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June: This Month
in the Vineyard

Our June focus is on the magic of compost and the important (and very satisfying) task of disbudding. We usually spread our recycled compost underneath the vines in the spring. Each vine gets approximately 25 kg around its base, which amounts to a layer about 10cm or 4 inches thick. The compost plays multiple roles - during the first year after spreading, there is a slow release of nutrients from the compost and a beneficial suppression of annual weed seed germination. In the second year, nitrogen take-up by the vines combined with increased soil micro bio activity gives a boost to vegetative growth and overall vine health. In the third year, what’s left of the compost on the surface will...

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Pet Nat
Two New Releases

Adrian, our Managing Director & Winemaker, introduces two of our new release Pet Nats - Petulant Nature 2020 and Naturally Petulant 2020. How are the Pet Nats made?The Pet Nats are two of my favourite Westwell wines. The Petulant Nature is made with Ortega and the Naturally Petulant is made with Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. We bottled both three quarters of the way through fermentation so that it finishes in bottle, trapping the CO2 to become lightly sparkling. Petulant Nature 2020, made with Ortega. Anything to look out for?Yes! Both can be a little temperamental when opening - both are undisgorged and the Petulant Nature has lees (yeast sediment) in the neck so cover with a tea towel...

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New Plantings
at Westwell

Adam Lowe, Assistant Vineyard Manager, writes about our new plantings. We have just planted another 3,328 Ortega and 375 Regent Vines. The best time of year tends to be May as this means that we have hopefully avoided the last of the frosts but the ground is still moist. We then have the warm growing season for the vines to produce new shoots and create root development in preparation for the colder months - if there is new green growth visible above the ground, then there will be a similar amount of new growth under the ground. We now have around 32 acres of vines planted at Westwell with around 52,000 vines. It's a 40 acre site, but we of...

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"Dosage is a
Balancing Act"

Dosage is a mixture of liquid sugar (we use grape must) and wine which is added after disgorging (when yeast lees are removed from bottle during traditional method sparkling wine production) to top up the bottles and balance the naturally high acidity of the wine. The blind dosage trials for our 2013 Blanc de Blancs have been sparking plenty of debate around the tractor. Dosage is always a contentious issue - for the purists, any additions detract from the true expression of terroir and vintage, for others, dosage is as key as adding seasoning to a meal. Westwell’s winemaker Adrian explains “Dosage is a balancing act - it’s about lifting the fruit, mellowing the acidity whilst retaining freshness. By picking...

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Westwell
Illustrations

Westwell’s designer and illustrator Galia talks about the inspiration behind our labels. When we first took over Westwell back in 2017, the very special terroir was the recurring theme of all of our conversations. We marvelled at the site, and whilst there on one of our early visits, we took photographs of the vines and the soil. As soon as we got home, I sat down to sketch a detail from one of the soil photographs that we’d taken and immediately got lost inside the incredible detail - the rocks, leaves and sticks - and the earth itself - sand, clay and chalk. The idea for the wine labels came very organically from these sketches. Ortega wood under a microscope,...

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