Fiona Shiner, Founder
Our prayers for rain have been answered and the vines have soaked it up and are growing rapidly.
Last week we planted 3,000 new Seyval Blanc vines at our Woodchester vineyard. Seyval Blanc is used in our very popular Cotswold Classic sparkling wine and also makes a contribution to our Culver Hill. It is an excellent cool climate variety and has good disease resistance. It yields well most years. The bare root vines were planted in 4 hours by a GPS guided planting machine and it will be four years before we take any fruit from them . Over the next three years the vines will be establishing a good strong root system and trunk so that longer term they will produce a good yield year on year. In the meantime we will install the trellis and tend the vines in order to create the structure for our single guyot and vertical shoot positioning pruning and trellis systems.
Just a brief update for this month as this week we’ve been busy preparing for another big event – the wedding of my daughter Megan to vineyard apprentice, Grape Vine Greg!
Enjoying the sun
Bottling on the horizon...
Jeremy Mount, Winemaker
The lead up to the next round of bottling is edging closer and closer. There are 2 rounds of preparation for the sparkling wine bottling this year. Currently the Reserve Cuvée, Blanc de Blancs and Rosé Brut have all been blended into tanks for cold stabilisation. This takes approximately 3 weeks, taking the tanks down to -4 degrees for the bi-tartrate crystals to form and drop out of solution. The tanks are then left until the temperature gets to around 0 degrees when I shall filter the stable wine through our diatomatious earth filtration system, into a sterile clean tank ready for bottling. The Cotswold Classic is the second batch of wine that will be blended in a couple of weeks; it will go through the same steps as the other sparkling base wines.
Tirage bottling is the blending of the sparkling base wine with yeast and sugar. The yeast preparation is a little like creating a yeast mother culture for bread. A concentrated yeast solution is developed in tank then combined with a specific amount of sugar for the yeast to digest. This is added to each tank hours before bottling. The reason for adding to the tank just before bottling is due to the possibility of the fermentation starting too early. This will produce CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and therefore foam/fizz making bottling problematic. Also, if there is an early loss of CO2 then the target pressure in the bottle will not be reached.
In other news releases are emerging every month over the summer, with the first being the new Sauvignon Blanc which is tasting extremely fresh and nice this time of year; it went down very well at the launch event we had a couple of weeks ago. It is on sale from the start of English wine week (Saturday 18th June).