So how good has the 2018 harvest really been for English Wine producers.
For those that don’t know about Fox & Fox, they are a premium sparkling wine producer located in the glorious Mayfield East Sussex region. A husband and wife venture making premium quality, exciting and award winning English Sparkling Wines. What we personally love about Fox and Fox is their ambitious nature to not only make fantastic wine but to do it with a difference.
Like their Inspiration Brut Blanc de Blanc. The 2013 vintage was the first ever varietal Pinot Gris sparkling wine produced and released in the UK. It has won Gold & Silvers from the UK Wine Awards, IEWA & Drinks Business Global Sparkling Masters in 2017.
The palate doesn’t let you down either. It’s complex tones bursting with gooseberry, peach and green plum is all kept alive with a nice minerality and crisp acidity. The long slightly honied finish just rounds this wine off perfectly and keeps you wanting more. Truly sensational.
We caught up with Jonica Fox from Fox & Fox vineyards to get their insight into the 2018 harvest.
The words below are from Jonica, enjoy her story.
Optimists are saying it’s the mark of wonderful summers to come, the more cynical are already referring to it as a once in a lifetime result. Either way this year the grapes are breaking records with best-ever sugar levels and a cornucopia of quality and quantity. The gods have been smiling. Harvest reports, both anecdotal and published, suggest that everyone has reaped the benefit of warmer days and cloudless skies. Harvest tonnages are up, grapes are deliciously ripe, in short: 2018 has been a remarkable year. A good harvest takes some getting to, even with the weather so helpfully on our side. This year has had its moments: with winter cold (think back to the bitter days of the Beast and the mini-Beast) and early summer drought broken by a cold, grey, wet August that stretched the nerves but got our vines growing again. The glorious sunshine of May, June, July and the warm finish in September have carried us on a tidal wave of GDD’s* to an earliest-ever harvest. We started picking on September 22nd and finished on October 5th
Jonica’s story continued…
Grapes don’t just grow themselves, they take care and commitment.
January delivered the coldest temperatures we have recorded, down to -11.7 °C followed by a few very sharp days in March and that meant some winter cold injury to delicate Pinot noir buds that were already formed in the vine’s woody canes. The other vines escaped either because they were in parcels with less shelter or on steeper slopes with more air movement which moved marginally warmer air over them or because, they are a variety that is slower into growth in the spring. In early March we were talking about the cold start to the year and wondering what lay ahead. In April we were worrying about planting our new vines, the ground was too wet and the planting team delayed elsewhere in England stuck in the mud with other new vineyards and their wet-beyond-capacity fields. We were all bogged down. Oh!… and then came Summer. Warm, sunshine packed days, cloudless skies, rain and cold a distant memory. And Summer stayed. May, June, July. Over 90 days non-stop. Wall to wall sunshine.