Chardonnay, Ancre Hill, Monmouthshire, Wales 2018
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Organic – Grown and produced in Monmouthshire
Ancre Hill Estates, owned by Richard and Joy Morris, is located on the edge of Monmouth, south-east Wales. The project began when they planted their first vines in 2006 and the couple now preside over 12 hectares, with particular emphasis on their plots of Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. All the land was former grazing pasture – never used for agriculture and as a result, the soils are healthy and well-nourished.
The team at Ancre Hill apply a holistic approach to all activities in vineyard and winery, and practise conscientious biodynamics. The preps are stirred by hand, in rain water and sprayed strictly under the correct conditions. Only with this level of detail and personal involvement can biodynamic practices allow the vines to find the balance of life forces necessary for healthy growth and quality of production.
Raw milk is used as a vine treatment, as it contains antiseptic properties and enzymes that act as fungal control and give foliar nutrition to the plant. Insecticides, pesticides and herbicides are not used at all, with weeds ploughed out from under the vines. A programme of cultivation provides the soil with aeration necessary for the development of a healthy micro-organism population, negating the need for petrochemical fertilisers. Co-plantation and the promotion of wild flora and fauna help maintain the balance of the eco-system and soils. The vineyards look in great condition with the vines showing the virtue of a reasoned and progressive farming techniques.
The wines are fully DEMETER certified, adhering to the strictest production criteria. Working in this way not only creates better wines qualitatively, but wines of greater integrity and sustainability. As with many natural wines, lengthy cuvaison and ageing on the lees, contributes to the texture and age-worthiness of the wines. These are among the best British wines we have tasted in recent years and we are delighted to be able to share them with you.