Davenport Vineyards

Davenport Vineyards was started by Will Davenport in 1991, and today produce a number of organic wines from their 24 acres, using 9 Grape varieties.

2021 vintage report

We’re happy that we achieved 1.5 tonnes per acre in a year when most other organic vineyards picked nothing at all.

Our fizz 2021 will be pinot noir dominant which is my preferred style. This is mainly because the pinot noir that we would have used to make still red wines has been diverted into fizz as the acidity is too high for red.

This has been a tough year for vineyard managers in the UK (and abroad) with some frost risk in spring, several heavy rain events over the summer causing mildew and generally lower levels of sunshine.

At Davenport Vineyards, being organic certified, we have had to work harder than most to achieve a decent crop. We escaped the worst of the frost as our vineyards are naturally reasonably frost-free in all but the worst years. Up to June it was looking like we could have a good year with plenty of flowers in the vineyard and generally good vine health.

Pollination was not 100% effective, which resulted in smaller bunches than normal, with fewer berries forming on the bunches. However the rainfall was still to show it’s effect on the vines. Over May, June and July we recorded 57 days of rain with 12 days of heavy rain in July alone. This created the perfect conditions for downy mildew and, with no chemical solution allowed under organic regulations, we had to spend extra time ensuring the canopy management was perfect and any mildew was manually removed. The man hours spent in the vineyard over July and August and the experience of our team meant that the crop was kept clean.

In the end our yield was about 2/3rds of normal, largely due to the smaller bunch sizes this year. The fruit coming into the winery was clean and ripe, although not as ripe as we have become used to over the last 4 years. Harvest was about 3 weeks later than recent years. We will not be making some of the smaller volume wines this year as fruit quantities are limited (no Pet Nat and not much still red). Also our wines will be lighter and acidity levels a touch higher, but at the moment the flavours of the fermenting wines are very encouraging. I hope 2021 will make some delicious still aromatic wines in a lighter style. The sparkling wines, where acidity is a positive attribute, will be less affected by the quirks of the vintage.

In summary, I am very pleased that we have a good quality crop, disappointed that volumes are not better and hugely relieved that the hard work over the summer has paid off (and that the harvest is finished!).

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  • Davenport Vineyards Horsmonden Dry 2018 bottle shot English White Wine

    Davenport Vineyards Horsmonden Dry White 2020

    Aromatic hedgerow blossom, white peach, and gooseberry - very complex

    £15.99
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  • Davenport Limney Estate 2014 bottle shot English Sparkling Wine

    Davenport Vineyards Limney Estate 2016

    Exquisite balance of fruit and acid, ripe lemon and red apple flavours

    £26.99
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