The most exciting times yet
England has enjoyed perhaps its best vintage ever in 2018, which is rarely something which can be said in all sincerity! The long, hot summer made for excellent ripe fruit, and lots of it too. Bacchus is tasting particularly wonderful: it is a year to show just how delicious this grape can be.
The challenge, however, for English wineries is getting workers in the vineyards. Historically the industry has relied on excellent and skilled workers from Bulgaria and Romania but the 2018 harvest showed a distinct decline in their availability which is the major concern for the majority of growers that I have spoken to.
Down in Cornwall, Camel Valley have made wonderful wines in 2018 and their Bacchus is a prime example. Urban wineries are popping up in London and are bringing an alternative edge and injection of excitement into the industry. For the funkier side of English wine, check out Blackbook Winery’s ‘The Mixup’ 2018 and ‘Renegade’ Bacchus 2017, both of which are made using fruit sourced from countryside vineyards and then vinified, appropriately, under railway arches in Battersea and Bethnal Green respectively.
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