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Spring has Sprung

Spring is in the air; daffodils are widely available at the checkouts in the supermarkets and buds are starting to burst as the vines come out of their dormant winter phase. The beautiful little buds will grow into new shoots and in a few months’ time it will have gone through the process of flowering and fruit set.

This is a super important time in the vineyard, these little buds mark the start of the growing season. Decisions make in the vineyard at this time and the climate we experience will greatly affect the wine we get to drink.

Frost is a serious threat to vineyards in the UK; the huge frost of April 2017 resulted in Trotton Estate Vineyards losing nearly 25% of their crop – luckily it didn’t impact them too severely and they successfully went on to produce an award-winning wine. None the less, here’s hoping for a frost-free spring in the UK especially as Bacchus, a widely planted variety, ripens early.

We are big fans of Bacchus at English Vineyard Tours; it has been described as ‘England’s Signature Grape’ and our ‘answer to Sauvignon Blanc’ as it grows and ripens well in our cooler climate. As of 2018, 247 hectares (610.35 acres, 328.15 football pitches – you get the idea, it’s a lot) of England and Wales is planted with Bacchus with many UK producers choosing this variety as the basis of their still wine. It is the fourth most planted variety in the UK behind Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. If you’ve never tried it before, give it a go, it’s widely available at wine shops and in the supermarkets – it’s even available on the drinks trolley during British Airways flights! Of course, if you want to try before you buy book yourself onto one of our tours to learn more about the variety, the production methods used and of course try a sample or two.