English wine volumes down 30% hit by weather and squirrels?
According to an English winemaker, 2012 could be the disappearing vintage, as yields are down by as much as 30% compared with previous years. Bob Lindo, owner of Camel Valley Wines, said the vintage is around 30% down this year in average quantity, however the quality is up there with the best vintages of the past few years. Whilst, Nyetimber, England's largest wine estate, has taken the dramatic decision to not even release a 2012 vintage sparkling wine because the difficult growing season means it can not produce sufficiently high quality wine from its grapes.
Meanwhile in Richmond, London attempts to resurrect the town's 17th century wine making history were thwarted last week. Locally based
online wine merchant Red Squirrel Wine and East Dulwich wine bar and shop, Green & Blue, came up with the idea to plant the vines but three quarters of their crop was lost the day before harvest. Although the cause is still unknown, “the neat and uniform manner of removal” has led those behind the initiative to suspect humans rather than birds are to blame.
But 2012 English wine shouldn't be written off according to Stephen Skelton MW, who is consultant to a number of vineyards across the South East. He reckons good, well-sheltered sites, where growers have done the canopy management and spraying, will have okay yields and quality considering it has been such a challenging year. He said there is still a way to go for some varieties, Chardonnay especially, with some going as late as early November. Late yes, but not disastrous.