April Newsletter Blog

Updated: May 5

1. Vineyard Update - A Sign of New Beginnings | 2. New Stockists and Allium's Spring Tasting Menu | 3. Self-Guided Tour & Self-Guided Tasting - Bookable Now | 4. Meet Molly | 5. Food Festivals & Shows | 6. Wine News - Cuvee Rosé 2019 & PN Shorties | 7. English Wine Week | 8. Buy Wine

1. Vineyard Update - A Sign of New Beginnings

A double entendre, a literal sign, and Spring has sprung, signalling a new season in the vineyard is underway. Bring on Vintage 2022!

The picture above is one of the few brave shoots that burst into life in the last few weeks in April; lured into emerging from its dormant and wintery dwelling. The warm and dry April puts viticulturalists onto a strange sense of alert. Grateful that the vines are coming to life but dreading the very real threat of losing their bountiful harvest to spring frosts.

Glued to our phones, monitoring weather apps and watching the fickle weather fronts toing and froing; a real emotional rollercoaster.

The weather had been looking good and we thought we were in the clear, then quite suddenly, the forecast for the morning of Saturday the 30th April took a turn for the worse. A little tickle of frost was on the horizon and we weren’t going to be taking any chances. Bear in mind the forecast had changed the night before, so at a moments notice plans are mobilised to get out and bust the frost. Being well prepared here is key and always puts you on the front foot when dealing with an early morning frost busting. Who you gonna call?…

Guess what the most typical thing is, Murphy’s Law at play here as it always seems to be, I had double booked the team on a suite of sales missions for the Saturday. So, we were thin on the ground with Jack delivering our high quality, super informative and delicious tours and tastings at the vineyard, Molly (our newest recruit) thrown in the deep end manning (womaning?) our little stall at Clem’s Fair in Tisbury and me heading to Downton Cuckoo Fair for some maypole dancing and pouring samples for the good folk of South Wiltshire and Hampshire.

Toby, our hero of the 2022 vintage, was out at 3.30am ready to light all of the fires that he had prepared ready for this very moment. A nerve racking four hours ensue whilst the red hot flames dance on the cold morning against the blackness of night. Intermittent flashes of light show Toby’s nervous expression and his tears glisten as they wallow down his flushed and frost nibbled cheeks. Only time will tell now as to whether his hard work and commitment to his vine babies will have paid off for this year.

2. New Stockists and Allium's Spring Tasting Menu

We are delighted to introduce you to two new stockists of Bluestone Sparkling Wines. We also wanted remind you of an amazing 9 course Spring tasting menu at Allium for only £65 per person. There is an optional accompanying wine flight for an additional £30 per person. Being served from the 6th to the 14th of May. What a treat!

Jack has continued to tirelessly work on getting in touch with some of the best local business, from holiday cottages to hotels and delis to restaurants, so you can get a bottle of Bluey in your hands in a number of different settings.

Without further ado, here is a little bit about our new stockists; Guyer's House & Rifleman's Table.

Guyers House Hotel & Restaurant, Corsham, Wiltshire

Just 10 miles out of Bath, this gorgeous and idyllic Wiltshire country house provides the perfect stay over for a countryside getaway with superb food, pristine gardens and comfy traditional rooms. Well worth a visit, especially to sip a glass of Bluestone whilst leaning on your croquet mallet.

The Rifleman's Table, Salisbury, Wiltshire

A cute little tucked away café by day, occasional pop up and wedding and event venue by day/ night. Serving no nonsense and delicious food all freshly prepared in the open kitchen a hop, skip and a jacket potato away. Looking to branch out into high-end evenings and events, this is a superb setting to serve our Bluestone sparkling wines out in the beautiful 0.5 acre garden overlooking the River Avon.

3. Self-Guided Tour & Self-Guided Tasting - Bookable Now

The even longer awaited Self-Guided Tour & Self-Guided Tasting will be up and running for next week starting on Wednesday 11th May. Slots available to be booked now.

4. Meet Molly

Molly enjoying a chilled glass of white wine under the setting sun in Greece

Hi I’m Molly, a new team member of Bluestone Vineyards for this summer. I have worked in bars, restaurants, hotels and chalets. Last year this work took me to France, Greece and Croatia and this summer it brought me to a beautiful vineyard in sunny Wiltshire.

Wine has become a passion of mine which has developed over the last 3 years after completing my fine art degree at Loughborough university. I am also qualified to Level 2 WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) with an ambition to take my Level 3 this summer. I hope to combine my creative skills from my degree with my wine knowledge. I love pairing good wine with delicious food and can’t wait to learn about every aspect of vineyard life including growing the grapes, producing and creating our Bluestone Sparkling Wines, and taking guests on guided tours and tastings.

I’ve only been working for Bluestone for 2 weeks and I already feel like a member of the family. I have watched Nat and Jack host our Signature Vineyard Walks & Wine Tastings and have seen Toby hard at work tending to the vines. I have learned how to put together our scrumptious cheese and charcuterie lunch platters and hope that I can put my own creative spin on them. My favourite task so far was attending Clem’s Fair as the Bluestone vineyards representative, everyone I met was so bubbly (or maybe that was our free samples), I got to answer questions about our vineyard, and share our Classic Cuvee, and my favourite, the Cuvee Rosé.

5. Food Festivals & Shows

Where have we been?:

Downton Cuckoo Fair

This has been going on for 40 years and having grown up in Downton we are very familiar with the Cuckoo Fair. As children, it never seemed to have a great reputation, but it would appear that it is now a lovely and very well attended family friendly event filled with great local producers, food stalls and drinks stalls with all kinds of fun filled family activities going on throughout the day. We saw some familiar faces and it was lovely to see you again. We also made some new friends that we hope will come and visit us at the vineyard in the near future. Next year, we will attend and see if we can sell by the glass as it would have been perfect on the weekend just gone especially given the weather.

Clem’s Fair

Clem’s Fair near Tisbury is filled with wonderful boutique produce, garments and local gifting businesses. Set in a beautiful location and a lovely little gift fair. This show runs a few times in the year and is a great few hours out. Be sure to make the most of its proximity to Bird & Carter in Fonthill and the Beckford Arms for a drink and a light snack after completing your shop.

Where we are going to be:

Hampton Court Palace Artisan Fair - 13th, 14th & 15th May

We will be attending Hampton Court Palace Artisan Fair on the 13th, 14th and 15th of May. I have no idea what to expect, but it looks like a great day out if anyone is looking for something to do over that weekend.

Bristol Foodies Festival - 20th, 21st & 22nd May

Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Lee Ryan & Simon Webbe from Blue and Five are headlining a day each at the Bristol Foodies Festival, that we are returning to exhibit for the second time. With an even better music line up, loads of delicious food and drink and hopefully lovely weather this is a recipe for a really great time. We hope to see you there.

Chalke Valley History Festival - 20th - 26th June

This was a really fun event. We had some lovely weather and it was such a great atmosphere. If you haven’t been, I’d really recommend it. Set in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside with fantastic things to see and do. For you history buffs, this will be heaven. The great thing about the festival was that after we closed for the day we could wander off to the beer tent for a jolly pint in the sun.

6. Wine News - Cuvee Rosé 2019 & PN Shorties

Our Rosé 2019 is on the brink of being released. We are organising our dosage trial as we speak and deciding on the final sugar levels before it will be disgorged. It is just as delicious as our 2018 if not a little fresher that will see some bottle age do it justice.

We have a small delay on bottling our 2020 Pinot Noir as I ended up taking the bottling machine that I borrowed apart to clean. When I put it all back together, it leaked, a lot! So, I have to order new seals as they all had perished.

I will leave you with a nice little video of our barrel fermented chardonnay from last harvest bubbling away going through a spontaneous malolactic fermentation. If you have the sound on you will hear the "fizz", sounding much like static. You can also see the surface of the wine pricking with little bubbles breaking at the surface. Very cool!

7. English Wine Week 18th - 26th June

We will be running a number of things this week. Molly is planning a canapés and English wine pairing evening, which will be loads of fun. Canapés matched with its perfect wine partner. Delicious. We will release more details and opportunities to book tickets in our next message to you all in mid May.

It also just so happens that English Wine Week coincides with the National Picnic Week. No, I did not make that up. It’s a thing. So, we will have some picnic options for you to enjoy and you will be able to come and sit in the vineyards at your leisure and enjoy some good picnicking with some delicious English wines. We will be extending our English Wine offering that week to some of our favourites outside of our county borders.

8. Buy Wine

If you're in need for some celebratory bubbles in the coming weeks, then look no further. Our Classic Cuvee 2017 and Cuvee Rosé 2018 are both tasting beautifully at the moment. For me, the Classic currently pips it. It is just delightfully pure and crisp with the hallmark toasty notes singing through all of that apple and dashes of fresh lemon.

These wines would be the perfect gift.

Remember, you can always enhance your gift by purchasing a hand-printed wooden gift box or make use of our personalised message laser-engraving service, giving someone a truly unique gift.

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