6 December 2001
‘Noble rot’ comes to Kentish grapes
By FWi staff
THE warm and dry autumn has allowed a vineyard in Kent to produce Englands first ever “noble rot” dessert wine.
British weather normally prevents Chardonnay grapes being left on vines for the required length of time, reports the Daily Telegraph.
But one of the warmest and driest seasons on record allowed Roy Cook of Sedlescombe Organic Vinyard in East Sussex to leave the Kentish grapes until December.
He is now processing the grapes with a method that uses botrytis mould to produce a sweet, sticky wine, normally only made in south-west France.
“Chardonnay grapes often only just ripen in Britain, but the opposite has happened this year,” said Mr cook.
The crucial time for the grapes was the end of October and the beginning of November where a cold spell would have wiped out the harvest.