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Pinot Noir harvest ‘depressing’, says UK producer

Tony Hibbett manages the previously abandoned Clocktower Vineyard in Isleworth, London and says this year’s Pinot Noir harvest was “very depressing”, having lost 75 per cent of his crop to powdery mildew.

But while it was all doom and gloom for the producer, the quality of what survived was exceptionally good.

“Blending the Chardonnay with the golden Chasselas gave an excellent result, which bodes well for the future,” he told ukvine.com.

“I am getting 1.25 kilos per metre length of 100 per cent healthy grapes with excellent flavour.

“Although the sg of the juice is only 1060 (15 Brix) this is a big improvement on last year and probably as good as it gets.”

A large number of bunches were damaged by birds that got under the netting, but Hibbett says the overall yield was significantly higher than last year.

“In fact, the removal of these grapes may have improved the quality of the rest,” he says.

Clocktower Vineyard is only weeks away from completing harvest, with Riesling yet to be picked.

Hibbett says his biggest worry is now the large pile of summer prunings which has turned into a “mass breeder” for powdery mildew.

He told ukvine.com that in future, he will put the material into closed compost bins to dry out, prior to incineration.

AB Mauri



WID 2017