English Wine Week 2017

English Wine Week 2017 will take place Saturday 27th May – Sunday 4th June 2017

English Wine Week is a national campaign, designed to raise awareness of English wine across the country.  There are a wide range of activities which take place across the country to celebrate English Wine Week, involving both retail and leisure outlets, and at the vineyards themselves.

English Wine Week starts over Spring Bank Holiday which is also half term holiday for most schools. It marks the start of the tourist season, and the vineyards themselves are waking up to the new growing season – there is plenty to see and enjoy.

Please see below the listings details of forthcoming events and news about the events will be posted on our newspages. Don’t forget to follow #EnglishWineWeek on twitter. Read More

The Grape Harvest

It has been a funny old year so far. For us in the Amber Valley it has been an extraordinarily mixed growing season and we’re by no means unusual in that.  Speaking to winegrowing colleagues in Cornwall they too have experienced an unusual year.  I love this time of year; the season of worry, wondering and nail biting now behind us and seeing what nature gives you in the end.  At this point you shrug your shoulders and say ce la vie!  Read More

Know Your Grapes – Pinot Noir Precoce

Over the last couple millennia grape varieties have been crossed and changed to make all the modern grape varietals possible, but frühburgunder (/frūeh-bur-gūn-dur/) has remained unchanged for over 2000 years. It stands alone. 

Frühburgunder is the German name for the grape varietal called “pinot madeleine” in French and also sometimes “pinot noir précoce.” It is by far the oldest pinot and the others, such as pinot noir, pinot gris, and pinot blanc, share no ancestry with frühburgunder. 

It is a noble grape that is as rare as it is special, albeit is a favoured red grape in England due to it’s earlier ripening.

The German name frühburgunder literally means that it is a pinot that ripens earlier relative to other pinots. “Burgunder” is used in German to mean a pinot because pinots are grown with well-known success in Burgundy, France and the German word for early is “früh.” 

Frühburgunder ripens usually in mid to late September with medium öchsle measurements. 

That is a couple weeks before the grape varietal spätburgunder (/shpāt-bur-gūn-dur/) (pinot noir) which means the “late pinot.” Frühburgunder is typically an intensely colored medium tannin red wine with pronounced strawberry, over-ripe cherry, blackberry and red currant tones. 

As frühburgunder ages it typically develops licorice and plum tones and then sweet wood and nutty nougat later.

Know Your Grapes – Phoenix

Phoenix is a green-skinned grape used in the production of white wines and table grapes in England and Germany. The variety was bred for its disease-resistance in 1964, in Pfalz, Germany, from a crossing of Bacchus and Seyval Blanc. Interestingly, Phoenix is classified as a Vitis vinifera grape, despite the hybrid parentage of Seyval Blanc.

As a wine, Phoenix is quite aromatic, with Muscat-like qualities, elderflower and herbaceous notes. It has large, tightly packed bunches and is a productive variety that needs minimal human intervention.

Grape ‘Phoenix’ produces good sized grapes in densely packed bunches. When fully ripe, these grapes have a light Muscat aroma and an excellent flavour, making them ideal for 

With their large leaves and good autumn colour, these grape vines are also very attractive.