In The Vineyard

As the end of one decade passes the start of a new one brings exciting plans here at Hencote – where everything starts in the vineyard.

The weather in January has been unforgiving at times and our vineyard team has battled the elements as they go through the pre-pruning phase.

Pre-pruning

This process involves trimming the vines back to the arms which will eventually bear the fruit. It’s a tough job, especially when the weather is unfavourable. Lately, we’ve had lots of rain and on occasion strong winds which whip across the vineyard.

Once the pruning is done the tying down begins and this is all done by hand to each one of the 24,000 vines on the estate.

Elsewhere, Gavin, our winemaker will be making the most of the organic waste or ‘grape marc’ as it’s called, from the vineyard and the winery and turning it into compost.

This is then regenerated back into the vineyard come the autumn which helps with the carbon content of the soil and microbial growth. Using the ‘grape marc’ in this way means everything goes full circle and there is no wastage.

The winery

In the winery itself, a close eye is kept on the Amphoras which house our 2019 Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and the Pinot Meunier for the sparkling rose – we cannot wait to launch all these in 2020.

Looking ahead to February we will also be disgorging the next vintage of our Evolution sparkling wine. The disgorging process involves removing the sediment from the wine after fermentation.

So despite the quiet lull around Shropshire after Christmas and New Year things are very busy in the winery and vineyard and with lots to look forward to in the coming months.

The View overlooking The Wrekin

The Amphoras keeping warm inside the winery

The winery tanks

Hencote Estate sparkling Evolution wine is award winning

We are delighted to announce that our Evolution Sparkling wine was recently a bronze medal winner at the International Wine Challenge.

The challenge which is in its 36th year is accepted as one of the most popular wine competitions. IWC judges assess every wine in a blind tasting which means judges are not able to see the wine label or where it has been produced.

 

Each medal-winning wine is tasted on at least three separate occasions by a minimum of 12 different judges including Masters of Wine.

The Evolution was described by Panel Chair Clem Yates as “bright, fresh, with a good balance between acidity and sweetness. Apple and lemon flavours.”

The wine has not been made in the conventional process like Champagne, Prosecco or Cava but has borrowed methods in order to present a wine that is representative to all three styles.

We also wanted to stay close to the local heritage of Shropshire and the birthplace of Charles Darwin – hence the name Evolution.

Next week we start the “triage” of our 2019 Evolution where we will stick to the preferred approach of simplicity by bottling early and maturing for only four months.

This means we capture the early fragrances of the season and anticipate the popularity of this sparkling wine to continue growing while presenting this style as our house offering.

To celebrate this achievement we have a great special offer. On Thursday 5th December you can join us for a wine tour and lunch. Here you’ll be able to view us bottling our 2019 Evolution vintage followed by a three-course meal and glass of sparkling wine at the View all for £35pp.

You can book your table here or call 01743 298 444 – we look forward to seeing you.

End of the harvest

As the estate basks in the early morning autumn sunshine our dedicated vineyard and winery team pick the final few grapes of the harvest.

It’s been a season full of challenges, often dictated by mother nature. But through a late spring frost, inclement summer and reduced daylight we have been able to harvest an abundance of high-quality grapes which are vintage focussed and that will play an integral part in producing the very best Hencote Estate wines.

 

Harvesting is a busy time of the year for all concerned and we are extremely grateful for the support we received from our volunteer pickers. They braved the elements to select only the finest grapes, sorting them by hand in our winery to eventually moving them onto pressing and maturation.

We began harvesting on October 4th, two weeks later than our 2018 vintage and also ended two weeks later. The fruit has benefited from an extended period of hangtime on the vines enabling us to optimise their maturity that has led to the production of healthy grapes.

The climate always plays a part and despite the challenges faced we are very pleased with the purity and elegance of the fruit supported by a fine acid structure. Now we get ready for the winter months and work doesn’t stop just because the harvest has ended.

We are already planning for 2020 where we will have several new wine launches which we are very excited about and cannot wait to share with our guests and diners.

Wine Festival Offers

Our Annual Grape Harvest Has Begun!

During our ‘October Grape Harvest Festival’ we our celebrating everything to do with the vine and sharing our passions with our customers.

See a few of our tasty wine and dine offers below:

The View Bar Tasting Experience Returns! 
Sample each of our wines, with tasting notes from our sommelier Sahara:

Blended ‘Lifestyle Wine’ Tasting: 
Taster of each of our three ‘Lifestyle Blends’ 2017:
White, Rose, Red. £5 per person.

Hencote ‘Estate Wine’ Tasting. 
Our own ‘Hencote Estate’ harvested wines 2018:
White ‘Solaris’. Rose + Glass of ‘Evolution’ Sparkling Wine.
£10 per person. Including a 125ml glass of ‘Evolution Sparkling’ to enjoy whilst you peruse our menus.

Dine & Save:
Enjoy one of our pre-dinner tastings and order any of our ‘Lifestyle’ or ‘Hencote Estate Wines’ with your meal and save £5 Off your first bottle.

The Cellar Shop: Case Deals.
When you dine, you can take home a Mixed case of 3 wines, and receive £10 off the total price!
OR Mixed case of 6 wines receive £20 off the total price.

Simply ask for us to prepare your wines when dining, and we can add to your bill, with your exclusive discounts. Not in conjunction with any other offers or membership discounts.

Book, dine, wine & save here

Terms: ‘Tasting’ samples in tasting glass measures approx 100-125ml. Offers valid on any dining during October 2019 subject to availability.

WINERY TOURS: Available throughout our harvesting season. Tour pre-booking details here

Summer is nearly upon us here at Hencote

Well, I must say this week’s sunny weather has been delightful. So lovely, that lots of gardening and land management have taken place to ensure everything looks beautiful and is growing well.