From our kitchen, at our house just up above the vineyard, we watch the sunset displayed brilliantly against the Malvern Hills. In high summer, the sun can be found setting off to the right of them, yet as the days get shorter the point of dusk swings to the left. It is past the first peak of the Malvern’s that my father, Mark, affectionately calls ‘The Nook’. When the sunset passes here it is the beginning of the end. ‘Only a month left to dig holes, Charlie,’ he says, ‘After that its too dark and wet.’ And so it is with regret I inform you that, since the start of September, we have indeed pased the nook, so if you have holes left to dig it’s now or never!
Still, whilst winter may be coming, the vineyard has been a flurry of activity. Leaf stripping, grape picking, awards and more, this September has been a flurry of activity. The most important think of any vineyard though is the vines, and to that I have this monthly report from Mark.
'After a rather dreary August the Vineyards have enjoyed a more normal September. The grapes were lacking sun during August which is crucial for both ripening, sugar increase and flavour development. To help them ripen we implemented some intense leaf stripping allowing the grapes to get as much of the last bit of sunlight before winter comes.
The relatively dry conditions have allowed us to harvest 80% of our grapes in good conditions and although yields are low this year the sugar content and acidity have been very good for Reichensteiner, Bacchus and Seyval Blanc. We are now waiting for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to ripen. The Chardonnay is looking really good, my only worry is keeping it clear of Botrytis if the weather turns cold and wet. We will split the chardonnay and harvest some with a higher acidity to go into our Sparkling wine and then hope that a week or so later the rest will be ripe enough to join the Pinot Noir in a Rose still wine.
The bunches never really recovered from the excessive heat and drought in May which coincided with flowering, all varieties are rather small bunched with lots of small grapes yielding less juice than usual, only the Bacchus and the Chardonnay have shown more typical development.
Now the growing season is closing we will be turning our focus to sales, with the current demise of the Deer Park weddings we have much more wine in the cellar than we anticipated however our recent success of 2 bronze awards in Decanter World Wines Awards 2020 is fantastic!
Remember that smelling and tasting wine is a good test for Covid 19!!'
Yes, we are delighted to announce that both our Bacchus 2018 and Rose 2018 won Bronze level awards at the Decanter World wine awards, with our Special Reserve 2018 coming in hot behind with a commended. These where our first submissions to any competition so naturally we applied to one of, if not the, largest most competitive wine awards in the world, so, in the words of many of our friends reluctant at English wines ‘it’s actually pretty good!’.
If you want to secure yourself a case or two of the award-winning wines, or any of our stock, then contact us at deer park wines. We currently only offer pick up orders, but will hopefully be able to offer delivery soon, so if you want to pre-order some boxes for the day that comes, let us know.