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Early Look: English Wine 2016 Harvest Report

English wine is enjoying quite the resurgence. Already established in the premium market globally, there are now over 1,800 hectares of vines planted across England’s 440 or so vineyards. While Brexit seems to be hurting many in the trade, it’s provided a welcome boost to English wine sales abroad. As the pound drops, English wines are suddenly becoming much more affordable to our international neighbours.

But England’s wine producers may be celebrating again shortly. While it might not feel like it when you look out your window this evening, England has been enjoying a relatively dry and warm Autumn.

The Summer had originally suggested 2016 was going to be a year of low yields and high acidity, but September and October’s warmer and sunnier weather has meant many crops have reach ideal ripeness. So, while Champagne has struggled with a slash in sparkling wine production, England’s producers look confident and optimistic towards a great crop of 2016 wines.

Oatley Vineyard’s Jane Awty said it was a small crop this year but that the grapes “looked amazing”, proving even Somerset’s rainy weather couldn’t stop the quality of 2016’s harvest.

Lyme Bay Winery’s head wine maker Liam Idzikowski is so happy with this year’s Pinot Noir that he is going to try a red wine rather than using it all for sparkling wines and rosé – a first for Lyme Bay.

Furleigh Estate in Dorset released their newsletter this week saying the “quality is outstanding this year with very high sugars due to the recent glorious autumn sunshine we have been enjoying.” Rebecca and Ian hope it will be a “memorable vintage” for Furleigh.

For Denbies, the winemaking team predicted 2016 might be one of their most successful vintages ever.

Denbies’ CEO Chris White wrote: “The quality is expected to be exceptional this year […] we expect to double the amount of sparkling production from last year’s harvest. This year’s vintage will also enable us to produce a record amount of single varietal wines.”

Looks like 2016 is one to look out for!
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