It was only 12 months ago that we wrote about how it is not very often that you can give English grapes ‘hang time’ to really concentrate the flavours, but here we are again with an amazingly dry September and October, and the grapes to show for it. The 2016 vintage has also had the benefit of a very warm and dry August which has allowed the grapes to reach full ripeness and beyond.

The right ripeness

The Bacchus grapes have come in with very high ripeness levels so we expect some aromatic still whites; and the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that we have so far for the sparkling base wines have had the sugar and acid ratios that Champagne makers crave and now struggle to get with their warmer summers.

Towards the end of this month we will also bring in some very low yielding and ripe Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes from Essex which will be made into our still wines. It is not very often that Chardonnay gets to a ripeness level that we are happy to use for a still, never mind a Pinot Noir, so we are pretty pleased about how this has turned out.

Patience is a virtue

The Pinot Noir will be destemmed, crushed and given a cold maceration, before inoculation and several punch downs a day. Before it starts fermenting we will bleed off some of the juice to concentrate the Pinot Noir still flavours and with the juice make our Pinot Noir Rose. The red will then be aged in barriques for at least 12 months, so you will need patience before you’ll be able to sample the result – but as they say, good things come to those who wait.

Liam Lyme Bay English Wines

See for yourself

In the meantime, if this has whet your appetite to try some of Lyme Bay Winery’s award-winning English still and sparkling wines then we’d love to see you here at the Winery shop so do pop in if you are passing. Alternatively, you can always 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.