Crush Weekend – Bristol’s first wine festival of the 21st century – gave us the opportunity to venture into the world of tours and tastings and to launch our first bottles of wine into the world. Over the sunny May bank holiday, we welcomed 50 people to the vineyard to hear about the principles of biodynamic agriculture, how we manage the vineyard in a natural way, and the making of our first biodynamic wine – a Pétillant Naturel Rosé.
The cold spring had delayed bud-burst this year, so the vines were not as far advanced as usual, but the incredible temperatures doubled the number of leaves over the weekend. After a hard winter pruning, the vines were visibly bursting with energy in the beautiful sunshine. Even in the heat, however, everyone made it to the top of the hill to enjoy the lake views and the breeze from the estuary.
The tour ended with a tasting glass of our sparkling wine accompanied by a slice of nettle and honey cake, inspired by the biodynamic nettle preparation we use to feed the vines – surely a food-pairing first. The Pet Nat (Pétillant Naturel – meaning naturally sparkling) was made following the ‘ancient method’ using a single fermentation that finishes in the bottle, rather than the double fermentation ‘Champagne method’. The wine was fermented using only the natural yeast from the grape skins and had no added sugar, resulting in a 10% alcohol, bone-dry but fruity fizz which was perfect for a celebratory summer’s afternoon.
Among the toasts was one for bride-to-be Rachel on her hen-day out with family and friends – our best wishes go to Rachel for her wedding in June!
Due to the experimental nature of this year’s wine, we do not have any bottles available for sale, but there will another chance to taste our Pet Nat at a wine tasting event at The Forge in Bristol on June 3rd – details and booking here .
We offer our sincere thanks to everyone who came to join us and share such a memorable and meaningful event. We hope you can all come back again next year to taste what this year’s harvest brings!
Robin and Georgina