Nyetimber vineyard scraps 2012 grape harvest

Grape pickers at Nyetimber vineyard Nyetimber said that maintaining quality was paramount

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A multi-award winning English vineyard has decided not to harvest its grapes this year because of the bad weather.

Nyetimber, in West Sussex, said the quality and volume of the 2012 harvest was not up to standard.

Cherie Spriggs, winemaker at Nyetimber, said the decision was a difficult one but that "maintaining quality is paramount".

Nyetimber's sparkling wine has been consistently ranked alongside the finest French champagne.

Soil at the vineyard at West Chiltington is geologically identical to the champagne region, but the vines need warm dry weather.

Ms Spriggs said: "My first obligation as the winemaker is to ensure the quality of Nyetimber's wines, and we have collectively come to the decision that the grapes from 2012 cannot deliver the standards we have achieved in the past and will again in the future.

"The decision to not make wine from 2012 is a difficult one, not just for me but for our whole team. However, we all know that maintaining quality is paramount."

Nyetimber's accolades include three times winner of the Best Worldwide Sparkling Wine award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition.

This year's variable weather included the wettest June since records began.

About three million bottles of English wine were made in 2011, but the figure is expected to be down substantially this year.

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