- Published on Monday, 08 October 2012 15:06
- Written by Carol Emmas
According to an English winemaker, 2012 could be the "disappearing vintage", as yields are down by as much as 30% compared with previous years.
Bob Lindo, owner of Camel Valley Wines, said the vintage is around 30% down this year in average quantity, however the quality is up there with the best vintages of the past few years.
"Since May, when some vineyards were partially frosted, there has been a diminution at flowering and a shrivelling of those berries ahead of the ripening curve due to the prolonged flowering period."
He added: "However, there has been no need to apply for extra chaptalisation, because the grapes are surprisingly ripe and the quality of the juice so far is excellent."
Lindo predicts further exacerbation of the shortage of English wines in the short to medium term, with demand outstripping supply.
Larry Warr, owner of Henners vineyards in East Sussex, is also around 30% down on average yields. "It's not been an amazing year for quantity. We are currently two weeks behind picking, but we'll start harvesting Pinot Noir this week and are hoping for some late sun for the later-ripening Chardonnay, but we're very pleased with the quality so far," he said.
Julia Trustram Eve reassured buyers there were plenty of 2009 and 2010 sparkling wines yet to hit the market. She said it is still wines that will "take the knock" in the 2012 vintage because of the poor weather reducing crops and the high acidity of the grapes, which are more suited to sparkling wines. She added overall harvesting is currently seven to 10 days behind last year.