Oatley Vineyard, Cannington, Somerset. Vineyard parcels of 1.25 acres : Kernling upper block, Kernling lower block. Planted by hand 1987 by the Awty family and hand tended by them ever since.
Upper block double Guyot trained on 90 cm-high wire, vertical shoot positioned. Bottom block DG pruned on 160 cm single wires, hanging canes.
The vineyard is on well-drained, fertile red sandy loam, pH 6.5 over spring-bearing red mudstone, with a gentle, sheltered SE slope, 30m above sea level at the top.
Grown on sustainable, regenerative principles, no herbicides or insecticides. Sward allowed to grow up to seed every year then mulched in. Highly biodiverse environment has regenerated over 30years, which helps to keep a goodinsect balance and avoid any pests becoming abundant. 1 year vine canes mulched in after winter pruning, older wood dried and used to heat the farmhouse. Some fungicides applied as preventives early in the year, well below permitted levels, using integrated pest management principles to keep them to the minimum. Only farmyard manure, hay mulch and chipped hedge-trimmings from the estate are used as fertiliser. The vines are hand tended and picked, with minimal soil compaction.
Budburst was slightly late in 2018 after a wet winter and a cold, snowy spell in early spring, "The Beast from the East". No late spring frosts though, and then suddenly in early May the weather changed and we had record warm and sunny weather from May through September, with the occasional rainy few hours to swell the grapes. The yield was our highest ever from these blocks but even so the crop was exceptionally ripe and in perfect condition.
14th October 2018, cold, wet start on tail of a storm. Improved through the day but never really dried out. Picked by volunteers. More grapes than we'd realised - turned out to be our largest ever Kernling crop in 29 harvests, so we had a late finish and the volunteers' lunch was crowded in the farmhouse.
Good quality grapes, kept mostly dry. 127 tubs, about 4 tons, our biggest ever Kernling yield. Free run juice 83 Oe, 12g/l acid.
Winemaker: Steve Brooksbank, Bagborough Vineyards, Bagborough Lane, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 6SX. WSB reference no 70464.
Crushing/pressing 15 Oct 2018.
Wine not chaptalised or deacidified, natural alcohol 11.6%, vinified in stainless steel tanks. Minimum intervention winemaking, no de-acidification. Fermented out fully.
Filtered and bottled 13 Mar 2019: 3,100 bottles made: Autumn Leaf, 410g 75cl Burgundy bottles sealed with top quality traditional cork. Label FSC certified "Tintoretto" paper. Sold with no capsule over the cork. Winery bottling record 51/18.