Posted: 10/04/2014

Lyme Bay to release first English wines in 2015

Lyme Bay WineryCider, country wine and liqueur maker The Lyme Bay Winery has begun making its first English white wines using grapes from its own vineyards.

Marketing manager Lucy Bennett told FFD the east Devon business hoped to release around 3,000 cases of 2013 vintage wines in June next year.

The company – best known for its fruit liqueurs, meads, fruit-flavoured country wines and award-winning Jack Ratt cider – planted an initial 2,000 vines in 2009 on three sites in Devon, before adding 22,000 more vines a year later.

“In October last year we harvested our own grapes from our own vineyards for the first time,” said Bennett.

The bulk of first-year production will be sparkling wines – a blended Classic Cuvee and a 100% Seyval Blanc – but there will also be two styles of still wine made with Bacchus, a popular grape for Britain’s colder climate.

Bennett said Lyme Bay Winery would also be using its own, rather than bought-in, grape juice for the first time in this year’s production of sparking elderflower wine.

Lyme Bay last year expanded from its existing 6,000 sq ft gift shop, vat room and bottling plant near Shute, between Axminster and Seaton, by adding a new 8,000 bottling and storage unit. Further expansion is planned in the next 12 months to handle a surge in export sales, including bulk containers.

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