a world away! I tasted several examples of one variety, Cabernet Blanc made by different winemakers – it was like giving a palette of paints to different artists to witness an exciting diversity of results. There were superb examples, of traditional method sparklings, wines that made me think of Riesling, wines that reminded me of elegant lightly oaked Chardonnays, and some rather delicious wines on the sweeter end of the spectrum. I believe many were grown organically. Drastically reducing sprays and the enjoying the benefits of high yields of clean, ripe grapes must be a vineyard manager's dream. The chance to experiment with new varieties that have the potential to make aromatic, well-balanced, wines with complexity, good alcohol levels and great flavour profiles – must be a winemaker’s dream. The reduction in production costs must surely be an owner’s or finance director’s dream! I would imagine that most consumers may not even notice the slightly unusual names – as many are similar to those they probably already know. If you are interested in discovering these varieties and wines, then come to the Vineyard & Winery show on 24 November and visit Volker Freytag’s stand where many will be available to taste.


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Gusbourne appoints Global Sales Director Gusbourne have appointed Simon Bradbury as Global Sales Director to grow sales in the UK and internationally. Simon Bradbury has over 30 years of experience in the wine industry and a wealth of commercial knowledge acquired from several senior positions within the drinks trade, including Sales & Marketing Director at Amathus Drinks and Managing Director (UK &

Ireland) at Codorníu Raventós. Chief Executive Charlie Holland said: “I am thrilled to welcome Simon to Gusbourne. Simon has a vast range of experience and an outstanding track record of success in senior sales positions within the drinks industry. This specially created new role presents him with an enticing remit, with the objective of driving global sales and overseeing the development

Bruni Erben changes name From 1 October 2021, Bruni Erben (H Erben Ltd) will change its legal name to Berlin Packaging UK Ltd. According to the company this is the first step for Berlin Packaging, the world’s largest hybrid packaging supplier, in their objective to form a EMEA division to provide a complete range across all sectors, supporting customers throughout the production process – from design to distribution.

of our distribution nationally within the UK as well as overseas, within the 22 existing markets we operate and those we plan to enter in the coming years.” “With such a legacy of success in the wine industry, I know Simon will ably lead and further develop our talented sales team, inspiring and steering them in pursuit of our longer-term strategic goals and objectives. I look forward to seeing Simon make a valuable and lasting impact at Gusbourne.” Simon’s early sales career includes senior positions at Enotria & Coe and Guy Anderson Wines. He also took on various roles across Edinburgh-based brewer Scottish & Newcastle, where he managed portfolios of national and international accounts and was responsible for sales performance of wine and other drinks categories.

Ridgeview receive SWGB Certification


> Simon Roberts, Director of Winemaking and Matt Strugnell, Vineyard & Estate Manager

As part of Ridgeview’s constant journey into maintaining sustainable practices, they were very proud to receive the official Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB) Trade Mark certification for their vineyard and winery. Ridgeview received the recognition, for managing their vineyards sustainably by protecting vineyard soils, conserving the environment, and promoting biodiversity. The winery was commended for improving winery design, increasing energy efficiency, reducing the environmental impact of packaging and the carbon footprint per bottle of wine. Simon Roberts Director of Winemaking at Ridgeview commented: “It is a great privilege to be amongst some of the first wineries to be appointed through this brilliant initiative. This is the result of a fantastic Ridgeview team effort and lots of dedication to get us here. I have been proud to sit on the working group for the WinesGB Sustainability scheme since the onset and it is great seeing it come to life, I also look forward to lots of new members joining. The sustainability journey is so important because we need to ensure that our industry constantly improves in becoming as sustainable as possible in the efforts to offset our carbon footprint for future generations.”

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Exton Park unveils Blanc de Blancs made purely from reserve wines Exton Park, Hampshire has launched their first sparkling wine made from 100% reserve wines from Chardonnay grown on their 60-acre single vineyard in the Meon Valley. Winemaker Corinne Seely was determined to find the best way to express English Chardonnay from the chalky soil of Hampshire, and the RB45 Blanc de Blancs is the culmination of years of development. Since 2011, Corinne has adapted how she manages the Chardonnay each year depending on the characteristic of each vintage - building her archive of reserves and adding these Chardonnay wines to her 10-year library. “The RB45 is a symphony of these many vintages and distinctive plots from the vineyard, culminating in an orchestral masterpiece with layer upon layer of complexity,” commented Corinne. “Over the past 10 years, I have tried different ways of expressing the Chardonnay from each harvest, sometimes with oak and sometimes with MLF. The RB45 is my perfect melody, comprising each individual reserve to create the finest expression of the grapes and the terroir. “I have always been intrigued by the character of Chardonnay in England – it’s different to other places

in the world; brighter, longer, straighter, and with lots of personality. For me, this wine is the magnificence of the expression of an English Chardonnay and the chalk of Exton Park. 25% of the wines in the RB45 were aged in second-hand oak barrels from Bordeaux and Burgundy, and 30% underwent malolactic fermentation. “With a minimum of three years spent on the lees and a dosage of 9g/l, the result is a rich, precise wine, vibrant gold in colour with an abundance of tropical and citrus fruit, and subtle notes of vanilla and orange blossom,” Corinne added. Exton Park launched its Reserve Blend range earlier this year, produced from the library of reserve wines built up by Corinne over the last decade. Each of the Reserve Blends is made up predominantly of reserve wine. The RB45 Blanc de Blancs contains the highest number of reserve wines in the range with an average of 45 in the blend. It completes the Reserve Blend portfolio – joining the RB23 Rosé, the RB28 Blanc de Noirs and the RB32 Brut, and will bear the range’s new brand identity – including a ‘peel and reveal’ neck foil with one of four landscape photographs of the vineyard.


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Spotlight on WineGB regional competitions The Midlands & North Wine competition, took place in August in Worksop. The judging team, headed by Patricia Stefanowicz MW, included David Bird MW, Julia Trustram-Eve, Ben Franks and John Freeland.

WineGB Midlands & North Wine Competition 2021

Patricia Stefanowicz MW commented: “Our day of judging was a delight. The competition is deservedly popular. There were 91 entries, across all classes. The judges were very pleased with the continual improvement in the wines, echoing the progress of viticulturists and winemakers throughout WineGB. Results were very positive with over 40% being awarded gold and silver

WineGB Midlands & North Competition 2021 Trophy winners ◆ Wine of the Year (Attingham): Halfpenny Green English Rosé 2020 ◆ Winemaker of the Year (Leventhorpe): Ben Hunt, Halfpenny Green ◆ Grower /Winemaker (Millington Trophy): Bridget & Simon White, Ovens Farm Vineyard ◆ Rosé (Welland Valley): Halfpenny Green, English Rosé 2020 ◆ Red (Heart of England): Bearley Vineyard, Bard's Red 2019 ◆ Dry White (Renishaw Trophy): Halfpenny Green, Bacchus 2019 ◆ Medium Dry (Wroxeter Trophy): Littlewold Vineyard, Sarley Hill White 2020 ◆ Sweet Wine (Severn Valley): Claylands, Ortega Botyritis 2019 ◆ Northern (Richardson): Ovens Farm Vineyard, Sparkling Brut Rosé 2018 ◆ Midlands (EMDA): Claylands Ortega, Botyritis 2019 ◆ Best New Vintage (Tanners): Halfpenny Green, English Rosé 2020 ◆ Best Older Vintage (Vine House): Claylands, Ortega Botyritis 2019 ◆ Pink Sparkling (MVA Coaster): Ovens Farm Vineyard, Sparkling Brut Rosé ◆ Sparkling: Welland Valley, Steeplechase 2017 ◆ Small Producer (Morville Trophy): Darrvl Gill, Claylands

medals and a fantastic number of bronzes. “Dry white wines performed consistently well. There were lovely wines from Bacchus and Solaris, particularly, but other varieties and blends also did well. Medium dry whites also showed very good balance between weight, racy acidity and sweetness. These, together with dry white wines, are what many consumers think of as ‘English and Welsh wine’-delicate, fresh, floral, just like an English garden after a brief summer rain. “The rosé class was consistent and delicious, demonstrating the validity of this category of wine. Producers should continue to produce these dry-to-off-dry styles, which are eminently drinkable. The colours, varying from pale peach or pink to medium deep cherry, formed a visual delight. “The reds were a bit of a pleasant surprise. Whether Pinot Noir or other varieties or blends, the wines seemed genuine and delicious. Oak, when used, appeared a ‘seasoning’ rather than dominant, and complimented the wines. “On to the sparklings…what a glorious way to spend an afternoon! The white sparklings, mostly in a ‘Brut’ style, were generally very, very good with lovely mousse texture, appropriate levels of autolysis and nicely balanced acidity and dosage. Interesting to note that there were excellent wines from the classic varieties of Champagne and from other, more aromatic, varieties. Rosé sparklings, increasingly popular, were also a very good category, showing a beautiful range of colours and lovely red fruits with a kiss of fresh yeast. “Our two sweet wines were both very appealing, albeit at opposite ends of the over 45g/l reducing sugar spectrum: one a delicate, almost spätlese, style and the other a richer (and much sweeter) golden-coloured botrytised wine.”

WineGB East Competition 2021

Chet Valley, hosted the awards this year in August, the four judges, James Davis MW, Tanja Wright, Jeremy Dunn and Mary Mudd tasting the 54 wines entered from the region. Wine of the Year 2021 was awarded to Burn Valley Pinot Blanc Reserve 2020

Thames and Chiltern Vineyards Association competition 2021 The judging took place in September, at Oaken

East Competition 2021 Trophy winners ◆ Best White – Burn Valley Pinot Blanc Reserve 2020 ◆ Best Bacchus – Flint 2020 ◆ Best Rosé – Burn Valley Rosé 2020 ◆ Best Red – Burn Valley Pinot Noir 2020 ◆ Joint Best Sparkling – Congham Brut 2017 and Althorne Estate High House Classic Cuvée 2019

Grove Vineyard, Henley-on-Thames, led by Patrica Stefanowicz MW, who commented: “ My fellow judges this year have included Alistair Cooper MW, Yannick Joseph, Lindsay Oram, and Marek Stefanowicz. “We had far fewer entries in 2021 than in immediate past years: 27 wines in total, at least in part because some growers simply have fewer wines to promote and sell, a result of our seemingly recurring spring frosts and subsequent fungal diseases in variable climatic years. No wines at all were submitted from 2020 vintage. Medal winners, however, were positive with 4 Gold medals, 13 Silvers and 8 Bronzes awarded.

Thames and Chiltern Vineyards Association competition 2021 Trophy winners ◆ The T&CVA Decanter for the best wine overall: Brightwell Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 ◆ The Mac McKinnon Trophy for the best white wine in any class: Stanlake Park Regatta White NV (Bacchus, Madeleine Angevine, Schönburger) ◆ The Stefanowicz Salver for the best rosé wine: Linch Hill Vineyard Pink Rabbit (Rondo, Seyval, Phoenix) ◆ The Emmbrook Cup for the best red wine: Brightwell Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 ◆ The Sparkling Wine Trophy for the best sparkling wine: Daws Hill Sparkling White 2016 (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir) ◆ The Anne Howitt Shield for the best non-commercial wine made by the grower: Vernon Lodge Siegerrebe 2019

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Great vibes at the WineGB Trade & Press tasting 2021

and dedicated support for this our national competition,” commented Julia

retailers, independents, and on trade, as well as media,” she added. Sam Linter, WineGB Chair commented: “It was wonderful to get back to our annual trade tasting and see so many people from the wine industry face to face again. There was a great vibe throughout the day, especially around the very good English and Welsh wines being tasted. A long, but exciting day!”

Social media influencers

Social media gained a dedicated area for the first time at the event, with a branded backdrop and the technology to generate recordings and live feeds for the all-important influencers. “The volume of social media activity and other press coverage has been great, illustrating just what a buzz there is around this industry and its fabulous wines,” commented Joana Albogas, WineGB Assistant Marketing Manager.

Top WineGB awards unveiled

The top winners from the 2021 WineGB Awards were unveiled at the Trade & Press tasting – giving them the audience and kudos they deserve. “We were delighted to announce the top winners: Supreme Champion, Top Still and Sparkling and our Wineries of the Year, as well as highlight the highest scorers across the regions – it was an opportunity to put a spotlight on some of our industry’s best. Thanks must go to our very generous awards sponsors and to co-chairs Susie Barrie MW and Oz Clarke and their continued

Industry performance data 2020

The first industry event for over a year was an opportunity for Simon Thorpe MW, WineGB CEO, to announce the results of the annual survey of vineyards and wineries across the country, conducted with Wine Intelligence, to provide the data on the industry’s performance over the last << year. Photos: Tom Gold Photography/WineGB

On 7 September the annual WineGB Trade & Press tasting was back – after missing a year due to the pandemic. Over 300 members of the trade and media attended the event at London’s RHS Lindley Hall – with 43 exhibitors, and over 300 wines from 58 producers. “The enthusiasm from exhibitors and visitors alike was palpable, it was great to be back and hosting a live event again – and one of the first in the wine trade calendar,” commented Julia Trustram Eve, WineGB Head of Marketing. “As a showcase event for our industry this was one of our best – we had more producers and more wines than ever before, with a mix of the largest and most established to newcomers, innovators, and great representation from across the regions. A great diversity with canned wines, Charmat wines, the first bottles certified by Sustainable Wines of Great Britain, to Classic Method sparkling, dessert wine, and still wines in every colour – red, white, rosé and orange. Our visitors included a great mix of trade with multiple

The full list of all WineGB Awards winners can be found on the WineGB website:

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> L to R: Peter Richards MW, Julia Trustram Eve, WineGB Head of Marketing and Susie Barrie MW co-chair of judges, WineGB Awards

The Bronx + Co. DAILY REPORT BY THE MARKETING TEAM > Contract Winery of the Year 2021 – Wiston Estate Winery: Susie Barrie MW, John Symonds, Core Equipment, Dermot Sugrue, Wiston Estate, Richard Goring, Wiston Estate, Oz Clarke

> Best New Entrant: L to R. Jim Rankin, Rankin Brothers & Son (sponsor), Susie Barrie MW, Tony Purdie, Vineyard Manager, Susannah Ricci, Owner, Nick Lane Winemaker, Defined Wine, Oz Clarke

> Estate Winery of the Year 2021 – Gusbourne Estate: L to R. Susie Barrie MW, Jim Rankin, Rankin Brothers & Son (sponsor), Laura Rhys MS, Gusbourne’s Global Brand Ambassador, Charlie Holland, Winemaker, Gusbourne, Oz Clarke


Hectarage now stands at GRAPE VARIETIES approximately 3,800ha under vine. This figure includes estimated The majority of plantings are the three plantings in 2021 of 1.4m vines. traditional varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot > Top Still – Chapel Down Kit's Coty > Dermot Sugrue and Richard Goring, L to R Susie Barrie Noir, Bacchus Pinot2019: Meunier) – primarilyWiston for Estate, with their awards for theSome 8.7m vines have been MW, Guy Freedman, The PIG, Hotel Supreme Champion, Top Sparkling, Contract planted in the last five years Director wine (sponsor),production, Josh Donaghay-Spire,although Winery of the Year, and Top Regional, for sparkling an Winemaker Chapel Down, Oz Clarke their Wiston Estate Blanc de Blancs 2015(2017-2021). increasing number are now producing Hectarage has more than doubled still wines from these too (red, white, rosé). in just eight years (2012 = 1,438ha). These three varieties account for some There has been a 70% increase in 75% of hectarage planted. hectarage in the last five years alone. PRODUCTION Just over 98% of hectarage planted is in England, 1.5% Wales, Late frosts last year plus the warm > Supreme Champion – Wiston Estatewith Blanc de Blancsin 2015: L-R Susie Barrie MW, Laura Trapnell, Partner - Head of Commercial & and Paris theSmith remainder includes conditions early in the season lead to Intellectual Property, (sponsor), Dermot Sugrue, Winemaker, Wiston Estate, Scotland Rachel Saint, Partner – Commercial Property, Paris Smith and the Channel Islands. lower bunch weights, smaller berries and (Sponsor), Richard Goring, Wiston Estate, Oz Clarke lower production volumes. A total of 8.7m bottles were produced in 2020, compared to 10.5m in 2019. In 2020, there was a greater shift towards still wine production: 64% of wine produced was sparkling and 36% was still wine.

800 VINEYARDS (approx)




> WineGB Midlands & North – Stonyfield Sparkling White 2017: L to R Susie Barrie MW, Belinda Brown, co-owner, Stonyfield Wine, Oz Clarke

> Simon Thorpe MW, WineGB CEO

> WineGB East Anglia – Burn Valley Vineyard – Pinot Blanc 2020: L-R Susie Barrie MW, Matt Hodgson, owner, Grape Britannia, Laura Robinson, Burn Valley, Samantha Robinson, Burn Valley, Oz Clarke

> WineGB West – Camel Valley Vineyard – Camel Valley Bacchus Dry 2020: L to R Susie Barrie MW, Calum Chance, Tivoli Wines, Sam Lindo, Winemaker, Camel Valley, Oz Clarke

> Thames & Chilterns Vineyard Association – Harrow & Hope – Blanc de Noirs 2015: L to R Susie Barrie MW, Henry Laithwaite, owner, Oz Clarke

> Sam Linter, WineGB Chair


• Sales in 2020 rose by 30% to reach 7.1m bottles. • There was strong growth in direct-to-consumer ALES sales in particular:S 50% of wine is now sold through winery websites and via the cellar door.

> WineGB Wessex – Exton Park Vineyard – RB32 Brut NV: L to R Susie Barrie MW, Guy Freedman, The PIG, Hotel Director (sponsor), Fred Langdale, Vineyard Director, Kit Ellen Managing Director, Oz Clarke

Exports 4% Winery websites 22%

Off-trade (UK national accounts) 13%

Off-trade (UK independent retail) 15%

UK cellar door sales 28% UK on-trade sales 18%

> Sophia Longhi, wine communicator and blogger at Skin + Pulp and Joana Albogas, WineGB Assistant Marketing Manager


> Welsh Vineyards Association – White Castle Vineyard – Esmae Rosé 2017: L-R Susie Barrie MW, Dylan Rowlands, Gwin Dylanwad Wine (sponsor), Nicola Merchant and Robb Merchant, owners, Oz Clarke

<< “There were, around 1.4 million vines planted in 2020, continuing the recent average of about 1.5 million vines per year,” commented Simon. “Many of these are the result of farmers diversifying and hectarage has increased by 70% in the last five years. Our latest figures show approximately 800 vineyards, covering 3,800 hectares and an increase in the number of wineries to 178,” he added. “Despite the late frosts, we produced 8.7 million bottles in 2020. Sales in 2020 increased by 30% to reach over 7m bottles, with a strong growth in direct-toconsumer sales, showing 50% of wine as now being sold through websites and the cellar door. The split of still to sparking has seen a slight swing with 64% of production sparkling wine and an increase in still wine to 36% - but this could be down to vintage variations and the season,” explained Simon. “WineGB has been working hard with producers to develop tourism through wine trails and other initiatives and visits to vineyards and wineries rose on average by 57% last year. The Yorkshire Wine Trail is the latest venture to be launched. “Labour shortages continue to be a challenge, but overall the numbers employed across the GB wine sector have increased to approximately 5,000 people. “The Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB) scheme has gone from strength to strength – there are now 61 members of the SWGB scheme, which account for some 33% of the area under vine. So far, ten wines from four producers have received SWGB certification and have the right to use the SWGB Trade Mark on their labels. “The future will see WineGB focussing on our five strategic pillars for our members: Wine Excellence, Sustainability, Leadership, Export and Tourism,” continued Simon.



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For viticulturists in Great Britain 24th November 2021

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

In association with

Vitifruit Equipment Sales and Hire

Exclusive and unique cork bag gift for every show visitor Designed and created exclusively by Rankin Brothers & Sons and Cork Supply is a beautiful cork bag that will be a unique gift for every show visitor. Each free bag will contain an engraved tasting glass, a handheld spittoon, as well as an extensive guide to this year's show. Rankin Brothers & Sons, suppliers of bottle closures, and Cork Supply are proud to be participating as sponsors of this year’s Vineyard & Winery show. Jim Rankin, Managing Director, Rankin Brothers & Sons, commented: “We are committed to being true partners of the UK wine and spirits industry, and together look for ways of contributing to quality platforms such as this one. This show is an excellent forum for exchange, education and network building and we are proud to be involved. “Cork Supply are experts in natural and technical closures for still and sparkling wines. Cork Supply are committed to being the wine industry's most trusted and relied-upon partner, providing best-in-class products, exceptional expertise and a passion for quality and customer satisfaction. For four decades Cork Supply has been leader in the fields of Investigation, Development and Innovation. Every day the teams are driven to develop new ways of improving upon our products and services, to guarantee the satisfaction of our customers. “I would encourage everyone to come and look at all the options available in this country from local suppliers, in a relaxed an informal setting. There is no need to travel abroad, take flights and have the cost of hotels and several days away from the business. We can showcase our capabilities here.” The Vineyard & Winery show will take place on 24 November at the Kent County showground, and is an event not to be missed for anyone involved with UK viticulture and wine production.

Who should attend?


◆ Viticulturists and vineyard owners ◆ Winemakers ◆ Viticulture suppliers trellising) Cliente: Cork(vines, Supply ◆ (bottles, labels, corks, cases) Ref.:Packaging suppliers M5831 ◆ Vineyard machinery and equipment Personalização: Impressão a cores suppliers Quan dade:

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Every day Over 70 exhibitors confi rmed for first show is harvest day at Biddenden

The Vineyard & Winery Show organisers are delighted with the number Bourne Engineering and Bell Agricultural. of exhibitors that have already confirmed to attend this years first ever “Anyone seeking advice on vineyard establishment or management will be event, with more than 70 exhibiting at the Kent County Showground, in able to discuss topics with firms such as Agrii, Hutchinsons, Vine-Works, Detling, Kent. S.J. Barnes, Vine Care and Vinescapes, among others. With so many “We have been absolutely overwhelmed with support from the trade,” companies in attendance there will be plenty of information and help “We’re very pleased that we made the investment in renewable energy; our processes can be commented Jamie McGrorty, Publisher of Vineyard Magazine. “We are so grateful available, whether for vineyards, wineries, those who may be expanding or fairly energy intensive so being able to produce a portion of that the industry has not only got behind our new event, but also that we are establishing a new enterprise. our own power - via sustainable means - is important to us. As able to provide visitors with so many options. There will be multiple companies “We now can’t wait for show added Jamie, “but if anyone still wishes our day”, solar system is designed to compliment our business - rather With 120 solar panels producing 30kW of power than divert our attention away in touch, because although offering support to every aspect of the winery or vineyard supply chain. to book a stand and join us then please do get from our main focus - we are straight from the sun, Biddenden Vineyards have very pleased to have the ongoing not only made their is wine process more organic, “On the winery side alone visitors can look forward to seeing companies TAILORED space now limited we will make ort to accommodate everyone support ofevery the team eff at BeBa HOME INSURANCE they also have a system that saves them money. Energy so that they are on hand address any issuesevent.” that present such as Vigo, Core Equipment, BevTech, and Vitikit, as well as label and cork The array waswho wants beEnergy partUKof very special fitted in 2015, andto BeBa are this to themselves.” RIGHT DOWN TO THE proud to fully support the team at Biddenden’s so they can relax knowing that their solar arrayin willbooking for The Vineyard & Winery show please call suppliers. Vineyard machinery buyers can view machinery on display from that Anyone interested Tom Barnes, continue to produce power whilst they produce the Biddenden fi nest wines and ciders. Vineyards firms such as NP Seymour, Haynes, Vitifruit, Landini, Ernest Doe, Tuckwells, FINEST JamieDETAIL McGrorty on 01303 233883 or email We’ll drink to that!

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2021 Special Report



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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




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Red Jo hn n so

In conversation... Red Johnson, former TV broadcaster and lover of the drinks industry, set up The British Bottle Company in 2014 to assist British drinks brands in developing their export business. Red Johnson's company offers market expertise, a network of distributors – and makes the process of export as profitable and pain-free as possible. Over the last five years Red has seen accelerated growth in exports, with increased distribution leading to increased recognition – and his aim for the next five is to maintain that momentum.

The inspiration for The British Bottle Company

I love the drinks industry; its variety, characters and innovation – Britain has led the world in pioneering craft beer, craft gin and the first sparkling wines to seriously challenge the dominance of Champagne. So, in 2014 I set up the British Bottle Company – I assembled a portfolio of brands in the beer and cider, spirits and wine categories and we now work with leading importer and distributor partners around the world. What could be more fun?


Life before the British Bottle Company My career has been mainly in broadcasting, as a producer and then commissioning programmes for the BBC. I worked on a number of food and drink shows with chefs like Gordon Ramsay and we relaunched MasterChef. Years ago I made a wine show with Tim Atkin which

included a feature called ‘What’s in your bag’ where we used to accost customers in Oddbins. An early form of market research I suppose. I’ve always been around the drinks industry; my father is a wine writer, my aunt married into the Fullers brewing family and my grandfather was managing director of Gilbey’s Gin. I’m still looking for a cider maker!

Modus operandi

Our expertise is in matching our supplier partners with the best distributors in the right markets for their drinks. We have travelled many thousands of airmiles developing our network and have a very good understanding of what works in different markets. In addition, we build category momentum in the markets spending time, promoting and educating buyers around the world about our drinks. We have taken groups of winemakers to the USA, Japan and Scandinavia to launch our portfolios and make a statement about English wine, its quality and ambitions. Over the past six years we are very proud of having been instrumental in developing the English wine category around the world.

The importance of exports

Exports currently account for about 10% of English wine sales, in New Zealand the figure is 90%. Exports are key as the category growth is accelerating and business models and investment is dependent on this continued growth. Worldwide recognition also assists in domestic sales and leads to a virtuous circle. With total English wine sales forecast to reach £1bn by 2040 and exports of £350m by the same period, domestic consumption will need to increase to £750m, which is equivalent to the total value of champagne sales today and half of all sparkling wine sales. Either we need to grow export to account for a greater share – or we need to have some very patriotic and thirsty Brits!

Best export markets

English wine does best in sophisticated wine markets with little or no domestic wine industry. Monopoly markets work well such as Scandinavia and Canada where the monopolies are tasked with offering a broad selection of wine to their customers and can ignite a new category. Emerging markets such as China and South Korea are open-minded, anglo-centric and keen to explore new things, so are potentially large markets in the future.

The benefits of exporting with the British Bottle Company

There are three key things that we offer: market expertise, a network of distributors and an ability to make the process of export as pain-free as possible. We also lower the amount of investment necessary by aggregating costs across a range of suppliers for market visits, trade shows and marketing. We take all FX risk and credit risk which is a significant benefit with international trade. Since our expertise is in export, we are good at the paperwork and procedures. We hold all the relevant licenses to make the process as straightforward as possible. This works both ways as our international partners know that we can overcome the obstacles too.

Who do you represent?

We work with wines that we love, producers that are ambitious and have the ability and desire to scale their exports and with a range of styles and geographies. For instance, when we launched our US portfolio we selected wineries from Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and Cornwall. We always like to hear from new winemakers that are looking to expand internationally, the key criteria are ambition, scalability, the potential to be good long-term partners, and of course delicious wine.

Top tips for exporting

Make sure you have enough bandwidth in your organisation to support exports, there is always extra work whether its printing new labels for Scandinavia (you have to take all the medals off) or answering questions about production methods to Americans; there is no limit to the geekiness of the American wine lover. You’ll need a consistent tentpole wine or preferably two and you will need to be prepared for your margins to be a lot smaller than the cellar door.

Export growth

The last five years has seen accelerated growth in exports and the challenge for the next five is to maintain that momentum and broaden the spread of markets that have growth potential. For instance, Scandinavia currently accounts for 63% of English wine exports and will soon reach saturation, so the priority is to invest in large markets like the USA. New York is very tough, every winemaker in the world seemingly vying for position. On the other hand, the so-called flyover states are sophisticated wine markets with high disposable income that are largely ignored by international wine brands. I’ve spent time in Texas, Alabama, Kansas, Colorado, Michigan and other states and the level of interest and subsequent demand has been fantastic. It’s these insights that will ensure that momentum is maintained. We sell both sparking and still wines but the still wines account for only about 20%. I’ve been surprised how quickly some markets have embraced English still wines and this is definitely an area that can assist with growth in the next phase.

Future challenges?

Projections for sales of English wine in the coming years are very ambitious and finding enough drinkers for all that wine is going to be a challenge. Export markets will continue to grow but it is going to take focus, investment and support from government and other bodies to make it happen. I’ve been banging on about this for ages but why have embassies and consulates around the world not been instructed to serve English wine? I am regularly told it is too difficult but it’s not - this week we are shipping a consignment to our Embassy in Ivory Coast and if we can do that, we can get it anywhere! The Government could do a lot more to help.

British or English?

I have always believed that markets will find their own ways to describe our wines and that’s fine. For instance try getting an American customer not to say ‘British Wine’. Our advantage is having English language labels and being able to adapt these to local requirements as necessary. A standardised simple moniker would help but we’ve done fine without it until now.

Favourite wine?

I always find it difficult to choose a favourite wine, for me wine is about context so my favourite fizz on a sunny day at Henley Regatta will be different to the wine I choose before dinner on a winters evening. The last one I tried was the Hush Heath rosé in a can at the WineGB tasting last week. I am a big fan of innovation and I think what they’ve done with a new method and new packaging is very interesting.

Spare time?

We live on the Solent shore so I’m mostly to be found messing about on boats!

Is there an export market for Charmat method wines?

I am excited about innovation, and we already have demand for Charmat style wines but at the moment very limited supply. I recognise that there is concern within the industry about protecting the designation but there is certainly a market for entry level English wines which can assist in creating space for a broader range of styles and most wine producing markets have multiple styles which coexist happily together.

N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 1 | V I N E YA R D



Mat h e w

Speaking fluent Pinot

es Juk

globe-asia paper-plane I tasted every single wine at the WineGB event in September. After a restorative visit to my dentist, thanks to the plethora of sparkling wines and their bristling acidity, my palate has finally calmed. I very much enjoyed re-reading my tasting notes, and it occurred to me that while the room was stuffed with sparkling wines, there were a handful of extraordinary Pinots featured, too. So, opposite there are three exceptional wines for your perusal. In addition, to this impeccable trio, there were two others worthy of a mention on this side of the fold. I have featured both the 2016 and 2018 vintages of Gusbourne Pinot Noir in Vineyard, and the 2019 vintage is another superb release. It is interesting that while the Gusbourne aura is present in every wine, they are all subtly different. This is both a vintage issue and a gradual evolution of style, identity, and freedom of expression. I can see this augmentation in overall quality happening across many wineries and their wines, which is hugely encouraging. 2019 Whitehall Vineyard Pinot Noir featured this time last year in this column, and I was thrilled to taste this wine again, and it looked even more refined and resonant on the palate. No two Pinots are the same, and while one could have easily lumped many of them together five years ago as unripe, green, raw and lacking in flesh, today the wines, for the

In association with


All proceeds raised go to


> Henry Rymill of Simpsons Wine Estate at the WineGB trade tasting event most part, are perfumed, textural, rewarding and complete. What I find most compelling is that the vineyards are now starting to find their voices. The most successful wines are made from those plots of land where the viticulture teams and winemakers are learning their language

and translating this into fluent, seamless and rewarding wines in the bottle. The three wines overleaf could not be more different in flavour, but they show the variety and excellence that proceeds raised go to The Drin we are seeing with All increasing regularity on our Trusts shelves. They are all superb value for money, too!

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The WineGB trade tasting event featured a handful of extraordinary Pinots.



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.


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

2020 Simpsons Wine Estate, Rabbit Hole Pinot Noir Approx. £26.00

2018 Giffords Hall Vineyard, LVII-XIX Pinot Noir £21.00,,,,,,,,

I describe wines with quiet mid-palates as doughnuts – round with a hole in the middle. While this might be somewhat of a misleading time-saving tasting note, I actually wrote the word doughnut about this wine, too, but this time it was accompanied by the word ‘filled’! All too often, English Pinot Noir starts with endeavour and then it slumps in the middle before coming back bravely on the finish. In 2020, Simpsons made the most complete and spherical Pinot to date, and I am delighted to report that the Rabbit Hole has no hole. The oak is discreet (four months in two-year-old French), and this allows the silkysmooth, darkly-hued Pinot fruit to shine. This is a glossy wine with genuine depth, but unwanted astringency or drying tannin does not accompany this extra effort made on the mid-palate. RHPN is an exemplary wine, and while I like the Chardy (in particular Gravel Castle) and the Meunier Rosé, the future is very bright for this single-vineyard Pinot Noir because, in 2020, it finally showed us a glimpse of its true potential.

2020 Blackbook Winery, Trouble Everyday Pinot Noir £25.00 I am thrilled to announce that this is a world-first review of 2020 Trouble Everyday Pinot Noir, and this is also the first time that Sergio and Lynsey Verrillo have revealed their label artwork for this

fantastic wine. Made from organic fruit and more resonant and arresting on the nose than any other still wine on the day in the Lindley Hall, this is a slice of freestyle genius, and it will appeal to lovers of both classical and avant-garde Pinots. Heady and mesmerising initially and then tender and all-pervading on the palate, this is a fabulously balanced and intricately assembled wine, and it sings on the senses. Watch out for a 2018 Pinot Noir Reserve (£35.00) released at the end of October, too. While this wine is still a baby, it further ramps up the tension and drama over a core of lusty, ripe 2018 fruit.

Guy Howard, owner of Giffords Hall Vineyard in Suffolk, died in December 2019, aged 62, following a short illness. Do search the Vineyard magazine archive for a lovely piece about Guy. I can only imagine the bewilderment coupled with sadness that Linda Howard felt when she returned to the winery, presented with a mass of tanks and barrels of wine. Linda and her consultant Loic meticulously went through the records and pieced together the contents of the cellar and winery at Giffords Hall. There was one anomaly – a tank of 2018 Pinot (possibly with some Rondo in the mix) with a rather impressive alcohol level, and so they bottled it and labelled it with Guy’s birth and death years in Roman numerals. As Linda said, ‘he might have liked that’. Their girls immediately gave this wine the nickname ‘Love and Kisses’, and when you look at these numerals on the label, that is what your brain reads, and your lips whisper. Guy’s great ambition was to make 'an acceptable' English red. This wine is far from acceptable – it is outstanding. It is made with love and passion, and it has the most wonderful code name imaginable. Act quick to grab some of this superb 2018, but do not despair if it sells out soon because a 2020 vintage is on its way.

21 N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 1 | V I N E YA R D


Ed itor

British flair with savoir-faire

Jo Cowdero y

A spirit of adventure and a desire to help transform the reputation of the Languedoc from a low-quality, high-volume wine producer to a high-quality, low-volume wine producer, took Charles and Ruth Simpson to France and Domaine de Sainte Rose, nearly 20 years ago. Vineyard speaks to Charles and Ruth to find out how that same desire to be part of an emerging and evolving region brought them back to the UK in 2012 – with their aspiration this time to help drive the extraordinary development that has seen England and Wales grow from being a little known and insignificant wine producer, to the most exciting and dynamic wine producing area in the world. Photos: Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic


> Ruth and Charles The decision to cast aside international careers to establish and run a high-quality, boutique, wine business in rural France was driven by Charles and Ruth’s desire to work together and to create a family business of their own. “It involved a large degree of risk and a huge amount of determination to realise this mutual dream,” exclaimed Charles. “We have now been growing grapes and making wine for almost 20 years, in France and since 2014, in England, so it has been the main part of our career. Prior to that Charles worked in the pharmaceutical industry and I worked in the humanitarian sector,” explained Ruth. “While living in France we frequently read about the developments in the UK with interest, so we decided to buy 30 hectares of land in Kent in 2012, which we started planting in 2014. There was no real firm timeframe initially, and we hadn’t created any fixed plans on how or where the wines were going to be made – we considered all options including having our wines made at a contract winery. However, events snowballed with a very positive momentum, and we sometimes feel we have ‘sleepwalked’ into the well-established business we have today,” commented Charles.

Terroir and provenance

The pristine Elham Valley is a designated AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), an unspoilt seam in the North Downs of Kent, where the contours of the land, the climate and the soil could scarcely be improved upon for viticulture. “There was no more important consideration in our quest to create distinguished English wine, than the quality and suitability of our land. Our intensely lime-rich chalk soil, forms part of the same chalk ridge that stretches from southern England to the French Champagne region and on to Burgundy, and is without doubt the most desirable for the cultivation of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay,” commented Charles. “The vineyards and the wines have names inspired by local places or geological features, further anchoring their provenance,” added Ruth.

Roman Road and Railway Hill Vineyards The first 10 hectares of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir were planted on the estate in 2014. “This is our Roman Road Vineyard, situated alongside the route the Roman’s first marched when invading England in AD 43 – bringing with them the first vines. A further 20 hectares of the same three grape varieties were established on the southern slopes of the village during 2016, 2017 and 2020. This is our Railway Hill Vineyard, so called because the Canterbury to Folkstone light railway passed through this site in the late 19th and first half of the 20th Century,” explained Ruth. “Across our vineyards, we have a total of nine different clones of Chardonnay (including Burgundian clones 548 and 96), eight different Pinot Noir clones (including Burgundian clones 115 and 777) and seven different Pinot Meunier clones. With our chalk and flint soils, the active calcium carbonate is high, so the vines are on 41b and Fercal rootstocks. “We made the decision to select the Burgundian still wine clones as well as Champagne clones for all three of our vineyard plantations, in the first instance so that we had an interesting blend of clones for our sparkling base wines, but latterly with the hopes that in good years we might be able to experiment with some still wine production. We are obviously incredibly pleased that we did, as with five harvests under our belt, we believe that we can successfully create world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using these Burgundian clones on an annual basis,” said Ruth. “Our Estate Manager and Viticulturalist Darryl Kemp, who originates from New Zealand, is hugely experienced and manages our two vineyard sites. He keeps our feet firmly grounded as to the realities of growing grapes in England as opposed to our experience growing grapes in the south of France,” said Charles. As labour has been an issue during the summer for many vineyards, Simpsons’ Wine Estate is planning well ahead for harvest. “We hope that most of our pickers will come from Pro-Force in Canterbury and they will be assisted by our small, local vineyard team,” commented Ruth. <<



“Darryl Kemp, our viticulturalist keeps our feet firmly grounded as to the realities of growing grapes in England as opposed to our experience growing grapes in the south of France.”

People, places, product

“The Simpsons’ brand is encapsulated in the phrase – Savoir-faire with British flair,” explained Charles, “and it is based on three pillars.” “Firstly, ‘Savoir-faire’, given our British/French heritage, the fact that we have been growing grapes and making wine since 2002, and due to the collective experience of our very international team. “Secondly, ‘Provenance and Place’, highlighting the importance of the iconic chalk terroir of Kent, our focus on estate grown grapes, along with the integrity and quality of our product – which is managed from grape to glass. “Thirdly, ‘Innovation and Sophistication’, given our focus on still wines and unique styles, the use of the Inertys press system, our innovative luxury packaging and our international accolades (DWWA, IWC),” Charles added. The crest in their stylish logo reflects the three key components of the Simpsons’ Wine Estate brand. “The lion is from the Simpsons’ ancestral crest, so represents us – the people. The white horse comes from the flag of Kent – i.e. the place and, of course, where their manes interconnect you will find the shape of a vine leaf, which is our product,” said Charles. “For all brand and packaging design we work with a freelance designer, who is based in Cornwall,” Ruth explains. “We were the first wine brand that she had worked with so she naturally brought a fresh and unbiased approach to our brand design.”

Winery slide


> “Everyone is beaming after a thrilling ride down the slide!”

The Simpsons’ winery is unique with its gleaming helter skelter slide that starts from the second-floor glass-walled tasting room, appropriately named The Glass House, and rapidly transports willing visitors, and staff, straight down to the winery. “The slide is there for a good reason – not just fun,” laughed Charles, “it helps to disarm our visitors and demystify the winemaking process. The winery is encased in glass walls so very visual in order to celebrate the winemaking process. It’s our canvas and we want all to see – but we must keep it clean and tidy. “Sometimes on group tours, wine snobbery can be a barrier to younger wine drinkers who are fascinated to learn, but often a little intimidated. The slide becomes a disarming tool to remove any intimidation, it’s a great leveller. Everyone is beaming after a thrilling ride down the slide. They are then relaxed enough to ask ‘any’ question – after all play is how we learn. It also makes for a very memorable experience, so if you can’t do a ‘chateau’ do a slide!” Charles exclaimed.

> Bucher Inertys

> Bucher Inertys bag

Winemaking philosophy

In 2016, Charles and Ruth created a state-of-the-art winery, located within walking distance of the vineyard sites, and it now has a capacity of 350 tonnes. The wines at Simpsons’ Wine Estate are made by Australian Head Winemaker Leigh Sparrow, who also makes the wine at Domaine de Sainte Rose. “Leigh leads a small, young and dynamic winemaking team and we work closely with him to develop consistency and a house style,” explained Charles. “Our winemaking methods are designed to promote the purest expression of the fruit and our Kentish terroir. The proximity of the winery to the vines is critical in the creation of top-flight sparkling wine as minimal transportation and manipulation of the grapes prior to pressing protects the purity of the juice and minimises skin contact or colour bleed,” added Ruth. The press room currently contains one eight-tonne and one three-tonne Bucher Inertys – but another eight-tonne is on the cards! “The grapes are pressed in an inert atmosphere, under nitrogen, to avoid any oxidation so that we retain the delicate aromas and fresh fruit flavours of each grape variety. The Inertys system allows us to recover and recycle the nitrogen for several press cycles. We think this has a marked effect on the flavour profiles of our wines, which reflect very pure and true varietal characteristics,” commented Charles. A component of our Rabbit Hole Pinot Noir is fermented in 600 litre Tonnellerie Quintessence French oak barrels, which is designed to allow for gentle pigeage. One of the many resources we are fortunate enough to share with Sainte Rose is our oak barrels. We buy new barrels for our southern French wines, and then bring them to England for second, third or fourth use for our sparkling bases and still wines here,” added Charles.

Coming soon…

Two new super-premium still wines, called the Q Class, will be launched in November. They are a limited edition Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, both hand-crafted from grapes carefully selected from our best vines. “We have only produced magnums, and these will be available on allocation, retailing at £100,” said Charles.

Routes to market

fortunate to already have a strong connection with Waitrose, Majestic, Naked and other retailers established through our Sainte Rose wines – and this saved the day! We have now developed a second label for our Simpsons’ wines for Waitrose, Majestic and Naked, so that we can operate in both the on and off trade,” explained Charles. “Direct to consumer sales are certainly on the rise and although we do not have a cellar door shop as yet, the tours and online purchases are generating good sales. In the on-trade we are with Hallgarten nationally, plus direct to many local establishments and The Pig Group. We have great support from independent retailers, such as Hawkins Bros, Grape Britannia, Corkk, Heritage Wines and Robersons Wine.

Going forward with exports

Simpsons wines are currently exported to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Estonia, and Canada – both Ontario and Quebec. “Exports, Brexit notwithstanding, is a huge potential growth area for the industry,” commented Charles. “Most of our importers also import Domaine de Sainte Rose so our experience of exporting has been extremely useful,” he added. “At the moment our export successes are predominately in the countries that operate a government monopoly system, including Norway, Finland, Sweden and Canada. I’m sure this is helped by the fact that the UK is now a recognised wine category globally - so the monopolies are therefore obliged to produce tenders,” commented Charles. >>

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The initial plan was for the Simpsons’ Wine Estate wines to be an entirely on-trade brand – in contrast to the Domaine de Sainte Rose, which is mainly focussed on the off-trade. “However, when the pandemic hit, we were

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Award winning wines SPARKLING ◆ White Cliffs Blanc de Blancs (first vintage – 2017, just released) ◆ Flint Fields Blanc de Noirs (Gold IWC 2020) ◆ Canterbury Rose Rosé ◆ Chalklands Classic Cuvée (Gold & Best in Class, Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships 2019, Gold in Magnum format 2020) STILL ◆ Roman Road Chardonnay (Best in Show/Platinum Medal in DWWA 2020) ◆ Rabbit Hole Pinot Noir ◆ Derringstone Pinot Meunier (Gold Medal in Sommelier Wine Awards 2020) ◆ Railway Hill Rosé ◆ Gravel Castle Chardonnay

<< “Domaine Sainte Rose is already well established in the US, so we have markets waiting for our Simpsons’ Wine Estate wines – as soon as we have the volumes. The US export market is a harder nut to crack, as the three-tier system makes operations and logistics more challenging. In 2010 we took the decision to set up our own US company, which is based within an import and warehousing organisation in New Jersey. This makes distribution so much simpler and enables us to ensure supply, and therefore maintain good relations, with our distributors throughout the States. As soon as we have the volumes of Simpsons wines to export to the US, we will be able to ‘flick the switch’ and ship immediately to ready primed markets that are eagerly awaiting our English wines. It helps enormously that we have already built great relationships with our distributors, so they will have the confidence to hand sell our wines,” Charles added. Ruth has been part of the WineGB Export Committee since its creation in 2017 and the group meets regularly and works closely with DIT (Department for International Trade), to provide guidance for other producers for export. “There is an area on the WineGB website dedicated to explaining how to approach export and developing opportunities for exporters to participate in. What’s missing is decent financing and government funding to ensure that smaller producers can properly engage,” commented Ruth.

Anglo-French synergy

Right from the start the Simpsons’ Wine Estate venture has benefited from shared resources with the French domaine, Sainte Rose. “This sharing of resources has provided huge advantages, efficiencies and cost savings through well established relationships with French and other European suppliers – as have our skills and experience in running a wine business. We used our French nursery to supply our vines, and a French team to plant them – who jumped at the opportunity. We also have an extensive network of dry goods suppliers who we are able to deal with direct – which is quite a cost saving when


compared to prices here,” commented Ruth. “Brexit is a huge frustration and we have found some suppliers are now refusing to ship to the UK, because of all the additional paperwork and challenges in finding transporters. We are so fortunate that we can organise for all our dry goods, even bottles, to be delivered to Sainte Rose, where we consolidate and ship to the UK using WineFlow – simplifying the paperwork and the hassle factor,” said Charles. “We also have a great synergy with our customers. We have established sales channels all over the world with our Sainte Rose wines and our customers keenly followed the journey of Simpsons’ Wine Estate – so when we released our English wines they were eagerly awaited in many markets and started selling in Europe before they sold in the UK.” “Of course, another resource we share with our French domaine is our winemaker, Leigh– we keep him busy as he does the vintage in France and then comes over to make the wines here,” Charles added.

The Wine Garden of England

Simpsons’ Wine Estate was in essence the instigator of the Wine Garden of England, a collaborative tourism venture, which Charles chairs. “The Wine Garden of England links seven of Kent’s top wine producers to create a world-class wine trail and visitor experience in the county. Our aim is to significantly increase momentum behind wine tourism in Kent by operating as a partnership, adding value to the efforts of individual brands, plus we all promote each other’s estates and wines,” Charles added.

Sustainable Wines of Great Britain

Simpsons’ Wine Estate are members of Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB) and awaiting their first audit for certification. “In line with the SWGB certification scheme, our objectives in the vineyard are to maintain and improve soil health, to conserve the vineyard environment and promote biodiversity, to

reduce pesticide and fertiliser inputs and to reduce our carbon footprint per hectare,” explained Ruth. “We are looking at new technologies, such as robotic weeders, to help achieve these objectives,” she added. “This shared undertaking to secure environmental sustainability at the heart of UK wine production continues into our winery, where we are working to reduce our water and non-renewable energy consumption. In 2021 we successfully achieved one of these goals with the installation of a 30kw solar photovoltaic (PV) array, which at optimum production, covers all normal office and winery functionality,” commented Charles. “We also subscribe to the Walpole Sustainability Manifesto, which in addition to its pledge to safeguard the environment and natural resources, also advocates equal rights and respectful working conditions, promotes the transition towards a circular economy and encourages businesses to work with ‘responsible’ suppliers who can provide traceability across their supply chain. We apply these principles to all product development, with particular emphasis on packaging recyclability,” Charles added.

Expansion plans

“We are fortunate to be small and agile as a business, to grow organically and respond to demand pressure – it’s all about the right people and we have a great team,” explained Charles. “We don’t have a cellar door – as yet – but we have an increasing number of customers dropping by so the next step is to explore the possibility of a shop,” he added. “We have also seen an amazing interest in events here and have offered exclusive pop-ups with a Michelin-star chef, and regular collaborations with a superb local deli. The Glass House tasting room is high above the winery, and we can create a great atmosphere and stunning setting for events with coloured lighting reflecting off the tanks – and of course we have the only winery helter skelter slide in (probably) the world!” Commented Ruth. “Our current expansion includes our new 800 sq m building, renovated by

AR Davies, with solar PV roof panels and temperature control. It will provide storage for our wines undergoing secondary fermentation as well as a great space for mobile bottling lines like BevTech. It will also free space up to expand the current winery. The outside is yet to be landscaped, but will have a row of vines – of course – and as it’s a sun trap, some decking with picnic tables for a delightful alfresco glass of wine. Anticipating further growth in sales as we approach our optimum size, we are also looking for another 10 hectares to plant,” said Charles. “Across the UK wine sector as a whole, there is lots of creativity and diversity emerging, which is very positive, but at the same time it’s important to have a hero product – the Classic Method – to protect quality, price point and premium positioning. “There is still lots of room for growth in export markets for luxury British products. For this reason, we are part of the Walpole group which promotes and develops luxury British products worldwide to bolster our positioning and branding. I also think there is lots of headspace for still wines both domestically and in the export markets,” commented Ruth.

Favourite wines

The Sparkling wine producers, who caught our attention and sparked our interest in England were Nyetimber and Ridgeview. The still wine that convinced us that it was even possible in England was Gusbourne’s Guinevere Chardonnay 2011,” said Charles.


Supply and erecting of

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The export safety valve Wine production in the marginal region of Great Britain may be encumbered by volume variations, but the general trajectory is upwards, and according to WineGB is likely to approach 40 million bottles in 2040. Vineyard finds out from WineGB, and exporters Gusbourne Estate and Hattingley Valley, why an export strategy is so important for the health of the industry.


◆ Norway ◆ Sweden ◆ Japan ◆ USA ◆ Finland ◆ Hong Kong ◆ Denmark ◆ Switzerland ◆ China ◆ Germany

Photos: Tom Gold/WineGB

Top 10 export markets

> Simon Thorpe MW, WineGB CEO, briefing press at the recent WineGB Trade & Press tasting Asked why export markets are important to Hattingley Valley Vineyard, owner Simon Robinson is quick to the turn the question around and say: “Why not – it makes sense to address every possible market and explore all available sales channels.” “Exports are partly a defensive strategy, as they avoid us becoming over reliant on limited routes to the domestic market. In fact, if you look around the world, export is key for most wine regions. Concerns are sometimes expressed by those involved with our industry on the consequences of over-supply. So as the larger producers get bigger, if they can establish sales in export markets, it will create more room in the domestic market for smaller producers,” added Simon Robinson. “There is a growing interest in exports, especially amongst new entrants to the industry,” commented Duncan Brown, Head Export & Travel Retail at Gusbourne Estate. “Looking at projected production figures, the UK will need to increase exports, as the domestic market may not be able to absorb all that is produced – and I suspect there could be market saturation. It also makes sense to spread the risks and avoid having all the eggs in one basket!” Duncan Brown added. “Exports are long term play,” explained Simon Thorpe MW, WineGB CEO. “Given the size of the domestic market and the opportunities which exist across all channels, in my view exports will probably not expand beyond 10% – 15% of total sales in the next decade. However, for the long-term, exports are vital for raising awareness of our brands, and for providing access to an affluent global wine consumer – who values premium quality. Exports give us the opportunity to showcase our world class wine credentials on a global stage. When international travel opens up again, the link between wine tourism and exports will become stronger and more important as a revenue stream,” he added. At September’s WineGB Trade & Press tasting in London, Simon Thorpe MW, presented the latest industry figures from the annual survey and

plans for supporting exports. “We are currently exporting in the region of 250,000 bottles, roughly 4% of total sale. Despite the challenges and disruption in 2020, exports have risen by 51% in the last 12 months. Sparkling wine exports have risen by 33%, and interestingly, there was a strong increase in the export of still wines. Although still wines are only 17% of total exports, their volume grew by 501% as certain overseas markets became more aware of their quality. “2020 was a difficult year to develop some markets because of the travel restrictions, so gaining distribution and awareness in new markets was not possible. However, in those markets where the route to market is more straightforward, such as in Scandinavia and Japan, our wines performed really well. Over the past 12 months key market growth has come from Scandinavia, which now represents 63% of all exports. Norway in particular grew its sales of GB wines dramatically – and now sits as the number one export market,” commented Simon Thorpe.

Top export markets

The WineGB survey reported that wine is now shipped to 30 export markets, but highlighted that the top ten export market represents 92% of shipments. “Although there are other markets outside this top ten which seem attractive, such as South Korea for example, the coming years will be more about identifying a handful of existing focus markets and maximising our exposure and success there,” explained Simon Thorpe. “Gusbourne are now exporting to 23 international markets,” explained Duncan Brown. “We are selling wine to 14 countries in Europe including the Scandinavian monopolies, key markets in the EU such as Germany, and some outside such as Russia; we are even distributed in France – and the latest export country to add, Jordon in the Middle East,” he added. “Hattingley are exporting to about 15 markets, with USA and Japan being the most important, along with the Scandinavian countries, who >>

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<< are taking significant amounts of wine – particularly Norway in the last 18 months. We export to Belgium and Switzerland, and also send small but regular volumes to Australia. We even export to Kazakhstan – just a couple of pallets a year – but they keep coming back for more!

WineGB export strategy

“As export is one of WineGB’s five strategic pillars, an Export Project Manager, will soon be appointed,” commented Simon Thorpe. “Their role will be to articulate a detailed export strategy, outlining focus markets, the key activities required to explore those markets, as well as building market expertise among members. Export growth is best achieved in a collaborative way, so crucially we will build a community of exporting wineries who will


join forces in the coming years so that we can develop our focus markets in a cohesive and category-focused manner. WineGB will coordinate activity, organise our presence at international wine shows, welcome overseas buyers and commentators and showcase best practice,” he added. The new Project Manager will work with the existing WineGB export working group, comprising of representatives from vineyards and wineries with export knowledge and experience. “Gusbourne have worked with WineGB right from the start – and the export working group are a collaborative bunch. We are always open to discussions, information sharing, helping each other and working together,” commented Duncan Brown. “Simon Thorpe is now chairing the export working group. Brandon

Barnham, Export Sales for Ridgeview is leading on the Americas markets, with Adam Williams, Sales Director at Hush Heath looking after Asia and myself overseeing the European markets,” added Duncan.

Toolkits and top tips

WineGB has a dedicated page within its website supporting members with a step-by-step guide to exports from how to plan for exporting and researching the best markets, to legal and label requirements, incoterms, insurance and finance. There are specific guides for the more prominent export countries as well as informative webinars and podcasts. Simon Robinson’s top tips for export are: “Don’t be scared – there are plenty of people to help and finding the right importer is key.”


Helping your business to grow

Supporting vineyards, wineries and business owners just like you Our viticulture experts can provide you with the advice you need to help your business grow. We can help you with: • Getting your business structure right

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Royston brings your brand to life A label is so much more than a decorated piece of paper – it makes your wine stand out on a crowded shelf, it represents your brand, your story, your values and identity and it speaks to your target market. A label must attract customers to drive sales, carry product and legal information – and withstand the rigours of the ice bucket and the chiller cabinet. Vineyard speaks to Royston Labels to find out how their gold star service, skills, technology and craftmanship ignites your label and brings your brand to life.

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ROYSTON LABELS The label experts

Based in Royston near Cambridge, Royston Labels is a privately owned company, established in 1984, with a state-of-the-art production facility, a team of 80 full-time staff and a dedicated drinks label division. At the centre of operations is Managing Director Paul Clayton, and the engine at the heart of Royston is a technical team focused on developing new products and market innovations to enhance their clients’ packaging and brands. “We produce over 400 million labels per year and our awardwinning team of experts can be relied upon to deliver fantastic results,” commented Paul. Royston has recently consolidated four production sites to a purpose renovated ultra-modern 65,000 sq ft facility – it’s spacious, immaculate, and high tech making it reminiscent of the ‘starship enterprise’. “The move and additional capacity have given the business a clear direction and growth plan for

years to come,” said Paul. “We combine our knowledge of traditional print technologies with the latest in digital innovations, to ensure that our clients always receive the most costeffective, high quality packaging solutions available,” he added.

Proud to offer a gold star service

Royston offers the full range of label production, both conventional and digital, as a tailor-made service for clients. “From the initial brief to printing the final label we pride ourselves on our exceptional quality in production and service, while supporting our client through their packaging journey. We have time for our clients and protect them from costly pitfalls - which can happen with the wrong supplier,” said Paul. “We have our own studio where we can carry out pre-press services, including artwork updates and colour retouching. We regularly

work with a large variety of drinks packaging designers in the UK, but as they don’t always have production experience, we help with any technical challenges and add value by making sure artwork is printable. “We have extensive printing facilities including equipment for conventional combination printing and embellishment techniques. In the last decade, we have invested heavily in our digital printing capabilities, giving ourselves and our clients, greater flexibility when it comes to design, lead times and pricing. “Our team are accustomed to using our equipment to produce complex, decorative labels for a variety of industry sectors, and because we understand the importance of innovation, we have an investment plan in place that allows us to update our technology as frequently as possible,” added Paul. Royston Labels aim to provide a quality service at a competitive price. “People are often surprised by how affordable our service is. They are always very pleased when we make the process so much easier for them and get the results they want – on time. “The devil is in the detail – we provide the skills and craftmanship, the care and attention, needed to make a great label, something that can be lost in a digital world. We care as much about the brand as our clients do, which builds the relationship and trust, and sustainability alongside responsible sourcing is thread through everything we do. “We love to activate our client’s brand vision and celebrate the stunning end results with them. We are blown away by how wonderful the testimonials are we regularly receive, and by our customer loyalty. We work with a large cross section of UK Wine producers including major Vineyards like Hattingley, Hambledon >> and Denbies.”

“Royston have been the best label company we have used at Hattingley. They are large enough to have the very latest equipment with some fantastic embellishments available. However, they are small enough to give the utmost care and attention to us as a client. They are the professionals at this, and they deliver the knowledge and understanding that we need as a winery. I cannot recommend them highly enough." Gareth Maxwell, Hattingley Valley.


> Glyn Scriven

An expert team

The dedicated Drinks Division team enables Royston Labels to provide the best in expertise, service, quality, and value to both new and existing clients. Paul Clayton has been with the business for over 30 years. His print background and manufacturing experience, a creative flair and an eye for detail have stood him in a good position to develop the business and the team. “I focus on always taking an exceptional quality approach to everything the business does and produces. This combined with our industry experience and technical expertise has allowed us to develop very strong, long lasting customer relationships that are built on trust, honesty and reliability and have driven good growth for us,” commented Paul. Glyn Scriven is Head of Sales in the Drinks Division. Glyn has been in the paper and packaging market for many years, including working with and supplying many UK wine producers. “It is something that I have been very interested in and actively supporting. Working for wine label material manufacturer Avery Dennison, I have experience in label printing, along with closure manufacturing – foils, corks, and wire hoods, which has stood me in a strong position to offer sound advice and guidance to UK wine producers. I am passionate about supporting our UK industry and seeing it succeed in all markets here and abroad,” commented Glyn.

> Paul Clayton Josh Clayton is Account Manager for the Drinks Division and works with Glyn Scriven to support clients for their label production. “Josh started with Royston after graduating with a first-class honours degree in Business Management. His main focus is the smooth processing of orders, ensuring the customer is kept informed at all stages of the project – and not forgetting his sharp eye for detail,” commented Glyn. John Bousted has been part of the Royston team for over 20 years, following an apprenticeship and studying with the Watford College of Print. His role is vital to the drinks team as he manages the inhouse studio who take a brand’s initial designs and ensure technically that the artwork will support production in making the very best quality of label. “Wine producers use the label to create a point of difference on the shelf, they look to push what can be achieved through multiple embellishments, techniques and finishing and John provides the guidance Royston clients need to best achieve their vision,” explained Glyn.

“It is only through a highly trained team utilising our skills, craftmanship and experience that make some of the packaging demands possible, everything has to come together to deliver the best result." Paul Clayton.


ROYSTON LABELS The technical complexities

Royston Label’s experience and expertise prevent the pitfalls and hurdles often encountered in label production. “The real value we add for the client is the ability to support them technically, evaluating the design and ensuring that the desired outcome for the label is achievable. Typical technical challenges and considerations: ◆ Selecting the correct specification of material and adhesive to ensure that all elements of the design are delivered – and the label stands up to the ice bucket ◆ Choosing the appropriate printing process and embellishment technique to satisfy the design and the material being used ◆ Ensuring correct sizing, shape, and presentation of labels for the best, and most efficient, application – especially if the label is to be applied to a tapered area ◆ Neck Labels add additional complexity and certain requirements, such as the correct shape for the taper of the neck of the bottle – so Royston offer a templating service for customers. The choice of material and adhesive are critical, but also embellishments and varnishes need to be placed correctly on the label surface, so that adhesion to the bottle and the foil are not hampered. “The main advances in label design we have seen are focussed on embellishments and the potential of using digital devices to add foil and raised varnishes. Label embellishment, if done well, can really enhance the label design, and there are many options – each with their own challenges. Royston have ensured that no matter what is designed or expected from the packaging we have the technology available to provide the very best results,” explained Paul.

Embellishment techniques available at Royston

◆ Hot foiling: traditional and popular technique for the eye-catching, premium finish it brings to packaging ◆ Embossing and debossing brings added detail and texture to your label ◆ Flat and fluted foil blocking ◆ Multi-level embossing ◆ 3D sculptured embossing dies ◆ Textured foiling dies ◆ Raised, tactile and spot varnish which provides a layer of protection to the material, while boosting its visual appeal. ◆ Cold foiling: efficient and affordable foiling solution for coated surfaces.

Sustainable and responsible

Royston Label’s sustainability strategy is based around reduce, reuse and recycle. “We ensure that our team have extensive knowledge and experience of the complete supply chain and recycling process, and can advise customers on the most practical solutions,” explained Paul. “More recently we have been able to widen our range of recycled materials, some of these really do look the part and provide brand owners with a compelling story. An example would be rCrush Grape, rCrush Citrus, rCrush Barley and rNatural Blanc, some of these have the by-product from the fruits processing incorporated in the paper but all have a high percentage of recycled content. We also have a paper that is made from 95% sugar cane waste with hemp and linen – samples of all of these papers printed are available from the sales team. “We are also committed to being a zero to landfill site. Working with our recycling partners, all production waste is recycled including the waste matrix, glassine and PET liners, inks and rags,” explained Paul. “During 2020 our achievements include: 83 trees saved, 55.77 tonnes of waste recycled from waste matrix as well as 12 tonnes of recycled glassine liner,” he added. “Royston Labels is able to offer the widest selection of FSC certified papers; to ensure complete traceability and a focus on these values the >>

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ROYSTON LABELS << company decided that accreditation was vitally important and was awarded FSC Certification earlier this year. The production facility also boasts accreditation to ISO9001, BRC AA and PS9000. Royston really do have a responsible sourcing process and where possible we source from the UK and Europe,” explained Glyn. “For labels, recycled content can be included in the facestock and in the liners such as those using rPET, which is a strong and lightweight plastic that is recyclable. This type of carrier is much thinner bringing benefits such as strength during the application process and more labels per reel improving production efficiency. Another area not to be forgotten is the adhesive and wherever possible these are water based avoiding the use of solvents,” Glyn added.

Sharing successes

“Royston Labels are proud to support and help develop the UK wine industry and our continued sponsorship of WineGB, and the Vineyard & Winery show in November, is testimony to this. We have great winemakers and producers in the UK, and we will continue to support anyway we can to see this become the success we all want. “Before Glyn joined, we already had several UK vineyard customers, but since Glyn’s arrival we have had great focus which has brought on many new producers. We are able to offer, the label qualities and design features that the industry is looking for and have produced some really great results for our clients,” smiled Paul. “We are now supplying many vineyards with their labels, with new ones contacting us weekly to help them with their branding and labelling,” Paul added.

Favourite wine from England or Wales?

“I couldn’t possibly name just one – suffice to say I do have three or four favourites!” Glyn exclaimed.

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Rob S

ders un

Avoid a downy mildew legacy





Downy mildew is caused by the pathogen Plasmopara viticola and has been a significant problem in many vineyards this season, particularly in south east England, where unsettled weather disrupted and prevented spraying programmes at crucial points during the season. Those that managed to stay on top of treatment programmes will be thankful to have stayed in a largely protectant situation, however where control has been compromised, it is worth noting that crop pathology research shows a clear correlation between high levels of spore loading in one season and heightened disease risk the following year. It will never be possible to eliminate the underlying disease risk, even on sites that have stayed “clean” this year, but employing some good crop management practices over coming weeks will help to reduce the potential infection of new growth when it emerges next spring.

Target overwintering spores

Downy mildew spores, from fallen leaves, fruit and other infected plant material, overwinter in the soil and litter layer beneath vines, so strict vineyard hygiene will undoubtedly help to reduce the level of spore loading going into winter. Generally the most effective solution is to remove plant material and burn it, although there are obvious logistical challenges to doing this on large sites, especially at a time when labour availability is already under pressure. Even where material is destroyed, rather than mulched and returned to the soil, beware there is also still likely to be a high level of inoculum remaining in and around the vines from spores that have already fallen onto the soil surface. It is thought that enhancing soil biology could offer some beneficial effects for controlling this infection risk as many species of fungi act as biocontrol agents, consuming or destroying disease spores in the soil. Free-living fungi of the Trichoderma species, for example, are common in soil and root ecosystems and researchers have shown them to offer significant benefits for suppressing the microorganisms that cause a number of diseases in various crops, including grapevines. The Trichoderma fungus is hyperparasitic on many microbes, including Downy mildew. Over large areas, it may not be possible or economically viable to directly add sufficient amounts of Trichoderma to the soil by using specially formulated products, however it is logical to assume there will be some benefit from “feeding” soil biology to enhance general microbial activity. This could be through a variety of means, such as by adding compost, urea, or molasses. As chemistry becomes more limited across crop sectors, it is increasingly important that we investigate how such biocontrol options can be better integrated into future disease control programmes. Similar techniques are

per Coo

Strict vineyard hygiene will be vital over autumn and winter to reduce the chances of this year’s high Downy mildew incidence having a lasting legacy on next year’s crop. Hutchinsons Rob Saunders and Chris Cooper explain more about managing the risks.

already employed by some apple growers for scab control; scab overwinters on leaf litter, so pulverising leaves or adding urea to balance the carbonto-nitrogen ratio and enhance leaf breakdown has been shown to reduce subsequent disease pressure.

Protect late harvests

After a late start to the 2021 season and a very dull August, many growers will not be picking later-maturing varieties like Chardonnay until well into October or early November. Indeed for many growers, one of the biggest challenges is getting bunches ripened before the weather deteriorates. It is vital to protect crops from mildew and botrytis right up to harvest, making use of products with minimal or no harvest interval, such as Botector. Maintaining effective nutritional regimes is also important. Boron, manganese and zinc, for example, have been shown to help improve sugar concentrations in grapes, and there are a number of different products available to help optimise quality. Research has also shown foliar nutrition products such as Zynergy (containing copper, zinc and sulphur) and a good quality phosphite such as Phorce can trigger the natural defence mechanism in vines and markedly reduce downy mildew infection.

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Wi l l M ow


Plant PIWIs What future do these varieties have in English and Welsh wine? As Great Britain harvests its 2021 grape crop, there will be many a vineyard manager looking at their rows in despair. I have often heard it said this year that it has been a season for a strict spray program and attentive viticulturist. These are important aspects for maintaining a clean crop, but we are at the mercy of the weather no matter how vigilant we are. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier are robust varieties that the public recognise and can easily buy into. However, these are difficult varieties to take through a season unscathed and in years like this one, they can be left decimated. What about PIWIs, why should we plant them? PIWI is a German acronym, (Pilzwiderstandsfähig) but essentially means “fungal-resistant” grape varieties. If you want to only spray three or four times a year, enjoy consistent yields and early ripening then planting PIWIs is the answer. What do you do with the fruit? Make wine from it of course. ◆ Cabernet Blanc – now planted in Germany, France and the UK, this grape goes through veraison late in the season, but will ripen around the same time as Pinot Blanc and make wines similar to NZ Sauvignon and fruit driven styles. ◆ Sauvignac – a cross between Sauvignon and Riesling, the vines can be vigorous producing fruit that can create wines similar in style to Semillon and Riesling. A high level of maturity and low risk of botrytis. ◆ Rinot – the wines have lively acidity which makes them suited to sparkling wine production with good aging potential. ◆ Donauriesling – a loose berry structure and medium-thick skins. This variety shows fruity and stimulating acidity. It has good resistance to drought and a similar ripening window to Riesling so may struggle on cooler sites.

◆ Seyval Blanc – widely planted in the UK, this sort after grape is used in still and sparkling wines. Ripens early and crops well. This is one of the staples of cool climate wine production. ◆ Solaris – favoured by the Scandinavians and Welsh alike, Solaris is a versatile grape with peachy notes and balanced acidity. ◆ Muscaris – thick-skinned large berries will ripen on a similar timescale to MüllerThurgau. The wines have Muscat aromas with smoky notes. ◆ Souvignier Gris – comparable to a fruity Burgundy. On the nose there are subtle aromas of honeydew, quince and apricot. ◆ Cabaret Noir – in Germany this variety ripens in late August and is well suited to cool climate red wine production. Good examples from UK producers: Sergio at Blackbook winery. ◆ Pinotin – ruby red wines with black cherry characteristics, low acids and tannin. Comparable to Regent’s ripening window. ◆ Cabernet Jura – should ripen a week earlier than Pinot Noir and is another contender for red wine production. Rose petal and Muscat aromas. Vine-Works recently went to visit our German nursery, Volker Freytag and tasted most of these PIWI wines. We spent time in the vineyards where spray trials show vines with 0 sprays compared with 2, 3 and 4 sprays. Some varieties were clean after just two sprays this season and down in the Pfalz they have had just as much disease pressure as us. In the right winemaker’s hands these wines are commercial, complex, enduring and thought provoking. Taking off 14 tons a hectare from mostly clean PIWI rows at harvest this year, the German vineyard managers are looking at their dramatically reduced costs per hectare in excitement for the future. As we should be too. These are the vineyard managers’ varieties and they need little convincing to plant them. In the UK we all need to improve our knowledge of this fruit and realise the potential of these grapes and wines in our expanding market. Come and try these wines with us and Volker Freytag at the Vineyard & Winery Show on 24 November 2021 at the Kent County Showground.


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Optimising pressing for sub-optimal fruit


The poor weather this summer means harvest is going to be two weeks later than normal and three weeks behind a good year. This will bring with it some challenges which many winemakers in the UK may not yet have faced – such as poor ripeness and disease. It is also highly likely that harvesting will be compromised by rain and even possibly frost. There are however some options for pressing that a winemaker can employ to help address some of these problems.

Inert gas pressing

Juice extraction is a highly oxidative process and will normally result in saturation of the juice with dissolved oxygen (DO), which can be up to 9 mg/l. With sound fruit this will react with natural reducing substances in grapes plus added antioxidants such as SO2, tannins and so on. When Botrytis is present at significant levels, there will be the enzyme laccase which will cause rapid and irreversible oxidative browning and loss of ‘fruit’. The most effective way to avoid this is to avoid oxygen pickup in the first place. If the winery is fortunate enough to have a press where all operations are done under inert gas, this should be used. Trials we have done in the UK with the SK hyper-reductive press have shown DO levels below 1mg/l, in tank.

Handling of ‘rumbling’ phases

Between each stage of the pressing cycle, there is another opportunity to reduce DO pickup, for tank presses. At the end of each phase, before the vacuum pumps pull the bag away from the mass of grapes, rotate the press so that the bag is down before continuing. In this position, as the air bag is pulled away from the grapes, it will not draw air through the grape mass. All the Skrlj presses we supply do this automatically. Then, before the rumbling and cake breakup, flood the empty space with CO2 snow.

Monitoring and separation of juice fractions

The standard practice of separating free run and pressings, cuvée and taille, can be improved upon to bring some benefits. Carefully monitor the sugar level during each cycle with a hand-held refractometer and be prepared to make a cut based on changes. For example, if there is any rain at harvest, the very first juice from the first cycle (for whole bunch pressing) will be more dilute. Also, towards the end of the pressing program, at higher pressures the harder, less ripe grapes, will yield their juice



There are options for pressing that a winemaker can employ to help address challenges.

P h o t o: To

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resulting in a drop in sugar levels. With fruit infected by Botrytis and secondary fungal pathogens, it is particularly important to have very clear juice. Cloudy juice will have spores which if carried into fermentation will impact the flavour, and this can be picked up even during the short time to juice settle. It’s important to monitor the clarity of the juice at the beginning of each cycle and as it starts to clarify, make a cut based on this.

Hybrid pressing program

It is likely that harvest will be compromised by rainy periods and so there will be pressure on fruit processing capacity. The traditional whole bunch ’sequential’ pressing program can be a limiting factor as it can take up to five hours. Adopting a hybrid program for whole bunch pressing can speed this up considerably. As with the standard whole bunch pressing the pressure rises gradually, however, after each phase, the grape mass is broken by a rotation which improves extraction. PSP_SEQU 7

First pressure (p1)

Pressure (p)

Phase time (tf)

No of drum rocks (n)

No of phase executions (nf)

Phase 0

0 bar

0 bar

0 min



Phase 1

0.1 bar

0.2 bar

3 min



Phase 2

0.2 bar

0.3 bar

5 min



Phase 3

0.2 bar

0.3 bar

5 min



Phase 4

0.2 bar

0.4 bar

6 min



Phase 5

0.2 bar

0.6 bar

6 min



Phase 6

0.2 bar

0.7 bar

6 min



Phase 7

0.4 bar

0.8 bar

7 min



Phase 8

0.4 bar

0.8 bar

7 min



Phase 9

0.4 bar

0.9 bar

8 min



Phase 10

0.4 bar

1.0 bar

8 min



Phase 11

0.6 bar

1.3 bar

10 min



Phase 12

0.8 bar

1.3 bar

10 min



Phase 13

1.0 bar

1.3 bar

15 min



Phase 14

1.0 bar

1.5 bar

15 min



Phase 15

1.0 bar

1.5 bar

15 min



Pressing for highly Botrytised fruit

Breakdown of the grape berry skin by the fungal hyphae can cause considerable problems with pressing. Juice drainage through the mass will be very poor and it is very easy to block the screens. A common mistake is to try and increase the pressure which just causes any skins to flatten and blind the screens, until the pressure is enough for everything to squirt out in one gelatinous mass! It is better to increase the pressure very slowly and allow for plenty of rumbling between each cycle. As you are developing the best protocol, open the hatch and inspect the screens for blinding. And if necessary, brush them clean of any stuck-on skins. Most importantly, DON’T PANIC! The English wine industry started when harvests like this were the norm, not the exception – and has survived to be the world leader that it is today.



M a rk C

Axel Marchal and Philippe Marullo, Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin, University of Bordeaux, France.

This work has been carried out as part of the theme covering research on identifying wine quality markers. It is derived from a collection of research projects carried out in the 2000s, starting with Anne Humbert’s thesis on enzymatic phenomena that intervene during wine ageing. This work showed that the sapid fraction released during maturing on lees is made up of small-sized peptides, between 0.5 and 3 KDa. Subsequently this peptide fraction was purified from autolysis of a yeast and LC-MS-MS analysis made it possible to identify peptides from the membrane protein Hsp (Heat shock protein). This second research project resulted in a patent family (Moine V., 2005) and in the development of OENOLEES®. A few years later Axel Marchal resumed this work as part of his PhD and is currently carrying out research on sweetness in

wines and the role of the Hsp12 protein.

The role played by the des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin, University of Bordeaux, France. Hsp12 protein in the sweet flavour of dry wines.

difference between the 2 modalities at the 5% threshold. The presence of the Hsp12 protein was associated with an increase in sweetness, confirming the implication of this protein in the association between increased sweetness and autolysis. This research was continued and applied to the effect of several fermentation parameters potentially able to modulate sweet flavor intensity. > Figure 1: Protocol for identifying the role of the Hsp12 protein in the increase in sweet flavour because of yeast autolysis

Commercially available yeast strain (ZYMAFLORE® FX10) 2 x 108 yeasts/mL

Mutant yeast strain (∆°Hsp12) 2 x 108 yeasts/mL

AUTOLYSIS 10 days 32°C (90°F)


nly from its tannin 42 weetness. Yet the es has long been


e theme covering It is derived from t in the 2000s, matic phenomena showed that the es is made up of Da. Subsequently is of a yeast and ify peptides from ein). This second Moine V., 2005) w years later Axel D and is currently nd the role of the

The gustatory balance of a wine comes not only from its tannin structure and its acidity, but also from its sweetness. Yet the molecular origin of the sweet taste in dry wines has long been a mystery, despite the importance of this perception as part of consumer appreciation. To verify the increase in sweetness associated with the presence of this protein because of yeast autolysis in dry wines, molecular biology and sensorial analysis techniques were jointly implemented (Figure 1). A “mutant zero” Δ° Hsp12 was created using the oenological yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae ZYMAFLORE® FX10

Sensorial analysis: triangular test (23 tasters) globe-asia phone-alt 07805 081677 paper-plane

Figure 1. Protocol for identifying the role of the Hsp12 protein in the increase in sweet flavor because of yeast autolysis. 49


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The origin of sweetness in dry wines


Fermentations were carried out in a synthetic medium using two oenological strains ZYMAFLORE® FX10 and ZYMAFLORE® VL3. The level of expression of the Hsp12 gene was measured for each strain, at different stages of alcoholic fermentation (after release of 30, 46, 55, 66 and 76 g/L of CO2). The results presented in Figure 2 show that the level of expression of Hsp12 gene increased progressively as alcoholic fermentation progressed for both strains. This experiment confirms previous work and suggests that the ethanol produced during alcoholic fermentation could cause stress that lies behind the increased expression of the Hsp12 gene. While ethanol has a sweet taste when tasted at low concentrations in water, we previously showed that the addition of 1.5% of ethanol to a dry wine does not modify the perception of its sweet flavor. However, expert tasters frequently perceive an intense sweetness in wines with a naturally high degree of alcohol from fermentation. This could be explained by the inducing effect of ethanol on expression of the Hsp12 gene; in wines with a high degree of alcohol, synthesis of the Hsp12 protein was greater at the end of alcoholic fermentation, giving the wine a more intense sweet flavour. A wine without the Hsp12 protein was obtained by fermenting a Merlot must derived from thermovinification by the strain Δ° Hsp12 to dryness. Also, the biomass of eight other yeast strains previously studied was collected halfway through their fermentation. This biomass was added to the dry Merlot wine at the completion of alcoholic fermentation, at concentrations like those found at the end of vinification. As the wine was dry, the yeasts could not develop. To encourage their autolysis, the wines were placed at 32°C (90°F) for 10 days, to imitate the conditions of hot post-fermentation maceration. The tasting panel then graded the sweet flavor

Figure 2. Monitoring Hsp12 gene expression of 2 yeast strains ZYMAFLORE® FX10 and ZYMAFLORE® VL3 during alcoholic fermentation at 26°C (79°F).


10 8


A wine 6 without the Hsp12 protein was obtained by fermenting a Merlot must derived from thermovinification by the strain 4 ∆° Hsp12 to dryness. Also, the biomass of eight other yeast 2 strains previously studied was collected halfway through their 0 fermentation. This biomass was added to the dry Merlot wine -2 completion of alcoholic fermentation, at concentrations at the 55 g/L As66 76 g/Ldry, g/Lwine was 30 g/Lat the 46 -4 like those found endg/Lof vinification. the the yeasts could not develop. To encourage CO2 released (± 3 g/L)their autolysis, the wines were placed at 32°C (90°F) for 10 days, to imitate the > Figure 2: Monitoring Hsp12 gene expression of 2 yeast strains ZYMAFLORE® FX10 and conditions post-fermentation maceration. The tasting panel Figure 2. Monitoring gene expression of 2atyeast ®of hotHsp12 VL3 during alcoholic fermentation 26°Cstrains (79°F).ZYMAFLORE® FX10 ZYMAFLORE and ZYMAFLORE® VL3 during alcoholic fermentation (79°F).3). then graded the sweet flavor on a scale of 0 toat726°C (Figure 7

Sweet flavor intensity

Parameters that influence the level of expression of the Hsp12 gene.

CO2 released (± 3 g/L)


A wine without the Hsp12 protein was obtained by fermenting 5 a Merlot must derived from thermovinification by the strain 4 ∆° Hsp12 to dryness. Also, the biomass of eight other yeast 3 strains previously studied was collected halfway through their 2 fermentation. This biomass was added to the dry Merlot wine 1 at the completion of alcoholic fermentation, at concentrations 0 like those found at the end of vinification. AsFX10 the wine wasVL3 dry, D2 ∆°Hsp12 F33 W1 the yeasts could not develop. ToStrains encourage their autolysis, the wines were placed at 32°C (90°F) for 10 days, to imitate the > Figure 3: Impact of yeast strains on sweetness perception afterafter autolysis Figure 3.ofImpact of yeast strains on sweetness perception autolysis.panel conditions hot post-fermentation maceration. The tasting then graded the sweet flavor on a scale of 0 to 7 (Figure 3).

on a scale of 0 to 7 (Figure 3). sweetness in wines is a new criterion to be 7 The results showed a strong strain effect, taken into consideration for the selection of 54 i.e. the 6tasters perceived clear variations in new oenological strains. sweetness according to the strain of yeast used 5 for autolysis. It was observed that ZYMAFLORE® 4 FX10 presented a higher sweetness intensity than that 3 which was suggested by its level of Marchal, A., Marullo P., Durand C., Moine V. & Hsp12 gene expression. This could be explained Dubourdieu D. 2015. Fermentative conditions 2 modulating sweetness in dry wines: genetics and by the post-fermentation mechanisms involved 1 environmental factors influencing the expression in the release of the Hsp12 protein and its sweet level of the Hsp12 gene. Journal of Agricultural and peptides. 0 In any event, a statistical test indicated Food Chemistry. 63 (1): 304–11. a correlation between these sensory data D2 and∆°Hsp12 F33 FX10 W1 VL3 the expression level of the Hsp12 gene for most Marchal, A., Marullo P., Durand C., Moine V. & Strains of the strains (p-value = 0.06). Dubourdieu D. 2015. Acquisitions récentes sur les paramètres fermentaires influençant la saveur Figure 3. Impact of yeast strains on sweetness perception after autolysis. sucrée des vins secs. Revue des OEnologues. N°156.

Sweet flavor intensity

YEAST P which thus differed solely from ZYMAFLORE® FX10, by the absence of the Hsp12 gene. The yeasts were introduced into a dry wine at identical concentrations (2 x 108 cells/mL) and stored at 32°C (90°F), consistent with oenological conditions after primary fermentation. A triangular test was carried out and showed a significant organoleptic difference between the two modalities at the 5% threshold. The presence of the Hsp12 protein was associated with an increase in sweetness, confirming the implication of this protein in the association between increased sweetness and autolysis. This research was continued and applied to the effect of several fermentation parameters potentially able to modulate sweet flavour intensity.

sweet flavor.

Articles published on the subject


These results demonstrated for the first time that yeast strain has a significant influence on wine sweetness perception. The differences in sweet flavors are correlated with variations in the coding gene for the Hsp12 protein. This research opens new perspectives for management of taste during wine production. It needs to be pursued to identify the sweet peptides derived from the Hsp12 protein and to specify the post-fermentation conditions that encourage their release into the wine. Furthermore, the yeast’s aptitude to increase

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Marchal, A., Marullo P., Durand C., Moine V. & Dubourdieu D. 2011. Influence of yeast 54 macromolecules on sweetness in dry wines: role of the protein Hsp12. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 59 (5): 2004–10. Marchal, A., Marullo P., Durand C., Moine V. & Dubourdieu D. 2011. Recherches sur les bases moléculaires de la saveur sucrée des vins secs. Partie 1/2: Effet de l’éthanol, du glycérol et des macromolécules de levures sur la sucrosité des vins secs: rôle de la protéine Hsp12. Revue des OEnologues. N°141.

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ch a l ley Vi ney er V a rd est

Meet the people behind the wines

my Mou, Woo e r d Je

After working in prestigious wineries in some of the great wine regions of the world, Jeremy Mount was tempted back to England in 2016 by Woodchester Valley Vineyard, who were planning a winery and looking for a winemaker – and the rest is history. Winemaker at Woodchester Valley Vineyard

We are a single estate vineyard in South Cotswolds AONB, near Stroud – which was voted best place to live 2021 in the Sunday times no less! There are three sites with 55 acres under vine, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Bacchus, Pinot Précoce, Ortega, Seyval Blanc, Pinot Meunier, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Regent and Siegreeber. The winery and lab are very well equipped, enabling me to make the best quality wines possible. We have an excellent core team here, great to work with and extremely ambitious. Fiona Shiner, who founded the vineyard, has an intricate attention to detail, with no compromise on the best quality possible in all areas of the business, from the vineyard to the accommodation we have on site, to the tour and tasting events and the winery.

Your winemaking journey?

Sometimes I guess you just fall into the industry that you’re meant to be in, and winemaking was that for me. It stemmed from living in South Africa and visiting the wine routes and working for a few years in France. I’m from a fruit farming family in Kent and have seen the development of the wine industry over the last 20+ years, which was an influence. I gained a BSc (hons) at Plumpton College and then left England to work in several prestigious wineries around the world, including Stags leap in Napa, Rupert and Rothschild Franschhoek, worked in northern Burgundy while living in Chablis, and southern Germany in Franconia. I also worked at Bluebell vineyard in Sussex. Before I returned to England, I worked at an ISO 17025 accredited lab at Matua on South Island New Zealand.

How is this year’s harvest shaping up?

This growing season has had some challenges! Firstly, avoiding the frost, but flowering and fruit set were fine, and because of the superb, relentless work of the vineyard team, the vines are all in very good condition and disease free. We’re looking at a good year across all varieties, just fingers crossed for more settled warm conditions over the next month.

Lot of awards

Fortunately, all the wines one year or another have done very well, and I think our best accolade would be for the Sauvignon Blanc. The 2017 was the first English Sauvignon Blanc to get silver in an international competition, then the 2018 was the first to get international Gold (97 points) in IWSC, and a Gold in the Drinks Business global Sauvignon Blanc masters.

What is your winemaking philosophy?


My aim with our still wines is to make the cleanest wine possible, expressing the best characteristics of the variety, complexity is a key

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factor but only so long as it doesn’t outbalance the flavour and aroma. For the sparkling wines, I aim for good aging and clean wines, while keeping a distinct difference within the range, without straying from our own personal tastes here.

Any exciting developments?

There’s been a lot of development recently, with our tasting room doubling in size, the excellent holiday accommodation being completed, as well as another large storage facility added to keep up with the increase in production. In the pipeline there’s a lot more but that will all be revealed later!

What are the opportunities and challenges facing the industry?

There are many challenges confronting the industry, from distribution networks internationally to regional tourism. The increase in demand as well as the seemingly exponential increase in production could present challenges in consistency of wine quality. Specifically, still wines such as Pinot Noir or Chardonnay; while the demand is there, and prices are high, year-on-year quality is difficult to achieve in the marginal climates we have here.

What are your top tips for becoming a winemaker?

I think it’s essential to have good background knowledge from both the viticultural and oenological side. I recommend any budding winemaker to get out of England and experience different methods of production from Old World to New World - from the commercial facilities doing everything to precision or natural/low intervention winemaking and of course the middle road.

Favourite wine (other than your own)?

I have many very good friends that are excellent winemakers – but if I had to pick one producer or wine it would be the Gusbourne Pinot Noirs.

In your spare time…

I do a lot of trekking and get out to the Alps as often as I can over the winter season.

& WINERY SHOW For viticulturists in Great Britain

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

Save the date: WineGB Technical Winemaking Conference, 9 November WineGB’s first physical conference in over a year is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 9 November at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey. Running from 9am and until 5pm, the conference will feature masterclasses on key topics including protein and tartrate stability; sustainability; climate change; and FTIR analysis. There will also be two tastings: ‘blanc de blancs sparkling vs. still white wines from the UK’ and ‘canned wine – a tasting of those on the market from the UK’.

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

This year’s line-up of esteemed speakers includes Geoff Taylor, formerly of Campden BRI; Jennifer Lincoln from Enartis; Pierre-Yves Bournerias of the IOC, Alistair Nesbitt from Vinescapes and Simon Thorpe, CEO of WineGB. The conference will be hosted by the WineGB Winemaking Group, chaired by Emma Rice of Hattingley Valley. Other members of the group, including Simon Roberts (Ridgeview) and Josh Donaghay-Spire (Chapel Down), will be panellists during the sessions. Tickets will be available at a discounted rate to WineGB members, with a student price also on offer. Further details and information on how to register will be released in due course.

WineGB heads to The Vineyard & Winery Show


WineGB will be taking part in the first Vineyard & Winery Show on 24 November. CEO Simon Thorpe will chair a session entitled ‘venturing into viticulture in a change climate’, alongside Alistair Nesbitt of Vinescapes, James Dodson of Vine-Works and Mitchel Fowler of Ferovinum. Simon Thorpe will explain what WineGB can

& WINERY SHOW offer new entrants to the industry and the benefits associated with membership of the national organisation. Julia Trustram Eve, WineGB’s Head of Marketing, will also lead a session on ‘building

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a sustainable business through wine tourism’, detailing WineGB’s best practice guidelines. She will be accompanied by Paul Harley of Plumpton College and Jo Smith from the Wine Garden of England.

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

9th November: 9th November: 16th November: 24th November:

WineGB Winemaking Conference, Denbies Wine Estate WineGB Wessex Wine Competition WineGB Industry Celebration, Vintners’ Hall, London Vineyard and Winery Show – check out WineGB Industry seminar programme

Upcoming WineGB webinar programme can be viewed on

WineGB Trade and Press Tasting On 7 September, the Great British wine industry came together for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Held at the RHS Lindley Hall, the annual WineGB Trade and Press Tasting welcomed 43 exhibitors and wines from 58 producers. Over 300 wines were on show throughout the day, from canned wine and the first bottles certified by Sustainable Wines of Great Britain to Classic

Method sparkling, still wines in every shade and a new dessert wine, made from grapes with the highest naturally occurring sugar levels ever recorded in the UK (122g/l). Next year, the WineGB Trade Tasting will return to the RHS Lindley Hall on 6 September 2022. Expect this key showcase event to be even bigger, with a great mix of established brands, small producers, industry newcomers and innovators.


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AgriAgro focus on crop scanning and precision technologies In a series of demonstrations, tractor specialist Landini has been working with technology firms to bring growers up-to-date on precision technologies, which can offer huge potential to help establish and manage vine and fruit crops. “Requiring arrow-straight rows for equal spacing, light interception, growth and ease of treatment and harvesting, fruit and vine crop establishment is a task ideally suited to satelliteguided tractor steering. Pass-to-pass parallel repeatability is ideal not only for establishment, but then for subsequent operations such as mowing and spraying, using the same recorded A-B lines,” explained Luke Barnard, precision farming specialist at AgriArgo UK, the distributor of Landini and McCormick tractors. “But on many orchard and vineyard enterprises, precision technologies have much wider potential to ease workloads and improve crop yields and quality,” he added. “Recent demonstrations in conjunction with Horsepower UK, our Kent dealer, allowed us to illustrate on a Landini REX4-100F tractor how autosteering, using a TopCon AES-35 retro-fit electric steering system, can aid planting and subsequent operations. “This led to discussions regarding other technologies with potential benefits, including auto spray control, altering the application rate and nozzle sections on-the-move to apply only as much of a product as necessary, and only where required. “Working with precision technology firm LH Agro, we also demonstrated the value of crop scanning in the specialist sector. TopCon CropSpec optical sensors, which measure leaf reflectance to determine chlorophyll content – which correlates to nitrogen concentration – offer obvious further benefits for crop management when spraying. “Equipping the tractor with the necessary equipment, including a sprayer flow rate controller, allowed the team to show how the sprayer then automatically switches on/off the left/right sections and applies the required rate, based on the tractor’s forward speed or, for greatest accuracy, a variable rate map. “The data recorded by CropSpec sensors is exported to the farm PC, and in this way, with each spraying pass the customer can build comprehensive data of each field. Potential weak

areas are quickly identified for targeted disease/ pest control but where the crop is shown to be growing well, inputs can be reduced. “On a subsequent local demonstration tour, the three firms were then able to show the value of technology including sprayer control and auto-steer to host and visiting growers. On one farm we were given a field recorded as 3.85ha to work with, but mapping it with our equipment indicated it was actually 3.45ha, showing immediately how greater steering accuracy can save inputs and money on every pass. “Real Time Kinematic (RTK) signal guidance, with its repeatability variation of less than 2.5cm, can really help here. From the A-B line we established, we identified in the first row that the tractor was 1.4m off course by the time it had travelled halfway up the field. Had it been planted with RTK guidance, it would have been possible to plant an extra row, offering a considerable return on auto-steering investment. “The time and product saving from auto shut-off

at row ends and auto-steer in the rows attracted considerable interest. On one host farm which ran an ISOBUS-controlled fertiliser spreader, which allows the tractor and spreader to communicate with each other, CropSpec data enabled on-the-go nitrogen rate control via this. “Of equal importance, though, is the data captured by the spray controller. It’s simple to create maps of the rates applied to each field, which also show if any areas were missed. “We now want to work with a grower using guidance and spray control to investigate more deeply the value of Cropspec ‘greenness’ recording over a season, correlating this with yield data, crop density and soil scans/tests. “As we develop the use of this technology further, and link it with drone tech that agronomy firms are trialling, we will gain further evidence of gathered data’s value and how it correlates to plant density, crop yield, crop quality and more. This will be as useful in vineyards as it is in orchards.”




Haynes Agri



RICHARD SMITH 07483 035922



For all your harvest and winery equipment needs. Want to see a Pellenc mechanical harvester in action? This season we're

hosting a special demo day. To register call us on 01580 712200. 50

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Under vine strimming

Tractor mounted under vine strimmers do the same job as hand held strimmers but are of course more comfortable to use and faster. The strimmer head has four tough cords rotating on a spindle powered by a hydraulic motor. A sensing antenna guides the strimmer around the vine trunk and due to the unique Boisselet Servo Motor with adjustable sensing can even be used around young vines where a metal or fibreglass tutor is pushed well into the soil next to the vine. The strimmer head is just one of many under vine tools which can be fitted to the Servo Motor to achieve different results whether strimming or mowing above ground or cultivating into the soil. More details and videos are available on Vitifruit Equipment's facebook page.   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

51 N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 1 | V I N E YA R D

Itasca Wines is excited to announce our Lab service is now fully operational. Maturity samples, and full juice and wine panels available including Malic/Tartaric, YAN/FAN/Ammonia, RS, ABV, VA, Free and Total SO2, and Cold/Heat Stability.

Quick turnaround service, with full processing and reporting in 24 hours during harvest. Contact Tom Denning, Lab Manager at

Itasca Wines is delighted to announce being appointed the sole UK distributor representing

For all your wine making products contact

Visit to view our Enartis product range.

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