This wine was produced using the same methods as the world’s greatest sweet wines from Sauternes and Tokaji through the use of ‘nobly rotten’ grapes (‘botrytis cinerea’). The autumn ripening conditions of 2014 had the rare combination of morning mists and sunny days in the vineyard that allowed our Ortega grapes to reach high sugar levels and develop noble rot. This fungus grows on the grapes in the damp mornings and the sunny afternoons encourage evaporation of the grape’s juices so concentrating its constituents. The grapes were then carefully hand selected, picked and gently pressed to extract the rich, sweet concentrated juice. Unfortunately, we only managed one pass of grape picking before the weather turned against us and we lost the rest of the crop. However, it’s such a treat to be able to produce this kind of wine in England, even if very occasionally, we think it worthwhile!
The fermentation was then stopped early to retain residual sugar of approximately 50g/L (this is the sugar that is left in the wine after the yeasts have stopped fermenting). Our dry wines by comparison are mainly fermented to dryness or below 6g/L residual sugar. Legally, ‘dry’ wines can have up to 9g/L and ‘sweet’ wines must have over 45g/L of residual sugar. Sauternes will generally have over 100g/L of residual sugar.
Grape variety: 100% Ortega
Total Acidity: 6.0 g/l
Residual Sugar: 50.7 g/l