Grape variety: Kernling (100%)
Quality status: English Wine - Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) (Ref: STPDO 20352)
Grape source: Oatley Vineyard, Cannington, Somerset. Kernling upper block, vines planted 1986, cane-pruned on 90cm-high wires, vertical-shoot-positioned. and Kernling lower block, also planted 1986, cane-pruned on 150 cm wires, hanging canes.
Grown on sustainable principles, no herbicides or insecticides, only our own farmyard manure or hay mulch fertiliser, highly biodiverse environment, hand tended and picked, with minimal soil compaction, minimum intervention winemaking.
2017 was our earliest vintage ever (until 2018) thanks to a very early spring. We were lucky to avoid the damaging spring frost that afflicted many vineyards.
Despite an unremarkable summer and autumn, average temperatures for the growing season remained high, giving a harvest for our early grape, Madeleine Angevine a week earlier than usual on September 17th.
We hung on for the late-ripening Kernling until 22 October,for maximum ripeness. In the last week, with the grapes ripe and soft, there were two big storms, Ophelia and Brian. The grapes started to look fragile. Had we blown it by waiting too long? But actually the chilly breezy showers and sunny spells blew away the botrytis starting down in the bottom block. And the grapes were fine. Very handsome, in fact. Sugars still rising over that last week.