May Update

May Update | 2020

by Chapel Down 15 May 2020

At this time of year, the spontaneity of a visit to a pub garden or a meal out or a visit to a friend’s home for a barbecue is one of the joys of the improving weather and the liberties we have become so accustomed to enjoying.  And whilst Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp etc has helped maintain relationships and our sanity, we are all going to miss our freedoms dreadfully. Our hearts go out to all our friends in the hospitality industry. The light at the end of the tunnel may be some way off yet, but small things – like a game of golf, a day’s fishing, a long walk and picnic – can make it feel a little closer. Enjoy the slight relaxation of the rules, and enjoy the offers below. But above all please stay safe!

With Spring comes a great time to reflect. The warmer, sunnier days lift the spirits rather more than the wind and rain we endured through the Winter. Seeing our first bud burst brings a sense of hope and renewal, especially during these difficult times. It really is a tonic to witness our first leaves unfurl into a new season. The dry weather, which arrived just in time, allowed us to mulch, repair headland, mow and complete our first sprays. The vines at our 388-acre Boarley vineyard are celebrating their first birthday this month and they seem to be having a party! It’s wonderful to see so many already out of their protective guards clearly enjoying life.

Overall, our vineyards are looking in excellent health with great potential for an outstanding crop. For now, the team’s effort is keeping on top of things, mainly mowing and keeping the weeds at bay, until it’s time for the next spray closer to flowering next month. A time to remain resilient and optimistic. And enjoy a glass of Spring in a Glass! Sparkling Bacchus – I love it!

Richard Lewis, Head of Viticulture

With summer fast approaching, it’s a busy time at the winery. In order to ensure the safety of staff, we have employed a shift system for our winery team so there is a more constant buzz of activity. We are now all well versed in social distancing which, after several weeks, now very much feels like the norm.

With a steady stream of orders coming in from retailers and from consumers, we are working hard to ensure we can continue to meet demand. Last week we released our Sparkling Bacchus 2019, the second vintage of what has very quickly become one of our best selling wines. I have been overwhelmed by the positive response since it was first released a year ago. If you haven’t yet experienced the wine, please do take advantage of our special offer above – at £85.00 for a six bottle case with free delivery (a saving of £17.00) it’s a fantastic deal!

We have also been busy blending our Brut NV from the 2019 harvest and reserve wines.  The blend will then be ready for cold stabilisation next month before being bottled in July and aged on lees for an average of 18 months. In the meantime, we have started disgorging our first bottles of Chapel Down Brut NV within our new very dark amber glass. This investment should further protect the wine from the potentially harmful effects of UV light which is a step forward for us in producing even more consistently great, quality wines.  Meanwhile, with strawberries on my mind this weekend, I’m looking forward to our delicious English Rose sparkling to lift the senses and the spirits!

Josh Donaghay-Spire, Head Winemaker

The weather is getting warmer and the evenings lighter which would usually result in packed pub gardens and friends socialising over a pint or two. But, as with the rest of the hospitality industry, the benches at our Brewery remain empty as friendships are maintained virtually via a never ending stream of Zoom quizzes.

The amount of support and encouragement we have received over the last few weeks from our loyal shareholders and regular customers has been truly wonderful. Thank-you. Our delivery service levels will keep getting better over the coming days, so please keep the orders coming!

Research has shown that 2 minutes of laughter is as healthy for you as a 20 minute jog. I have seen people sitting on a park bench near my home watching me jog. Nice to know I’m getting them healthy too…

Stay well.

Frazer Thompson,