Nick Wenman of Albury Vineyards on being organic and biodynamic in the UK
This show was published 12 March 2017
Albury Vineyards is located on the southern slopes of the North Downs in the beautiful Surrey Hills, just outside Guildford. Owner Nick has 5 hectares of planted vineyards, which equates to about 25,000 bottles of wine. The vineyards are certified organic but the climate here in England makes it quite difficult to make organic/bio-dynamic wines - Nick explains why.
They are focused on high quality, traditional sparkling wine styles using organic grapes - the main plantings are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, first planted in 2009. Nick also makes a still rose from the Pinots, first released in 2012 and has some Seyval and Pinot Gris planted.
Monty's Pet Nat is a bio-dynamic wine made for Monty Waldin (it stands for Petillant Naturel). It is a sparkling wine made with only one fermentation - the sediment is left in and there is no dosage. Nick makes it with Chardonnay in very small volumes, and not every year. You can actually drink the sediment with the wine. Its also low alcohol and made with wild yeast in the vineyard (no added yeast).
They have won awards for their fizz and have listings in top restaurants, so they sell out their wines every year. They do suffer from lower yields because of the restriction imposed for being certified organic. This puts limitations on the quantity of fruit available for making wine.
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