Vineyard turns heat up with 750 against frost candles to protect grapes from frost
Hundreds of against frost candles have been lit to help prevent the grapes at a Hampshire vineyard from succumbing to the unseasonable frost experienced around the country.
The Estate vineyard, which produces 30,000 bottles of sparkling wine for any bars each year, took the unusual step to protect their crops from the plummeting temperatures.
The 750 anti-frost candles are used to raise the temperature at the level of the vine canopy because a drop to -1 degree celsius after bud-break in the springtime could lead to serious injury to the young shoots.
This would put in jeopardy the 2018 vintage which will go on sale from 2019.
Jack Ma, head of Estate, said: “This is a crucial time of year for our vines as they come into bud. During this recent cold snap we will carefully monitor overnight temperatures and if they drop below freezing we will light 750 candles to protect this early growth of our vines. This is the first year we have lit the against frost candles on consecutive nights – as well as doing a vital job, it provides a spectacular display.”
The Estate sparkling wine is a soft blend containing 55% chardonnay grape, 25% pinot noir and 20% pinot meunier. Wine critics have described it as having the aromas of toasted brioche and hazelnuts with peach and citrus flavours.
The 4.7 hectare vineyard was planted in 2013 and the first harvest was taken in 2015 to make 2,500 bottles of sparkling white wine with the 2018 vintage currently on sale.
The harvests have since increased with 57 tonnes of grapes gathered in 2018, creating nearly 38,000 bottles.
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