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UK winemakers face storage challenge for 2018 harvest

The highly anticipated 2018 vintage in England means that yields have doubled in some cases – and winemakers are struggling to find the space for it all…

Some UK winemakers are facing headaches over storage following a bumper crop in 2018.

Charles Simpson, of Simpsons Wine Estate in Kent, told Decanter.com, ‘We were doing around five tonnes per hectare previously, but this year it is double.

‘When you’re pushed for winery space and the volume grows so much, where does it go? In July, we were desperately trying to find more tanks and there are only a few suppliers in the UK.’

The Simpsons also own an estate in the Languedoc, so were able to get tanks from their French supplier.

‘They only arrived this week – just in time,’ Simpson said. They also had to bring in more presses to handle grapes from the 2018 harvest, which has taken place over the past fortnight.

Simpson added that lack of space was more of a problem for smaller producers.

‘We had some other local producers ask us if they could have some space, to do contract winemaking. We couldn’t – but there is a huge opportunity there.

‘There’s a load of ways the English industry could work more collaboratively, but it’s a scale problem – and people are only just discovering these problems. We could learn a lot.

‘Of course, it’s still a good problem to have.’

Both quality and quantity are expected to be high for English wine in 2018, following the heatwave over the summer.

Sussex based winery Nyetimber predicted that it would produce more than one million bottles from the 2018 harvest, for the first time.

See also: Premium English sparkling wines to try

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