Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Last of the Summer wine

Here's a really interesting post about our climate and how difficult vine growers in Sussex find it to compete with the Champagne growers in France. The oceanic source of our warm (relatively) Winters is also the cause of our lack-lustre Springs and Summers. We only reach parity in terms of average daily temperature with Reims around September which of course is very late in the vine's growing cycle and too late if the Summer has been bad, which it often is in the UK.

Fortunately help may be at hand from science; a type of polymer mesh screen called "cosy tex" can be erected around the vines that helps to radiate heat back onto them raising the average temperature by a few degrees which may just be enough to almost match the flowering-ripening cycle of the French grapes.

English wine, particularly sparkling wine has come on leaps and bounds in the last 10 years and there are some excellent producers out there creating wines of real character and interest. With innovation like this we may even see English sparkling wine surpassing the appeal of French Champagne; as long as the growers can keep the quality high and retain a decent price differential then I'm sure people here will naturally gravitate to home grown products.


Chairman Bill said...

Ah, but pollenating might be an issue?

Steve Borthwick said...

CB, that's a very good point! Maybe they leave the ends open for insects to enter and exit?

To bee or not to bee that is the question!

Archdruid Eileen said...

Now all the beez are ded, does it really matter about the pollintors?