The time between the beginning of March and the end of April appears to have elapsed at an unprecedentedly rapid rate this year. That is, however, an observation from the perspective of someone who has been in the belly of the beast at London Cru for the past 6 weeks.

Since the last blog post, we have been incredibly busy in both the winery and the boardroom (Roberson wine’s kitchen). Let’s begin with the former….

Our first English wine, Bacchus, is now safely stored under 1900 screw caps following bottling a fortnight ago. In 2013 we externally outsourced this crucial final stage of the journey from vineyard to glass, to a winery with its own bottling line. Whilst this was a hiccup-free endeavour, this year we felt that everything with a London Cru label should arrive at the winery as grapes and leave as finished, bottled wine.

1900 bottles almost ready to go...
1900 bottles almost ready to go...

We set about exploring all avenues to make this a reality and were, in truth, days from begrudgingly investing in our own, in-house facility. That was until our friends at Bevtech came to the rescue with their mobile bottling line. With their state-of-the-art equipment and technical expertise, we were able to get everything bottled in a matter of a few hours.

In the preceding weeks the homogenised Bacchus blend (40% barrel, 60% tank) was cold stabilised, allowing the majority of the suspended tartrate crystals to precipitate out. It was imperative to monitor both the temperature and taste of the wine at this stage as one of the risks of this purely aesthetic alteration, is that it can have a detrimental impact on the structural components of the wine. Overly aggressive cold stabilisation can cause levels of tartrate precipitation that alter the pH and overall levels of acidity, changing the palate’s perception of the wine. We believe that through our careful management, we have a Goldilocks outcome: A Bacchus that shouldn't throw any crystals whilst in your fridge, that also tastes exactly how intended it to.

Cold stabilisation encourages tartrate crystals to precipitate out of the wine
Cold stabilisation encourages tartrate crystals to precipitate out of the wine

Aside from the winery, some big decisions have been made upstairs, the most significant of which is deciding on our new label. We agonised over several, well-thought out and interesting concepts before making a final decision. Now that the new label design has been decided on and sent to print, we can count down the days until the Bacchus is labelled and released (expected late May).

This will also coincide with the bottling and labeling of our 2014 Chardonnay, which itself was racked to tank to clarify last week. The rest of the bottling schedule is yet TBC but is likely to resume with the lighter reds at the end of July and finish with the Cabernet or Syrah just before we begin the 2014 harvest.

If you've still not paid us a visit, there are plenty of opportunities to do so over the next few months, head to our events page for details and remember to follow us across all social media platforms for regular updates from the winery and beyond.