Why paint the town red when you could choose English Sparkling?
Today the colour experts at Pantone over in the USA have acknowledged that English sparkling wine is officially ‘a thing’ … by enshrining its colour for designers, fashion houses, printers and paint makers around the world to use.
The move sees English Sparkling join the likes of Bordeaux and Champagne as acknowledged classics. Even better, Pantone chose the acclaimed Wyfold Vineyard, grown by Barbara Laithwaite, as the definitive wine. Quite an honour!
As Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute commented, “A color of its time, the tastefully elegant Laithwaite’s Wine English Sparkling recognises and symbolises the growing prominence of the English wine industry.”
After we heard the good news, bottles of Wyfold were whisked to the colour laboratories at the Pantone Color Institute in New Jersey, who praised it as “a subtle and stylishly elegant, creamy hue that quietly expresses effervescence and good taste. Young in spirit and timeless in its appeal, this natural off-white shade conveys feelings of Spring freshness and modernity. Carrying an undertone of pleasantness and geniality, the inherent warmth of Laithwaite’s Wine English Sparkling creates a sparkling yet soothing presence.”
How to paint the town English Sparkling (or at least your lounge room).
To mark this historic moment for English Sparkling, the paint makers Valspar have entered the new colour into their computers at B&Qs up and down the land so yes, you can actually go and buy yourself a tin of English Sparkling this weekend …
Here’s a sitting room that Valspar painted to show the colour off in all its glory … move over magnolia!
To celebrate, you’ll find the beautifully mature, double Gold medal Wyfold Vineyard 2013 at 10% off normal price here.
Last but not least, here’s a bit of fizzy fun that Pantone shared with us – something to get the mouth watering!
Bubbles to boast about! You may not be familiar with the name but this little beauty matched £40 Veuve Clicquot at the Champagne Masters competition. Tantalising ripe fruit and toasted brioche notes – classic Champagne to give for the Christmas Day toast. And you can snap it up at better than half price too. Win win.
For fans of quality Rioja it doesn’t get much better than patiently oak-matured, berry-scented Marqués del Valle Crianza 2013, ready to enjoy in two stylish stemless wine glasses from Dartington Crystal and presented in a luxury gift box.
Our no.1 bestselling white, Sunday Bay, is everything you expect from a Marlborough Sauvignon – filled with aromas of gooseberry and freshly cut grass. Even more delicious served from fine Dartington Crystal stemless glasses. Presented in a luxury gift box.
Something a little different and extra festive from our friends at Pickering’s! An extremely popular gift for 2017, these are selling like hot-cakes. 6 baubles – great for the tree, even better for sipping! Refillable too. SOLD OUT.
A trio guaranteed to please and each voted ‘Best in Class’ by our customers. Our most popular Marlborough Sauvignon, Sunday Bay, no.1 bestselling wine, Black Stump and our top Prosecco, Ca’ Bolani all in smart gift packaging.
It’s a memorable experience opening this, even before you taste the biscuity, rich Champagne from the Bauchet family, winemakers since 1920. With two tall Dartington Crystal flutes and six indulgent chocolate truffles and presented in a luxury gift box.
Classic grape varieties from their most famous regions. An Aussie white described as “sunshine in the glass” by the BBC, South Africa’s signature Chenin Blanc and our most-loved NZ Sauvignon Blanc, plus our all-time no.1 Black Stump, a dark-cherry Tuscan and a redcurrant-rich Rioja made by two seriously gifted brothers. All presented in a luxury gift box.
Tony and team are frantically harvesting grapes under the auspices of the greatest château of them all – Windsor Castle. Helped out by a few energetic local customers plus Peter Richards MW from BBC Saturday Kitchen.
The Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are looking fabulous … the winemakers are confident it’ll be another vintage wine to celebrate!
If you fancy the delicious but rather rare 2014 on your Christmas table, it comes gift-packed as part of the Thames Trilogy. Click here to see more.
Vineyard chief Anne with a device for measuring ripeness. Shades of Terminator?
First up, a lesson on what to pick (left) … and what to terminate (right). Standards are sky high.
Peter Richards MW from BBC Saturday Kitchen lends a helpful hand.
One for the bucket list … working a vintage at Windsor Great Park Vineyard.
Tony Laithwaite (right) has now worked 50+ vintages, starting in Bordeaux in 1965!
Look at that healthy Chardonnay fruit. It’s going to be another great year!
Karl, our English sparkling buyer, knows his wines from the ground up.
The current 2014 vintage is delicious drinking and comes gift-packed as part of the Thames Trilogy. Click here to see more. To read more about the harvest, here’s local blogger VineSight.
Beth Willard, one of our intrepid wine buyers, has recently returned from her adventures in Chile. Here are her top five reasons you need to get the delicious and exciting wines of Chile in your glass right now!
1. It’s EXTREME
I’m not one to go in for extreme sports: bungee jumping, sky diving, black piste runs … there’s a reason we have a fear mechanism, and I’m very happy to live safely within its constraints. But I do like a spirit of adventure, a struggle against the elements, people trying to get on in the craziest of conditions. Extreme viticulture that results in a stunning glass of wine and a pretty decent view, now that’s my idea of breaking boundaries and pushing limits.
Chile is all about overcoming the limitations of its environment. Were you one of those kids who loved it when it was time to study volcanoes and get out the papier mâché kits and bicarb of soda? Me too. Almost as cool as dinosaurs. Well Chile has around 500 active volcanoes, and along with the glacial rivers and millions of years of shifting mountain formations, these contribute to the dramatic landscapes, varying altitudes, and incredible soils that add complexity to the country’s wines.
The astonishing landscape of the Elqui Valley
The dramatic diversity of landscapes – from the Atacama desert to the glaciers of Patagonia – means that vines are planted on a myriad of different soils, at different altitudes (from almost sea level to 2,000m) and in the many varied valleys with their unique set of climatic influences: no one valley is alike. But all have faced similar complications.
The 2017 harvest was extreme. In January and February the country was ravaged by fierce wildfires. Many producers lost vines, some also equipment and others infrastructure. These fires came on the back of a persistent and possibly permanent drought with water management being the main preoccupation for most growers: dry farming is the new hope, sprung from old traditions.
2017 also brought some frost, hail and of course all of this as the Chilean wine industry had just got back on its feet after the devastation of the 2010 earthquake. With nature throwing everything at the Chilean growers, the most common phrase I heard involved the words “difícil” and “complicado”, neither of which need translation. Yet through these adverse conditions, both vine and grower worked harder, so while the resulting crop may be smaller, it is of the most outstanding quality. From the heights of the Elqui Valley to the southernmost vineyard in the world in Patagonia; from Sauvignon to Chardonnay and Cabernet to Syrah, Chile in 2017 offers it all.
2. Chile is cool!
Cool … mountains and waters. The influence of glacial rivers and winds from both the Andes and the Pacific Ocean cannot be emphasised enough. Imagine fresh mountain streams rushing down from the height of the Andes from ancient glaciers: the vineyards are completely dependent on the amount of water generated by the snow melt each year. And then, from the west, think of the cooling effect of the Pacific; its sea winds and the morning fog.
Flying over the Andes, looking out to the Pacific Ocean
Cool … as in chilled, understated. Think laid back Bogart, smooth and classy. In the same way the wines are smooth, sophisticated and aren’t forced. Lots of fruit, spice, crunchy acidity; true reflections of the vineyards. There is a general move away from oak, instead winemakers are focusing more on ripe red fruits or silky dark berries. Highlights: keep an eye out for the arrival of new vintages of Montes Alpha Cabernet from the Colchagua Valley and Antakari Syrah from Elqui. And then there is Sauvignon Blanc. This trip has made me fall back in love with the variety: highlights include the more green and racy Pago Centro, and the fun and fruity Los Rosales Chapel Vineyard. Very different but typical of the two delicious styles of Sauvignon Blanc coming from Chile.
The team at Viña La Rosa
Cool … people. I like casual people; winemakers who prefer to be out in the vineyards, who like having a laugh during a tasting because it’s wine and it’s fun and it’s meant to be enjoyed. This is Chile. I think this honest approach to winemaking shines through in the wines: full of fruit, with a sense of place. Either hot from the warmer regions where ripening is so easy, or cool and salty from the influence of the Pacific.
3. Old History, “New World” Wines
Did you know that vines were first planted in Chile in the sixteenth century with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores? In 1554 grapes for wine production were first planted in Santiago. Hardly a recent history! During the 18th century, exports of Chilean wine exploded and in 1831 there were nearly 20 million planted vines. There are still very old vines in Chile, some over 100 years in the Elqui Valley and down in the south in Itata. This use of the term “New World” can be very deceptive, no?
So many great value wines benefit from old vine concentration
Let’s take the example of our most popular wine: Tarapacá Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyards were founded in 1874. They have been winning international awards since 1876. Maybe now we should rethink this idea of “Old World”, “New World”?
4. It’s Not About the Money, Money, Money
Value. How does Chile fly under the radar when we talk about quality wine? I would have packed my cellar with so many wines if I had been able to pack my suitcase with enough bottles! From seductive Sauvignon to creamy Chardonnay, pretty Carmenère to rich Cabernet, and then finishing with the sexiest of wines in Syrah.
I really like the combination of fruit concentration with silky smooth tannins. Highlights: new vintages of Cinco Manos Pinot Noir and Los Vascos Grande Reserve. Spend just a few £ or $ more in Chile and you get wines to rival the best in the world for a fraction of the price.
5. Expect the Unexpected
It’s nice to be surprised (pleasantly of course!) and Chile is full of surprises. Driving through a small town – only 5 or 6 houses – I spotted a giant model of R2-D2 on top of a makeshift wooden bus stop. Not what I was expecting driving through Chilean vineyards. Unfortunately we were driving past so quickly I didn’t get my phone out in time to take a shot. But I did take extensive notes on the wines, and there were some just as surprising as that Star Wars statue.
Traffic in the vineyards
From old vine Pedro Ximenez producing startlingly good dry white wines in the Elqui Valley (I tasted a 2009 which was as fresh as last vintage’s wines) to Cinsault fermented in traditional tinajas (clay pots) it is like the whole world of wine can be found here in this narrow bit of land squeezed between mountains and ocean. Every winery is producing something different and exciting.
So even though I was nervous on my first night after being shown the earthquake evacuation point (my question: how will I know it’s time to evacuate; answer: you’ll know) I overcame any anxiety about this strange and different country with the excitement I felt about the wines. Whether from the foothills of volcanoes, on the slopes of the Andes, or a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean, Chile’s vineyards are full of the unexpected.
Must confess, I came to Rioja expecting something pretty ‘trad’ … deserted vineyards baking under the hot sun and sleepy barrel halls where wines are quietly aged for years, sometimes decades. Followed by a super-chewy lamb chop for tea.
So imagine my surprise to find it overflowing with likeable, hugely energetic people who are nuts about their region and proud to only release their wine when it’s ready to drink (which drives their accountants mad). These are people who really know how to eat … and how to party … and yes they even have young people and women!
We landed in Bilbao, a charming little city that’s just inland from Spain’s northern coast. It’s framed by mountains and bent around a handful of kinks in some lazy old river. Bilbao is the engine room of the Basque country, which has a local language that had me at ‘hello’ (or ‘kaixo’) and would make for some off-the-charts Scrabble scores thanks to all the Zs and Xs you see in everyday words.
Until quite recently, drinking the local white wine, Txakoli, was a two-handed affair. One hand on the glass and the other gripping the table. These days it’s a trendy white served with oysters in Bilbao’s bijoux bars. Typically to chaps in suede loafers – sans socks.
For a wine person, what’s remarkable about subtropical Bilbao is that it’s just an hour from parched Rioja. The secret? To drive to Rioja, you pass over the Sierra de Cantabria, a shield of mountains that protects Rioja from the Atlantic’s influence.
Once you’re in Rioja you can clearly see the mountains holding up Bilbao’s weather, like a traffic cop. One minute the scenery is mountain greenery, the next it’s Spaghetti Western.
Here are our favourite 7 winemakers in Rioja, in no particular order.
1. Bodegas Manzanos, in San Adrián
Wines: Los Hermanos, Dinastia Manzanos, Marqués de Berceo, Marqués de Butrago
Bodegas Manzanos is a real triumph-over-adversity story. For over a century they were quite happy pottering about making decent enough Rioja. Then eight years ago they won their first big export contract … and in the excitement their dear old dad passed away unexpectedly. His wife was understandably distraught and her two lads needed to step into the breach. The youngest, David, was 17 and studying in Bilbao at the time … and came into the business with his father suddenly gone and a huge export order looming!
Fast forward to 2017 and the winery is thriving – and has even bought a couple of the neighbouring estates – and the young men seem to be taking every challenge in their stride, helped along by winemaker Borja.
We particularly liked the handy vintage guide they gave us – which starts with 1927. “We didn’t want to include anything that’s too old for drinking.”
As thanks for how much Laithwaite’s Wine and Beth have supported them in recent times, the brothers have offered to fly several members of staff to Rioja towards the end of Summer for visits and tastings.
Jamón and Spanish omelette for lunch. Tasty, if saltier than the Dead Sea.
Tom Laithwaite with the easygoing, immensely likeable (a recurring theme in Rioja) David
Suede loafers without socks (another recurring theme in Rioja!)
David in the barrel hall, showing how they roll (which was lost in translation)
2. Valdemar, in Oyón-Oion
Wines: Familia Martínez Bujanda range, Finca de Marquesado
Another cracking name for a village, shown on many signs with the Spanish and Basque spellings joined together. Oyón-Oion or Oion-Oyón. Fun for all the family.
Here we met with Ana from the fifth generation Martínez-Bujanda wine family, plus Antonio their new winemaker. We first bought the 1985 vintage from these guys so they are among our oldest and most loyal suppliers.
These days there are two quite separate arms of the Martínez Bujanda family and we will meet our old friend Carlos shortly.
Face of concentration as Antonio moves a barrel of wine across the cellar … what you don’t want to do with 225 litres of red wine is to drop it
(No jamón on this visit).
3. Bodegas Larchago, Lapuebla de Labarca
Wines: Pagos de Tahola range, Tierras de la Reina white
We end the day at a much more ma-and-pa winery, or in this case father-and-daughter.
We first started working with Ruth and her dad in 2003 and they are immensely proud of the wines they have done for us and of their family’s history in the region (“as far back as the records go, we are wine people”). She also speaks fondly of how many customers have voted for her wines at the Vintage Festival and in the US.
Ruth is naturally warm and honest (yet another Rioja theme). A conversation with her involves being gently squeezed at regular intervals on your shoulder, elbow, hand. She never lets you feel too far away.
Asked why she thinks her wine is so enjoyable, she talks up the benefits of being in the cooler, higher-altitude Rioja Alavesa rather than what she calls “down Rioja”, or Rioja Baja, where the climate is hotter and the historically mass-produced wines lack freshness or complexity.
Ruth is celebrating 14 years of working with Laithwaite’s Wine
Their big news at the moment is a whopping 95 points from Decanter for one of their top bottles. We taste it and are reminded once more that top, top Rioja is such a bargain if you benchmark it against fine wines from France. There is, dare I say it, an honesty in their pricing that some other regions could learn from.
Brings to mind Guy Woodward’s final editorial when he stepped down as editor of Decanter magazine: “The question friends have asked most over the past 10 years is ‘What’s your favourite wine?’ What do I buy most of? I buy the wine that offers, to my mind, the best blend of quality, complexity, heritage and value – for it is those qualities, the latter in particular, that I cherish most. The wine? Rioja.”
No jamón on this visit, but dinner in hilltop Laguardia is porky tapas as we wander the narrow medieval streets hemmed in by a wall built by the fabulously named King Sancho the Strong. A great town to visit, like Saint-Emilion but more affordable, prettier and a little less, well, stuffy.
4. Bodegas Primicia, Laguardia
Wines: Carravacas de Primicia
We’ve sold Primicia for years and I never gave it a second thought, certainly never bought a bottle myself except in mixed Rioja cases. Didn’t seem to have much substance.
Then we visited and discovered it’s completely unique – never seen anything like it!
One minute you’re ambling down a typically narrow street in Laguardia. Knock on any of the many doors and it’ll most likely be answered by a ham-nibbling pensioner. Until you reach a door marked Bodegas Primicia. Choose that door and you suddenly drop several floors into the cool earth and a thousand years back into the history of wine. A ‘time tunnel,’ says their wee brochure, and they’re not wrong.
11th century Primicia is probably the oldest building in Rioja and is likely the oldest building still making wine in the whole of Spain. ‘Primicia’ … literally first.
The tunnels under Primicia are so extraordinary that engineers were sent from London when The Underground was just a twinkle in a planner’s eye. The current custodian, Iker, isn’t sure what they learnt, but is confident they enjoyed the fact-finding trip.
Winemaker Fernando also tells us they’ve done a lot of testing of their cool, underground cellars versus new climate-controlled cellars and the thousand-year-old cellars always win. Progress, eh? Primicia also have a barrel shape we’d never seen before – apparently custom-made to fit in their elevator. Which it does … just.
Was also one of those visits where everyone keeps draining their glasses. Always a bit of a giveaway that the wine is fabulous! Buy the wines here.
Tom Laithwaite and winemaker Fernando talk shirt patterns – you can catch a glimpse of Primicia’s elevator-sized barrels in the background
Gentle giant Iker with hilltop Laguardia in the background
5. Finca Valdepiedra, in Fuenmayor
Wines: Finca Valpiedra, Cantos de Valpiedra, Finca los Trinos, Venta Vieja, Sierra Almiron
Carlos is Tony’s oldest and greatest friend in Rioja and you’d struggle to meet a nicer man, even in Rioja where the bar is set high. If you don’t warm to Carlos there’s really no hope for you. His wife Ana and niece Martha are very much involved in the business too.
32 vintages since our first purchase he’s increasingly focused on high-end wines from his Finca Valpiedra estate. Valpiedra means ‘valley of stones’ and his vineyards are real ankle sprainers, not unlike the famous pudding-stone vineyards of Chateauneuf.
Carlos says they amplify the warmth of the sun and keep the grapes ripening into the evening, so his vineyards are ready to pick a couple of weeks earlier than all of the neighbours’ – so his crop is never threatened by the late-Summer rains.
The ‘valley of the stones’ is unlike any other part of Rioja, located in a horseshoe
bend of the River Ebro and packed with Chateauneuf-style pudding stones.
The ‘valley of the stones’ is unlike any other part of Rioja, located in a horseshoe bend of the River Ebro and packed with Chateauneuf-style pudding stones.
With a camera pointing at you and stones underfoot, walking takes on an extra degree of difficulty
If you don’t warm to Carlos, there’s no cure for what you’ve got
Lunch is with Carlos and wife Ana. He is clearly besties with the local fishmonger. Yes, there is jamón too. The best of the trip. Jamón, jamón! And just when we’re rammed to bursting they bring out the main course … superb pork-cheek stew. Then we hear the death rattle of the dessert trolley in the hallway … “it’s only wafer thin”.
6. Bodegas Muriel, in Elciego
Wines: Barón de Barbón, Limeleaf, Posada del Rey, Finca las Rejas, Cherry Orchard, Bodegas Muriel, Conde de Cron, Conde de los Andes
Mid-30s Javier Múrúa and his dad are our No.1 supplier in Rioja, thanks to the success of Barón de Barbón since 2003, followed by Posada del Rey and Limeleaf. They’ve also become great friends to staff across our business, helped by regular appearances at major customer events including our annual Vintage Festival and Laithwaite’s Live.
And these people are lunatics. Forget stuffy old Rioja. They bounce off the walls with energy. Our final night in Logroño ends with Team Laithwaite raising the white flag at 3am after plate after plate of jamón via intoxicating garlic mushroom skewers at Bar Angel and famous Cojonudo tapas at Bar Donosti (basically a bite-sized breakfast biscuit of quail egg, bacon and a pepper). “But the night is young?” say Javier and his wife Almudena as we limp off to our hotel. No idea how they do it!
Javier looking through the reserva wines, which reach back to 1882
90-feet underground … not for the claustrophobic
7. Gómez Cruzado, in Haro
Wines: Gómez Cruzado, Sendiero de Santos Albariño
The most recent addition to our Rioja list, Gómez Cruzado had a Mexican owner so weren’t seen in the UK for 127 years … and then won a Best in Class trophy in London.
Back in the 19th century, Bordeaux was ravaged by phylloxera. The best wines of Rioja were drafted in to fill the gap and left for Bordeaux from the railway station in Haro. So all the historic greats are within a stone’s throw of the station. When you stand at the cellar door at Gómez Cruzado you can see the facades of a Who’s Who of Rioja … Muga, Tondonia, La Rioja Alta SA.
Four years ago the two winemakers at Gómez Cruzado suggested to their Mexican owners that they take a stake in the winery so they could push quality to another level by investing in the equipment and vineyards they needed. The owners agreed and Gómez Cruzado is now the hottest ticket in town. Winemaker David is a barrel of laughs but you wouldn’t challenge him to Twister once you’ve seen him get in and out of a vat.
Haro from the other side (with apologies to Adele)
No sooner had we finished shooting in the sweltering vineyards than David whipped out a selection of jamón to enjoy under a tree with a chilled glass of his Rioja Blanco – a star turn for the winery and a memorable way to end a fantastic visit.
Which brings us to the end – and well done if you got this far.
Did you know that the average British household throws away about two glasses of wine a week?
That’s 624 million unloved bottles across the country every year! Our new campaign Save Our Wines has one simple mission: to save your wine from the dreaded drain.
We’ve all opened a few too many bottles while among friends, and worried that our wines just don’t last that long after being uncorked. One in five of you believe white, red and rosé wines only last a maximum of half a day once opened, and one in three think Champagne loses its pop after just 1-5 hours. You may be surprised to hear that white, red, rosé and good quality English Sparkling or Champagne can actually keep for as many as five days!
Other top reasons for wine-wastage include not getting around to drinking it (42%), leaving it out of the fridge for too long (40%), forgeting to cork it (30%), and opening more bottles than guests wanted to drink (24%).
Londoners came top of our at-home wine drinkers, opening 2.1 bottles every week. They can also be the biggest culprits, throwing away around five glasses at the end of a party. One in fifty say they throw away as much as a whopping two bottles of wine every week. Saving those bottles could stock a cellar in no time!
It couldn’t be easier to start. Just follow our top 5 tips for enjoying more your wine for longer:
Avoid the drain for 3 days: Sparkling wines, rosé or white can all be kept for 3-5 days. It’s also perfectly OK to store opened red wine in the fridge. Refer to our handy infographic below for the ideal storage methods
Focus on quality: No one wants to bin a top-end Burgundy. Nearly two in three said they’d be more likely to finish higher quality wines
Consider a fortified wine: These are wines made to last. An open of bottle of Sherry for example, with the cap closed or cork in, will keep for weeks
Keep the bottle upright: Storing the wine upright minimises the surface area exposed to Oxygen, which can spoil the wine faster
Don’t open everything at once: If you are hosting a party, wait and see what wines your guests actually want to drink to avoid lots of half-consumed bottles when clearing up
New study reveals how Britain could be a major wine producer and exporter by 2100
Central and East England primed to produce Sauvignon Blanc
Edinburgh and Elgin could be the new home of Pinot Grigio
Thames Estuary and the ‘Severn Pocket’ could put Malbec on the British wine map
It’s no secret that South East England has been making fizz to rival Champagne for more than a decade. Now a new study into changing climate reveals how large areas of the UK – including Essex, the East of England and even Edinburgh – could become leading wine producing regions by 2100.
According to the study, commissioned by Laithwaite’s Wine, popular grape varieties including Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay could be grown in unfamiliar areas such as Peckham and Milton Keynes.
The study by Professor Mark Maslin and Lucien Georgeson from University College London, looked at the average temperature and rainfall conditions required for growing different grape varieties and at likely changes in Britain’s climate to map changes in British viticulture over the next 85 years.
Here’s a quick view of what the wine regions of Great Britain might look like in the not too distant future!
Professor Mark Maslin from University College London said: “Climate is critical to successful grape cultivation. This study could signal how we think long-term about British wine production and redraw the future wine map of the world.”
Davy Zyw of Laithwaite’s Wine added: “It’s not long ago that experts scoffed at the idea of English, let alone wider British wine. Now thanks to a changing climate, as well as passion and expertise, we could see wine buyers from all over the world coming to taste the latest UK vintages in a few generations.”
For those of a technical bent, here’s the methodology behind the study …
To estimate the areas of the UK that could potentially be ‘growing areas’ for different wine grape varieties in 2100, Mark and Lucien considered the effect of temperature in the growing season, overall levels of rainfall throughout the year and the level of rainfall in the month of harvest.
To do this, they combined information about the required growing season temperature range for each grape variety (usually April to October in the Northern Hemisphere), long-term average climate data on temperature and rainfall for the UK, and how this long-term average climate is predicted by climate models to change through to 2100.
The analysis is therefore based on the following 3 variables that affect wine grape growing:
Average growing season temperature (average temperature between April and October) as the tolerable temperature range varies by grape variety analysed.
Average Annual Rainfall: they used one value for all grape varieties, based on several sources.
Rainfall in the month of harvest: one of the biggest problems for UK viticulture is the threat of heavy rainfall in the month of harvest (currently October). We have used one value for all grape varieties, with estimates of tolerable rainfall levels estimated using several sources. We made the assumption that the month of harvest would stay as October.