For such a size of vineyard Welcombe Hills has a large number of varieties allowing us a unique opportunity to create small batch exclusive wines and blends not commonly found in English Wine.
As one of the most northernly vineyards producing Pinot Noir, this fantastic grape comes with many challenges. Known for producing some of the world's best reds and a key component for English sparkling wine and Champagne, this is one of the truly noble grapes. A thin-skinned grape, it produces wines with an intensity that oozes summer flavours of ripe cherries, wild strawberries and crushed berries. Add to that a velvety smoothness and an underlying complexity and you have a silky wine that’s hard to beat.
Bacchus is grown almost exclusively in the UK, suited best to a cooler climate and England's growing conditions. The lower temperatures of England, and especially the Midlands, allow this variety to retain its acidity whilst ripening. This white grape has a growing fan base and is recognised as the English answer to Sauvignon Blanc, perfectly paired with seafood and underlying flavours that include hedgerow, elderflower and pear.
This grape needs little introduction as the worlds most drunk white wine, and a highly popular grown variety, but different climates can give this grape a very different finish. The English cool climate produces a buttery Chardonnay which will have more citrus flavours, versus a warm climate Chardonnay, which will have more tropical fruit flavours. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blancs de Blancs.
Pinot Noir Précoce is simply a natural early ripening mutation of Pinot Noir and thus well matched to the cooler UK climate. It is extremely likely to have occurred and been selected and specially cultivated in many different Pinot growing regions. Wines from Pinot Noir Précoce are closely similar to, if not indistinguishable from, those of Pinot Noir, and it is far from clear that anything distinguishes its wines other than oenological characters resulting from its early ripening (e.g., relatively fuller flavour development, lower acidity, and the like).
Auxerrois blanc is a white wine grape that is important in Alsace, Germany and Luxembourg and as such only has a small representation in English wine. It is a full sibling of Chardonnay that is often blended with the similar Pinot blanc .
A light white grape with qualities that range from neutrality to honey to asparagus, all dependent upon production method and oak ageing.
Dornfelder is a dark-skinned variety of grape of German origin used for red wine. Its wines are velvety textured, slightly floral, often show flavours of plums, blackberries or cherries, and are typically oaked. Sometimes the wines have a hint of sweetness. A prolific, relatively early ripener and so well suited to the English climate, it produces wine far deeper in colour than other German grape varieties. In fact, it was initially bred to serve as a blending wine to improve the colour of pale reds. Today it is prized on its own as a fragrant, full-bodied, complex wine with a fairly tannic acidity.
The Kerner grape is an aromatic white grape variety and a crossing of Trollinger and Riesling. Compared with Riesling, Kerner can grow in sites with less favourable conditions and guarantees a higher yield. The wines are fresh, racy and fruity — not unlike Riesling — yet milder in acidity, with a more pronounced bouquet, often with a Muscat tone. Grown in very small quantities at Welcombe Hills this is rarely released as an individual wine and is more likely to part of one of our fantastic blends.
Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France producing a crisp, dry and refreshing white variety of wine. Depending on the climate, the flavour can range from aggressively grassy to sweetly tropical. In the cooler English climate, the grape has a tendency to produce wines with noticeable acidity and "green flavours" of grass, green bell peppers and nettles with some tropical fruit (such as passion fruit) and floral (such as elderflower) notes.
Seyval blanc is a hybrid wine grape variety used to make white wines. Its vines ripen early, are productive and are suited to fairly cool climates. Seyval blanc has a characteristic citrus element in the aroma and taste, as well as a minerality that may be compared to white Burgundy .