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Jenkyn Place hires ‘rabbit catcher’ to protect new Pinot Noir vines

Hampshire-based winery Jenkyn Place has hired a new recruit to help protect 2,000 newly-planted Pinot Noir vines from rabbits and pheasants – a spaniel by the name of Bertie.

Bertie will help to safeguard both the new vines and Jenkyn Place’s existing plantings which total 15,000 vines across 12 acres. The winery and former hop farm received its first plantings in 2004.

A further 2,000 Pinot Noir vines covering 2 acres were planted last week which will take three years to enter full production and will boost the vineyard’s potential yield from 35,000 to 40,000 bottles a year.

In 2016, the winery added a blanc de blancs to its range, having launched a blancs de noir (2010 vintage) the year before. Producing only sparkling wines, Jenkyn Place also makes a rosé and brut cuvée.

Bertie meanwhile, whose voluminous locks will have even the likes of Kate Middleton quaking in her boots, has been equipped with a high visibility ‘rabbit catcher’ jacket to help deter unwanted visitors.

Co-owner of Jenkyn Place, Camilla Bladon, commented: “Rabbits look cuddly and innocent, but they can ravage young rootstock and destroy their future health. Bertie’s job is to send them scurrying home with their tails between their legs. And, here in Britain, tall legged pheasants can be just as bad with our grapes, especially when they are just ready for harvest in July and August. It can cost the English wine industry hundreds of thousands of pounds in a bad year.

Jenkyn Place has recently released its 2014 rosé and 2013 brut and told db that its 2016 in particular is one to watch out for.

Co-owner Simon Bladon, commented at the time: “Our Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier all look particularly good this year, and all are ripening well. This could yet turn out to be our harvest of the century at Jenkyn Place”.

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