UK vineyard news with expansions, adaptations and a late spring frost
UK wineries adapt but are punished with a late spring frost as Rathfinny and Nyetimber continue their expansions throughout 2020.
Nyetimber continues to expand the number of vineyard sites with its new 42ha Kent vineyard. In early spring they have planted 195,000 vines. When it comes onto production in 2023-24, the increase will allow Nyetimber to produce another 220,000 bottles of sparkling wines a year.
But this year’s crop was hit hard by a late spring frost last week with 181 frosts reported throughout the country and some vineyards such as Breaky Bottom in East Sussex experiencing up to 90-100% loss from the frosts.
Not all vineyards were so badly affected. Rathfinny Estate, also in Sussex, located near the English Channel, was saved from frost fortunately, but they have been hit by a loss of sales to restaurants. This loss in restaurant sales has encouraged them to switch their sales focus to wine shops. To support the move, they have released a Rathfinny Classic Cuvée, a vintage Pinot-dominated wine, with 3 years ageing on the lees. They are positioning it as their entry level wine at between £26-£29.50/bottle for independent wine merchants.