Thursday, 30 May 2013

Our first Bubbly is Bottled

John Worontschak of Litmus Wines and Marcus Sharp
 supervise the bottling of our first bubbly

Earlier this week I watched our first sparkling wine being bottled.

Since we planted our vines in 2009 and 2010, the weather has been against us and harvests have been extremely difficult. Non the less we have produced some excellent base wine which will hopefully result in a first class English bubbly.

The first Albury Estate Sparkling is a blend of juice from the grapes harvested in 2011 and 2012 and includes all the varietals grown on the vineyard including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and some Seyval. Only 1524 bottles have been produced which should be available for sale in time for Christmas 2014.

It only took around 30 minutes to bottle the wine using specialist equipment from France. Some yeast and sugar is added to start secondary fermentation in the bottle which gives the wine it's fizz, following which the wine will be left to develop it's character in the bottle for at least 18 months. This process is known as Method Traditionale or Methode Champenoise in France.

Can't wait!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Silent Pool Rosé 2012 to be released on 1st June

Silent Pool Rosé 2012 will be released for sale on the 1st June 2013, the beginning of English Wine Week.  It is one of the first English certified Organic wines and will be available at the following outlets:

Retail outlets
Alnwick Castle Gift Shop, Alnwick

The Guildford Wine Company, Shalford
Kingfisher's Farm Shop, Abinger Hammer
Secretts Farm Shop, Milford
Taurus Wines, Bramley
The Vineyard, Dorking
Vintage Roots

Black Swan, Ockham
Drummond Arms, Albury
Kinghams Restaurant, Shere
RHS Wisley Restaurants, Wisley
Royal Opera House Restaurants, London
The Percy Arms, Chilworth
The William Bray, Shere
William IV, Little London

We'll be holding the first meeting of the Albury Wine Club at the vineyard on the 1st June (for members only). The Guildford Wine Company in Shalford will be hosting a tasting between 11.00am and 5.00pm. 

We are delighted with the quality of the wine which has been produced from hand picked biodynamic grapes from our own vineyard. Stephen Skelton MW, who is an expert on English wines, commented:

"Good fruit, nice balance with good acidity but not too aggressive. A worthy successor to the 2011. Amazing considering what the year was like."

Tasting Notes
"Silent Pool Rosé is an elegant, fresh, salmon coloured still Rosé wine made predominantly from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. On the nose, strawberry and cream, juice tangerine and cherry blossom aromas meld with layers of clean minerality. The wine displays enticing flavours of orange peel and bright citrus on the mid-palate, with balanced acidity and a long finish."

Winemaker, Ulrich Hoffmann

Friday, 10 May 2013

Bud Burst

We now have bud burst right across the vineyard. Bud burst, or bud break, is when you can see the first signs of leaves on the new shoots from the canes that have been tied down after pruning. These will develop into the shoots that will produce bunches of grapes later in the year.

As a result of the cold weather in March and early April, bud burst is probably six weeks behind last year. This is good news for us as we are therefore less susceptible to Spring frosts. Before bud burst swollen buds can withstand temperatures as low as -3C, whereas -1C would be a problem now. The weather forecast looks good for the next couple of weeks but we'll remain on frost alert for the time being. As the old saying goes "Ne'er cast a clout until May be out"!