Rich in viticultural heritage, the first vineyards were planted in Purleigh, Essex in the Middle-Ages, where the vines flourished and supplied The Crown. Bill and Sheila Greenwood established the New Hall Wine Estate and planted their vines in Purleigh in 1969, which makes it one of the oldest commercial vineyards in the UK. The vineyard benefits from a special microclimate as Purleigh is one of the warmest and sunniest spots in the country, making it ideal for premium viticulture. The New Hall Wine Estate has 49 hectares under vine, one of the largest plantings of Bacchus in the UK and an impressive newly-built estate winery. The family-run estate is now in the hands of the third generation. The young, dynamic and internationally experienced team continue the family tradition of nurturing the grapes from the vine to glass, to produce awardwinning wines which showcase English Wine at its very best.
The Bacchus vines were planted between 1976 and 2018, on well-sheltered, southern facing slopes of the Crouch Valley. The big skies, low rainfall, coastal breezes and the influence of the Blackwater and Crouch Rivers come together to offer ideal climatic conditions. The area is protected from frosts which is beneficial in the capricious English climate. The vineyard is made up of London clay soils, from the Tertiary age, with chalk concealed below the clay deposits. The vines thrive in these warm soils; the clay offers high retention of nitrogen and the nutrient uptake from the clay soils is evident. The soils also provide good balance to the vigour of the vines. The Bacchus vines were planted between 1976 and 2018, with each of the estate’s Bacchus plantations displaying a unique flavour profile and characteristics. Over the years, this site has proven itself to be an ideal place for the growing of vines in England, producing above average crops of high quality grapes. The fruit is hand-harvested when it has reached optimal maturity.
Each of the eight Bacchus plantings were vinified separately to retain each block’s integrity and characteristics, allowing the winemakers a rich palate of Bacchus fruit to establish the final blend. The grapes underwent a cool, steady fermentation in stainless steel tanks with carefully selected yeast strains which were hand-picked to complement and enhance the characteristics of each parcel and bring out the natural aromas and retain the pure varietal characteristics. 1.5% of the blend was barrel-fermented in third fill French oak, followed by two months’ ageing in barrel, which added texture to the mouthfeel.
A rich and flavoursome quintessentially English Bacchus, displaying complex and aromatic notes of grapefruit, pear, peach, lime layered with herbaceous overtones of nettle and cut grass.