June Update | 2020

Posted by Chapel Down on

Phew what a scorcher! You know what you need to enjoy the sunshine even more? Something chilled, refreshing, delicious and different. So along with an update from our Viticulturalist, Winemaker and Brewer on what magic they are weaving, there’s some great offers to help sate that thirst! Please help to spread the word and share your discovery – every bottle of wine you buy from us helps us to make more people surprised and delighted, and makes England a more desirable place in these downbeat times. Let’s face it, more vineyards, more beauty, more tourism and more pride in what we make can’t be bad. And at least you can now share a bottle with someone else!

Vineyard Update

The vineyards are basking in the sun as I write this with most of the vines in the process of opening their delicate flowers and pollinating the part that will eventually become a grape. A really successful flowering, and therefore a fulsome crop, requires lots of warm sunshine and dry weather. Bingo! Flowering is the single, most important stage in the vine year that can determine the size of our harvest so all eyes are on the weather forecast at this time of year.

The unusually dry weather we had throughout April and May certainly hasn’t slowed the vines down. They have thrived in the sunny weather. The vine roots are several feet deep so are still drawing up moisture from the rains that kept us all indoors earlier this year. It’s the surface plants that have slowed down – grass and weeds – so keeping these under control this year has been made easier by the dry conditions. However, the occasional downpour is welcome as the vines, like us, like a refreshing drink from time to time!

We are all keeping our fingers crossed that the fine weather continues and that 2020 has some good news in it somewhere, especially if it’s in the vineyards in a small corner of England.

Richard Lewis, Head of Viticulture

Winemaking Heading

It’s a glorious summer and we’re really busy here at the winery especially in the last couple of weeks. The winery team has been working hard to ensure we are producing the best quality wines for you all to enjoy, while we keep up with the stream of orders coming in from retailers and consumers.

We’ve completed the blending of our Chapel Down Brut NV from the 2019 harvest and have been stabilising and filtering this wine before bottling which will take place in July. It’ll then age on lees for an average of 18 months.

We’ve also been occupied with barrels recently and have emptied our Kit’s Coty Chardonnay, Bacchus and Coeur de Cuvée. These wines are all tasting great in their own ways and will now be prepared for bottling in July and August. They are very exciting wines.

The disgorging team has also been very busy having disgorged the first of our Blanc de Blancs 2015 in addition to keeping up with the demand for our other sparkling wines. Now that the British summer-time is here and we’ve been experiencing some glorious weather recently, it really is the perfect time to indulge in our award-winning English wines. Even more so, given that this week is English Wine Week. I’ve been enjoying a glass of our delicious Kit’s Coty Bacchus 2017, with its guava, melon and peach aromas to honour the occasion!

Josh Donaghay-Spire, Head Winemaker

At the winery

For those of you planning your summer days out, why not pop down and visit us at the winery in Tenterden? Our shop is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00am-5.00pm and we have plenty of free parking available. Whilst we aren’t able to offer guided tours or experiences yet, our vineyards are still open to the public and we have some fantastic vineyard walks for you to enjoy.

We’re delighted that you can now put together your very own picnic to enjoy amongst the beautiful Kent countryside. In the shop you’ll find a range of treats to choose from such as locally sourced charcuterie from our friends at Moons Green in Wittersham as well as sausage rolls, scotch eggs, scones and jam from Naked & Ready, based in Frant and of course local ice cream and sorbets too.

Look out for the new website and do keep in touch. Send us your news, your photos, your stories, your jokes or your videos. And we’ll send you ours…

Frazer Thompson

CEO