The sun may be shining now, but a severe cold snap in April left many English winemakers in fear for their harvest after unseasonal temperatures across the South of England dropped below freezing.

“Over the winter of 2016 we experienced cool, dry weather with a sustained period of temperatures below zero,” explains our vineyard manager Rob Corbett. “This meant that the vines were able to reach full dormancy, enabling them to preserve their carbohydrate stores for the coming vintage, and after a spectacularly warm and dry April the vines burst their buds well ahead of previous vintages.”

Everything was looking promising until the morning of April 27 when the whole of Europe experienced the worst late spring frosts in 20 years, with even the Champagne and Burgundy regions experiencing huge losses. “This is because late spring frosts burn the growing tips of the vine and destroy the fertile buds carrying this year's crop,” says Rob. “While new shoots will appear after a couple of weeks, these secondary shoots are less fertile and will not ripen to the extent of primary shoots.”

On English soil the extent of the damage was very vineyard specific, with Kent, Sussex and Hampshire experiencing the lowest temperatures. However, the South West was relatively unscathed. “Luckily less than 10% of our Devon vineyards were affected,” says Rob, “due to their proximity to Lyme Bay which brings in warm south-westerly winds. Their altitude also protected them. Our Devon vineyards lay on the edge of valleys, as opposed to our Winery itself, which lies right in the bottom of the beautiful Axe Valley. Cold air falls to the bottom of the valley, which protects our vineyards from frost, only affecting just the lowest rows on the fringes of the valley bottom. Thankfully this means the shoots are looking vibrant in the vineyard, with inflorescences beginning to expand and showing the true, plentiful potential for the grapes of 2017.”

English Wine Week

As if that’s not news worth celebrating, English Wine Week is here again from 27 May to 4 June, and to celebrate, we are offering customers the chance to get 5% off our wines until 4th June. Simply enter the code: EWW2017 at the checkout stage to receive 5% off any English Wines in your cart.

If you can’t decide what to try we have just added a beautiful Sparkling Rosé and a Blanc de Noirs to our English sparkling wines portfolio, joining our popular Brut Reserve and Classic Cuvée – which recently received a Gold Sommelier Wine Award and was also a Silver winner at the 2017 Independent English Wine Awards.

You can find out more about our full range of award-winning English still and sparkling wines here and don't forget your 5% discount off all our English Wines until 4 June when you use the code EWW2017 at checkout.

If you are in London then come and see us at the London Wine Fair from 22-24 May 2017 at Kensington Olympia or pop in to our Winery shop here in Devon.

You can also get in touch with our friendly team here at the Winery via email at [email protected] or by calling us on 01297 551355 if you’d like to order by phone. You can follow Lyme Bay on Twitter: @LymeBayWineLtd and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.