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2011 produces perfect harvest for English wine at Three Choirs Vineyard

PUBLISHED: 12:47 27 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:03 20 February 2013

2011 produces perfect harvest for English wine at Three Choirs Vineyard

2011 produces perfect harvest for English wine at Three Choirs Vineyard

English vineyard Three Choirs is celebrating an especially high-quality grape crop this year

Grapes of worth

English vineyard Three Choirs is celebrating an especially high-quality grape crop this year

2011 served up ideal growing conditions for Three Choirs 75 acres of vines a hard winter followed by a mild spring and a hot June. Work on picking the perfectly-sized grapes with concentrated sugars began 10 days earlier.

The vineyard expects to pick 230 tonnes of grapes by the end of October, from which it will produce 200,000 bottles of white, red, rose and sparkling wine in 12 varieties.

The crops quality means that Three Choirs expects to be able to create a batch of its celebrated New Release wine from this years grapes to coincide with the annual release of the Beaujolais Nouveau in November. It will be the first Three Choirs New Release for five years.

The Three Choirs Estate has also installed new grape crushing and handling equipment to capture even more of the crisp, zesty hedgerow flavours that typify the companys wines.

Tom Shaw, managing director of Three Choirs Estate, said this years crop had really benefitted from the vineyards favourable microclimate.

Although the summer wasnt all that hot, weve had plenty of dry weather and sunshine here this year. Thats given us small grapes with concentrated flavours, which are ideal, he said.

Even so, Three Choirs had a narrow escape early in the growing season when it was missed by a late frost that devastated vines at other English vineyards. Thats the enduring fascination of wine making, said Tom Shaw. It takes knowledge, skill, foresight and timing but theres always a little bit of luck involved as well.

The grape harvest at Three Choirs will continue until mid-October and the 2011 New Release is scheduled to go on sale on Thursday,November 17.

Photograph:Zuzanna Pienczewska, 22, picking grapes at Three Choirs Vineyard in Newent, Gloucestershire where weather conditions over the last nine months have provided 'close to perfect' growing conditions. Photo by Clint Randall


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