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Nyetimber first English producer to halt 2012 harvest

Published:  10 October, 2012

Nyetimber is the first English producer to announce the decision to skip this year's harvest on the back of the summer's bad weather, due the sub-standard quality of grapes and lack of volume.

The company said while this was a difficult decision to make, there is no question that it is the right one as the drive for perfection and quality is key to its business model.

Cherie Spriggs, Nyetimber winemaker, said: "The decision to not make wine from 2012 is a difficult one, not just for me but for our whole team. However, we all know that maintaining quality is paramount. My first obligation as the winemaker is to ensure the quality of Nyetimber's wines, and we have collectively come to the decision that the grapes from 2012 cannot deliver the standards we have achieved in the past and will again in the future."

Julia Trustram Eve, marketing manager English Wine Producers, said it's too early to tell whether other vineyards may follow suit. She added: "Those larger producers are still picking, albeit behind by about a week.  Quality of those grapes is good and too early to say how much of a drop - in some cases too early to tell as they are still picking or yet to pick."

Earlier in the week Bob Lindo, owner of Camel Valley Wines called the 2012 vintage the "disappearing vintage". While he reported the quality to be good, he said he was 30% down on average. Larry Warr, owner of Henners vineyards in East Sussex, also expects to be around 30% down.


Simon Bladon, owner of Jenkyn Place said: " "Dermot [Sugrue] and I brought in the first of our Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier at the beginning of last week with a potential alcohol level of 9.5% which is very encouraging. Harvest will, of course, be later than usual and we aim to pick the Pinots at the end of next week. The Chardonnay needs more time to ripen but the grapes themselves are clean, even and disease-free and the canopies look very healthy.



He added: "There is no doubt that our crop will be smaller this year - possibly by around 30-40% - but with selective picking and very careful pressing in the winery, we can ensure that we only use the best juice. There will be absolutely no compromise on quality. This is of the utmost importance to us but we are confident that we will be able to produce some great wine again this year."