Shotley Vineyard

2021 vintage report

Our harvest this year started on 29th September (rondo for sparkling wine) and finished on 17th October. Our total yield was 29.5tonnes. Our yield estimate was 24t and this was based on bunch size. The cooler spring meant we had smaller bunches.

We didn’t have any issues with frost but mildew was an issue this year. I think we probably lost a tonne to powdery mildew. We spotted downy early and sprayed for it. We have areas of our vineyard which are powdery mildew ‘hotspots’ and this is where we got a bit this year. Later in the season botrytis as starting to come in. We moved some pick days forward because of this.

Labour was harder this year. Last year people had been furloughed so I didn’t have trouble finding people. Getting agency staff wasn’t an issue last year either. I used all locals this year but it took a lot of time and effort to find people and coordinate.

Lorries were harder to get hold of – I think because of a shortage of drivers.

I don’t know yet about chaptalisation but our sugars were not as high in the white varieties as in previous years. We are only talking a few oe though. Our Pinot noir was about the same as last year in terms of sugars and acids. I did notice that the acids were dropping quicker than I have seen in previous years. I had a conversation with Bolney and they had noticed this and said this is a year where you pick on acid.

I thought our phenolics were good. I’m not bringing out any new wines. We are increasing our production as we sold out of our still wine earlier than expected.

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