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Bacchus to the future...

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

Adnams Bacchus 2016Adnams Bacchus is here! If you are a fan of zingy, fresh, mouthwatering white wines, then you will love this brilliant new Bacchus made by Ben and Hannah Witchell at Flint Vineyard in south Norfolk. Adnams Bacchus is available now in our stores and online at £11.99 per bottle. Ben and Hannah are currently at the mid-stage of a really exciting project, where they have converted a farm on the gentle slopes of the Waveney Valley into a brand new vineyard and and winery. The first vines were planted in 2016, and will not bear harvestable fruit until 2019, but in the meantime, this innovative couple have received a research grant to examine the aromatic qualities of Bacchus - a cross of German grape varieties. This first release is a blend of Bacchus from growers across East Anglia. Ben pours a tank sampleBen Witchell studied Oenology and Viticulture at Plumpton College, then worked for several years in Beaujolais. After the birth of their daughter, the couple decided to return home and seek an opportunity in the dry, sunny climate of East Anglia. Local farmer and entrepreneur, Adrian Hipwell, offered a great site with gentle slopes, and free-draining flint soils with farm buildings that could be adapted to create a state-of-the-art winery and laboratory. [caption id="attachment_18519" align="alignleft" width="300"]Adnams visits flint Adnams visits Flint Vineyard in December 2016[/caption] Ben has been working with Camden BRI, one of the leading analytical wine laboratories in Europe, to research the unique aromatic qualities of Bacchus, a variety with the potential to produce exciting, and aromatically compelling wines, to compete on the world stage. [caption id="attachment_18518" align="alignright" width="300"]The clean, white winery equipment that is the inspiration behind the wine label design Clean, white, winery equipment - the inspiration behind the wine label design[/caption] Look away now if you're not overly familiar with winemaking techniques, but Ben is currently experimenting with juice oxidisation, skin contact, use of enzymes, yeast selection and the influence of ageing. Basically, every behavioural aspect of this delicious grape variety is being examined, with the result being some really interesting parcels of wines that can be blended together to produce fascinating profiles of Bacchus. Alastair Marshall, Senior Wine Buyer, comments: "I was contacted in mid 2016 by Hannah who was after a bit of advice regarding their infant business. It was as if a light turned on in my head because I immediately saw that this was what Adnams needed. I had been searching for a source of Bacchus for Adnams and to have one made on our doorstep was perfect. More than that, the first meeting with Ben told me that this was not just a hobby project but one in the hands of a passionate professional intent on getting the very best out of this grape.” [caption id="attachment_18520" align="alignleft" width="300"]winter vine dec16 Freshly planted young vines at Flint Vineyard.[/caption] Try it! And the best part is, there's so much more to look forward to in the future. Move over Sauvignon Blanc, Bacchus is coming to get you! Adnams Bacchus is available now in our stores and online at £11.99 per bottle.  

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Sarah Groves

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