You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Thursday 2 July 2015

Nyetimber to release single vineyard sparkler

9th January, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

English sparkling wine estate Nyetimber in West Sussex is to release a single vineyard wine this year, modelled on the “clos” concept in Champagne.

Nyetimber's winemaker Cherie Sprigs

Nyetimber’s winemaker Cherie Sprigs

Due for release in September, the inaugural 2009 vintage is a blend of 79% Pinot Noir and 21% Chardonnay from the estate’s 37.3-hectare Netherland vineyard.

Having toyed with the name The Netherland, as a tribute to Dutch owner Eric Heerema, winemaker Cherie Spirggs decided to call the wine Tillington, after the village where the vineyard is located, as the name had more of an English feel.

The decision to make the single vineyard sparkler came after Spriggs was blown away by the quality of the Pinot Noir grapes from the Netherland vineyard.

“I remember going around and picking some of the Pinot grapes from the vine and they stood out as being absolutely glorious,” Spriggs told the drinks business.

“The fruit there was so good that I wanted to do something with it in isolation as a real expression of place.

“We don’t make a blanc de noirs, so I liked the idea of a Pinot-dominant sparkler, but the 21% Chardonnay adds lovely freshness, elegance and acidity,” she added.

The estate hasn’t decided the final price, but it will be Nyetimber’s most expensive wine to date, though Spriggs is wary of the “prestige cuvée” tag.

“We wanted to do something in the clos model that really gives an expression of a place, and I think we’ve achieved that. It’s such a powerful wine,” she revealed.

Sales of Nyetimber demi-sec are strong

Sales of Nyetimber Demi-Sec are strong

Meanwhile, sales are strong of Nyetimber Demi-Sec – the first of its kind in England, which was released last September due to demand.

“I originally made the demi-sec purely for wine dinners to have a the right wine to pair with dessert as the brut style really doesn’t work with sweet desserts,” Sprigg told db.

“I got so many requests for it that I decided to release a few thousand bottles.

“Sales are good – Pollen Street Social has just taken it on. I think it would work really well at weddings as the wine to toast with the wedding cake,” she added.

Spriggs remains tight-lipped as to whether she’ll release more onto the market this year, but says it is “probable”, though admits there is still a stigma surrounding the semi-sweet style in the UK.

“Brits aren’t ashamed to admit they have a sweet tooth when it comes to food, but when it comes to wine it’s perceived as uneducated to like sweet fizz.

“There’s a snobbery about demi-sec in the UK, which I hate, as if sugar means the wine must be bad, which is nonsense,” she said

Regarding her controversial decision not to make any wine this year due to unfavourable weather conditions, Spriggs says the reaction has been mixed.

“We’ve had a lot of positive support, but there has been some disgruntlement from a few winemakers. It was a difficult decision to make and others chose to make different decisions.

“I’m so glad I did it because it shows how serious we are about the brand. How much the decision would cost didn’t come into our thought process, because to have made wine this year would have been far more costly to our reputation.

Latest release: Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2007

Latest release: Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2007

“There was no way I could have made sparkling wine this year – we were a month behind in terms of ripening and I would have been left with flavourless juice.

“Fortunately, both 2009 and 2010 were abundant years for us so we’ve got plenty of stock,” she told db.

Despite a number of requests to buy the rejected grapes, Spriggs didn’t sell a single grape.

“I didn’t want to sell them – it wouldn’t be good for the industry because it would mean that bad English sparking wine would be on the market,” she said.

Nyetimber is in a unique position in England as it is the only producer to not buy in any grapes from other growers.

So far, only Stopham Vineyard in West Sussex has followed Spriggs’ lead and gone public about not making any wine in 2012.

Nyetimber released its Blanc de Blancs 2007 this week at London Collections: Men, a biannual showcase of Britain’s top menswear designers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Mumm releases vintage collection

Champagne Mumm has released a new “Collection du Chef de Caves”, featuring more...

Top 10 wines in the UK press

An "epic" Riesling, a "Grecian beauty" that "gobsmacks with opulent tropical more...

BI offers 2014 imperial collection en primeur

Fine wine merchant Bordeaux Index is offering its clients a 10 imperial more...

PR Manager


Oregon producer takes international view

One of Oregon’s youngest wine estates has partnered with Jackson Family Wines more...

Cristal launches 'underrated' vintage

Champagne Louis Roederer has released its Cristal prestige cuvée from the more...

Tesco sales take a tumble despite price cuts

Tesco's like-for-like sales fell by 1.3% in the three months to 30 May, an more...

Head of On-Trade Sales

London, United Kingdom

Armand de Brignac launches its most expensive Champagne ever

Jay-Z’s Champagne brand Armand de Brignac has launched its most expensive more...

Top 10 wines in the UK press

An English fizz fit for Wimbledon, a "chunky, berry-stuffed" Negroamaro and a more...

Lidl hints at plans for online wine shop

UK supermarket Lidl has not ruled out launching an online wine shop, reporting more...

Wine Buyer

London, United Kingdom

Based on experience

UK importer confident of Champagne comeback

One leading UK Champagne importer is optimistic for the future of the category more...

UK market in growth as price increases slow

The latest figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association show that more...

Britain’s cocktail habits expose north south divide

A survey has revealed Brits' cocktail preferences depend on there they live, more...

Sales Executive - Wines & Spirits Competitions

London, United Kingdom


Wimbledon serves up English wine

Organisers of this year’s Wimbledon have decided to offer tennis fans English more...

WW1 Scotch to be auctioned

A bottle of Scotch whisky purportedly belonging to a soldier in the First World more...

UK reviewing alcohol intake guidelines

Health officials are to review the government's drinking guidelines, as more...

Warehouse Supervisor

London, United Kingdom

£27,000-£30,000 depending on experience

Mumm releases Santana sparkler

Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana has teamed up with Mumm Napa to release a more...

Oddbins woos Naked staff with love letters

Oddbins has allegedly been sending love letters and bottles of wine to key more...

Nyetimber partners with Ben Ainslie Racing

English sparkling wine producer Nyetimber has signed a three-year partnership more...

Marketing and eCommerce Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive, includes equity options

Pimm's and English wine sales leap

UK supermarket Waitrose has noted a surge in sales for Pimm's, strawberries and more...

English fizz attracts new deal

English sparkling wine producer Jenkyn Place has stepped up its ambitions by more...