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Botrytis - not Noble in the UK

The recent damp weather has resulted in Botrytis on some of the fruit. It's not too bad at the moment, and is mainly restricted to the Seyval, but the later we leave picking the more it will spread. As a rough rule of thumb the level of infection normally doubles every week.

Botrytis, or bunch rotas it is know in viticulture, is a fungus that attacks the fruit as it begins to ripen. It thrives in...

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Biodynamic Wine and Pied de Cuve

Earlier today we prepared a Pied de Cuve, which is maybe the first time it has ever been made in the UK.

The purpose of a Pied de Cuve is to cultivate the yeasts on the skins of the grapes, so that these naturally occurring yeasts can be used to ferment the wine, rather than a commercial yeast that would normally be added in the winery. Yeasts have their own flavour characteristics and by using...

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Sulphites in Wine

Sulphur Dioxide in wine has been the subject of much debate in recent years, with many consumers arguing that it contributes to hangovers as well as numerous other health problems, including breathing difficulties for asthmatics, sneezing and swelling of the throat.

All wines contain sulphur dioxide in various forms. Even if it isn't added as part of the wine making process, wine will naturally...

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Our first taste of Albury Estate sparkling

Together with winemaker John Worontschak, and Stephen Skelton MW, I excitedly tasted the very first bottle of Albury Estate sparkling wine earlier today, a NV blend of wines from the 2011 and 2012 vintages.

It was only bottled earlier this year and has therefore just been through secondary fermentation to give it it's fizz. It will continue to rest on the yeast in the bottle (known as sur latte)...

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Veraison and the Harvest

We are probably still 5 weeks away from the harvest as veraison is late this year. It started week beginning 26th August with the Seyval, week commencing 2nd September for the Pinot Meunier with the Pinot Noir a week later. Last week the Chardonnay were still pretty green.

Grapes have two distinct growth phases. The first phase is when the cells divide and expand and the grapes begin to swell and...

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A Biodynamic quartz tonic for the vineyard

Alex dynamising 501

We were up very early today preparing biodynamic preparation 501 to spray on the vineyard.

Biodynamics is based on organic practices but also uses natural energy forces (like those generated by the moon), medicinal plants (such as yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle and dandelion), as well as mineral and natural cow manure composts. This strengthens the vines and produces...

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Leaf Removal

Leaf Removal using a Collard machine
Around this time of year it is important to remove some of the foliage around the forming bunches of grapes. This opens up the canopy which improves airflow and reduces the risk of disease. It also allows the grapes to be exposed to more sunlight which improves flavour characteristics. Those of you interested in more detail should read Dr Richard Smart's...

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35.8C on the Vineyard!

A Sunny Albury Organic Vineyard in the Surrey Hills

The temperature on the vineyard reached 35.8C yesterday at around 2.00pm as we completed the wire lifting on Block B. We were wilting but the vines are very happy with flowering, and now fruit set, throughout the vineyard.

Now that I'm a farmer I find that I'm generally always complaining about the weather, but the current sunny warm spell couldn't...

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Flowering and Fruit set

The beginning of flowering (Seyval)

Flowering has at last started on the vineyard, with most of the Chardonnay and Seyval showing around 25% flowers. The Pinots are a bit behind but with the current warm weather we hope that most of the vineyard will be in full flower the end of the weekend. The vines are several weeks behind their normal growth cycle because of the cold weather earlier in the...

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Silent Pool Rosé and the Albury Wine Club

Our Silent Pool Rosé 2012 was released for sale last Saturday 1stJune 2013. Stockist include:

Kingfisher Farm Shop, Abinger Hammer       Sold Out already!     

Taurus Wines, Bramley                              Sold Out already!                   

The Guildford Wine Company, Shalford

The Vineyard, Dorking

Vintage Roots www.vintageroots.co.uk

Albury Wine Club

Nick Wenman, Alex Valsecchi and Stephen...

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Our first Bubbly is Bottled

John Worontschak of Litmus Wines and Marcus Sharp
 supervise the bottling of our first bubbly

Earlier this week I watched our first sparkling wine being bottled.

Since we planted our vines in 2009 and 2010, the weather has been against us and harvests have been extremely difficult. Non the less we have produced some excellent base wine which will hopefully result in a first class English bubbly.


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Silent Pool Rosé 2012 to be released on 1st June

Silent Pool Rosé 2012 will be released for sale on the 1st June 2013, the beginning of English Wine Week.  It is one of the first English certified Organic wines and will be available at the following outlets:

Retail outlets
Alnwick Castle Gift Shop, Alnwick

The Guildford Wine Company, Shalford
Kingfisher's Farm Shop, Abinger Hammer
Secretts Farm Shop, Milford
Taurus Wines, Bramley
The Vineyard, Dorking

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