London Cru loses part of crop to rot3rd October, 2013 by Rupert Millar
London Cru, a winery in central London, has had to write off seven tonnes of French grapes it was expecting due to the severity of rot in the crop.
The orders for around four tonnes of Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire and three tonnes of Bordeaux Merlot have been cancelled after it was decided by the winery that the crop and effects of travel would be “detrimental” to the wines’ quality.
Winemaker Gavin Monery said: “Obviously it’s a real disappointment to lose two parcels of grapes which we were really looking forward to working with. However, after a lot of conversation with the vineyard owners this week; we all felt that we were unable to get the fruit to London without a high incidence of rot by the time it arrived.
“It was essential for us to make the decision quickly in order to allow the growers to factor this fruit back into their own production. From the moment we first discussed the project it became a rule that we could not risk taking grapes with high potential levels of rot, especially with the extra travel time involved, and sadly what has been a tough vintage across much of France has forced our hand on this issue.”
France has been having a tough growing season this year and harvesting is beginning in a few places while in others, such as Bordeaux, there is still an anxious wait before some varieties will be ready.
On the other hand, the winery has secured four tonnes of Barbera from Luca Roagna, who is a friend of one of London Cru’s directors.
Roagna apparently approached him and displayed an interest in the project and, having visited the winery in August, secured a parcel of the grapes for its use.
Monery concluded: ‘This is something we hadn’t really planned on until our second vintage, but the timely combination of the loss of grapes elsewhere and Luca’s support has allowed us to move our plans forward.
“We will now be working with four tonnes of Barbera from Piemonte, which will take the place of the Merlot we were expecting. These grapes are coming from growers that Luca has known and worked with for many years. Having seen how well the supply chain works with ripe fruit in top condition we’re really looking forward to having a trailer full of high quality Barbera pitch up in SW6, and turning that into another exciting addition to our range.”
London Cru has already taken charge of a crop from Languedoc Roussillon, the journey from vine to winery the drinks business previously covered.