Davenport Vineyards - Spring Newsletter / May 2002

Will Davenport continues to send us news about activity at the vineyard
and we hope you will find the goings-on of interest.

Winery expansion planned for 2002 harvest
Planning permission has been granted for a new winery building at Davenport Vineyards. The new building will almost double the size of the existing winery, enabling Will Davenport to devote more time to making top quality sparkling wines. Plans include a new insulated bottle store, designed to hold over 100,000 bottles of wine at the correct temperature. Equipment will include a new disgorging line, capable of handling 2000 bottles per day. As more vineyards are wanting to produce their own sparkling wines, there is a great demand for someone with the expertise and facilities to bottle and disgorge these wines to a high standard. Davenport's own vineyard at Rotherfield is also starting to produce larger crops, and as the wine moves towards the classic "Champagne" style, based on Pinot Noir, it will require storing for periods in excess of 2 years.

2001 wines
The 2001 vintage is another year where the best grape growers have produced good wine, whereas less diligent growers have had problems ripening their crop to full flavours. The wines in tank show good flavours, plenty of fruit and higher alcohol levels. The soft acidities will make them easy to appreciate while still young. We will be producing a Horsmonden dry white, A Limney sparkling wine, a Limney Fume and a red Pinot Noir. No single variety white wine has been selected from the Horsmonden vineyard this year, prefering to use our Bacchus to improve the balance of flavours in the Horsmonden dry white wine. These wines are all officially "in Soil Association approved conversion to organic". This means that we have completed our first year in certified organic management. Bottling will take place over May and June, after which some of the wines will be available only through our website.

New 2001 Pinot Noir
One of the most exciting wines to come out of the 2001 vintage is a small parcel of Pinot Noir. This was made from a selection of grapes grown at our Rotherfield site. The wine shows the typical varietal character with no wood ageing, good colour, soft balance. It should be able to age in your cellar for 2 or three years. This wine is due to be released in July and is expected to sell out in a few months.

A start to 2002
After another wet winter, we have had almost no rain at all in April. A slight frost checked the early bud burst, just holding them back without causing damage. The vineyard is looking in good shape, with pruning finished on time, storm-damaged trellising repaired, grass mowed, and compost spread over the surface - no last minute panic for us this year!We have invested in a new machine to remove weeds under the vines, leaving a bare earth strip (no weedkillers used). This machine is the latest technology, a result of seven year's research by French manufacturer Pellenc. It will help to reduce mildew risk, and prevent the weeds from competing for water and nutrients.

A full harvest report can be viewed on our website at: www.davenportvineyards.co.uk

Davenport Vineyards
Limney Farm, Castle Hill, Rotherfield, East Sussex. TN6 3RR
United Kingdom
e mail: will@davenportvineyards.co.uk

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