2018 Harvest Report

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A near perfect 2018 growing season resulted in a large crop of very high-quality fruit across all three varieties.

 

Vineyard

A very cold and wet late winter period gave way to an exceptionally warm and dry spring. With such a distinct change of seasons, bud burst happened very quickly and evenly. Although temperatures dropped to near freezing on the evening of 1st May, the threat of spring frosts this year was low and the vineyard made it through this nail-biting period unscathed.

Hot and dry weather prevailed through the rest of spring and early summer, and flowering of the vines occurred under perfect conditions in mid-June. By this point grapevine phenological stages were proceeding 2-3 weeks ahead of the average and canopy growth continued at a colossal rate. Dry periods were interspersed with small amounts of rain, and combined with soil water reserves accumulated during the winter months, the vines always had a sufficient supply of water. The 1500 new vines planted in May had to be watered on a couple of occasions to ensure root development wasn’t affected.

The first signs of veraison were seen on August 7th, three weeks earlier than usual. Higher rates of precipitation and cooler temperatures in August and early September slowed down the ripening process but also resulted in bunches swelling due to increased water availability. Harvest of the Crawthorne Vineyard Pinot noir began on 27th September, a day earlier than the 2017 harvest and around two weeks earlier than an average year. Picking continued under dry and often sunny conditions for the next couple of weeks and was completed on 11th October with perfectly ripe Chardonnay.

 

Winery

The quantity and quality of fruit received in to the winery over the 2018 harvest was simply astonishing. In addition to the existing capacity extra barrels and two small tanks were purchased so that no fruit had to be sold. This increase in barrel capacity was also required to ensure that the proportion of wine fermented in barrel (30%) to stainless steel (70%) remained similar to previous years and that the ‘house style’ wasn’t compromised.

All of the wines this year received very little intervention, with only small sugar and sulphur dioxide additions and everything fermenting with native yeasts.

 

 

Fantastic opportunity to run the Vineyard Café

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We currently have a fantastic opportunity to run the Vineyard Café at Langham Wine Estate near Dorchester, Dorset.
Located close to Dorchester, Langham Wine Estate has developed a reputation for producing outstanding English Sparkling Wines. In 2017 we opened a Tasting Room and Café on-site in a converted dairy, to host tours, tastings and regular events. We are now looking to develop our food offer further to ensure it fully complements our wine portfolio and reflects the growing customer demand for provenance and innovation, whilst providing value for money.

This presents an exciting opportunity for a company or individual, with a proven catering background, to run the Vineyard Café. As part of a vibrant Dorset Food & Drink community you will create a compelling selection of daily and event menus, alongside an exemplary service proposition that will grow with our core business.
We are looking for a partner who will work with our small and friendly team and is committed to ensuring customers consistently receive an exceptional and memorable experience.

The chosen operator will be expected to sign up to a two-year agreement starting January 2019.

For expressions of interest please email justin@langhamwine.co.uk by close of play Friday 16th November.

Interviews will take place Monday 26th November.

 

Winery Assistant Required

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We currently have a fantastic opportunity for a Winery Assistant to join our small team based close to Dorchester, Dorset.

At Langham Wine Estate we pride ourselves in producing terroir-driven, thought-provoking wines using only the highest quality Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot meunier grown on our single vineyard site. We also produce a limited amount of wine under contract for a number of vineyards in the South of England. We currently have an exciting opportunity for an Assistant to join our team to help with all aspects of winery work and support our continued growth. The successful candidate will have an open-minded approach and as part of a ‘grower estate’ be willing to become involved in all aspects of the business.

Responsibilities

  • Assist the Winemaker with all winery tasks: harvest, blending, bottling and general organization and cleaning
  • Riddling, disgorgement and labelling of wine
  • Maintenance of winery equipment including presses, pumps, bottling line, disgorging machine and labelling line
  • Diligent record keeping at all stages of the winemaking process
  • Basic laboratory analysis on juice and wine
  • Involvement in all wine evaluation and input on winemaking decisions
  • Supervision of additional staff including training and H&S protocols
  • Assist with vineyard tasks as needed
  • Help with tours and tastings as required
  • Adherence to health and safety regulations

Personal attributes

  • Passionate about minimal intervention winemaking
  • Organised and efficient with attention to detail
  • Be willing to work weekends and evenings when required
  • Strong team player

 

Qualifications & experience

  • Winery experience preferred
  • Full, clean UK driving license
  • Forklift license beneficial
  • Computer literate with good Microsoft Office skills
  • Sales and customer service experience would also be beneficial
This is a permanent, full-time position beginning with a 6-month probationary period. Salary will be negotiable depending on experience.

Please send a CV and covering letter to winery@langhamwine.co.uk
Closing date: Friday 16th November 2018

 

Langham Win Best Drinks Product Award

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Following our recent success in the South West Vineyard Association awards, we were delighted to receive ‘Best Drinks Product’ last month at the Dorset Magazine Food & Farming Awards!

 

Celebrating the quality and passion behind so many Dorset businesses, the awards are designed to showcase the great and the good in Dorset, and reward the hardworking people behind them, including suppliers and producers, small farming businesses, chefs, restaurants, pubs and hoteliers.

Sponsored by Saffery Champness the Best Drinks Product category included Cerne Abbas Brewery and the Dorset Ginger Company in the line up, so our crafted terroir-driven sparkling wines – using grapes only grown on our vineyard – were in good company!

Judges were impressed with our 30 acres of vines (planted in 2009) that makes us the largest single-site vineyard in the South West, where we produce our low-intervention, sparkling wine in the traditional method from the classic varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot meunier.

2018 has already proved to be a very successful year for us in terms of national awards and so we are proud to be building on that with this latest award from Dorset Magazine. We value being part of a strong and vibrant community of local food and drinks producers here in Dorset.

 

 

Success in the South West’s Annual Wine Competition

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We were delighted to host the South West Vineyards Association (SWVA) annual awards. 95 wines from 28 producers were judged in our tasting room and the results were revealed at the SWVA Member’s Day the following day. Drum roll…
South West Wine Competition

We were absolutely thrilled to have received the overall trophy for South West Wine of the Year for our Classic Cuvée Reserve Magnum 2011! In addition we won the Chairman’s cup for Best Sparkling Rosé (for the second year running) for our Rosé NV alongside a gold medal for our Blanc de Noirs 2013. All these accolades are testament to the expertise of winemaker Daniel Ham and the commitment of our small team. As first time hosts it was a privilege to have a behind-the-scenes insight into the awards and see the passion that the SWVA committee and judges share for the wines.

The SWVA is one of seven regional associations of the national body Wine GB, and this years’ competition involved artisan producers from across the breadth of the South West, from Cornwall to Herefordshire. The judges this year were wine experts Patricia Stefanowicz MW, Lindsay Oram, Richard Coulson, Jemma Mitchell and Alex Taylor.

For those interested in checking out the range of fantastic wines available across our region, the full awards are available to view on the SWVA website: Click Here

South West Wine Competition

July’s Fizz & Fromage Evening

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July´s Fizz and Fromage extravaganza occurred on yet another beautiful summer´s evening – we´ve been well and truly spoilt lately.
Our guests started their night with a wander through our lustrous vines with Olly, our charming Vineyard Manager, who we managed to persuade off his tractor especially! Olly shared an informative, humorous and exciting update on what´s been happening in the vineyard with all this glorious weather, whetting our appetites for 2018´s harvest. Guests then returned to the Tasting Room for a cheese-related tutored Wine Tasting and tucking into some truly wonderful Andrew James-inspired fromage treats; including mini fondues, soufflés and a stunning Yorkshire Cheese curd Dessert.It was a fabulous evening, made all the more special by the a sneaky guest appearance from the man responsible for one of favourite cheeses, Ford Farm Coastal Cheddar Head Cheesemaker, Andy Chiverton-Moore. Andy spoke about Ford Farm and some of the amazing Cheeses that are made there – thank you Andy!

June’s Fizz Friday hosts Summer Lodge

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Our ‘Welcome to Summer’ Fizz Friday in June was a four course seasonal menu by Summer Lodge Chef Steve Titman, with wine pairing options curated by Head Sommelier Eric.

The award-winning Grade II Listed Summer Lodge Country House Hotel is nestled in true Thomas Hardy terroir, offering an elegant rural escape – if you haven’t visited yet you must; only a short drive from Langham Wine Estate.

The mouthwatering menu was as follows:

Canapés:
Torched Mackerel, Pickled Beetroot, Horseradish
Local Goats Cheesecake (v)
Chilled Tomato Consommé (v)
English Asparagus, Coppa Ham
Langham Classic Cuvee 2014

Gateau of Portland Crab
Marinated Cucumber, Avocado Puree and Lobster Aioli
Textures of Heritage Beetroot, Goats Curd and Horseradish (v)
Langham Blanc de Blancs 2014

Sous Vide Monkfish Fillet
Choucroute, Black Garlic, Home Cured Bacon and Langham Estate Velouté
Courgette Fritters, Spiced Aubergine Puree, Baby Courgettes and Minted Ricotta (v)
Langham Classic Cuvee Reserve 2011 Magnum

Mille Feuille of English Berries
Vanilla Crémeux, Strawberry and Langham Rose Sorbet
Langham Rose 2014

As always a vegetarian option was available. We received glowing feedback from our lovely guests – if you haven’t joined us for Fizz Friday yet we hope to see you soon!

“What a lovely, enjoyable evening. Superb food and service. As always the Langham wine went down very well. We’ll definitely be going back.”
Amy, Broadmayne

Our next Fizz Friday is on the 6th of July is a Fizz and Fromage extravaganza, curated by our own Vineyard Café chef Andrew James. It’s a twist on a classic cheese and wine pairing, including mini fondue and soufflés with dessert and cheese from our friends at Ford Farm and Dorset Blue. Click here for details.

 

Two Golds in the Wine GB Awards

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We won two Gold Medals in the Wine GB Awards – one each for the Classic Cuvée 2014 and the Rosé 2014.

They were among 230 English and Welsh wines judged in total and we’re proud to say we fought off stiff competition to achieve two of only 28 Gold Medals awarded overall. The judging of the national awards, formally knows as the UK Wine Awards, took place on the 14th and 15th of May at Hotel du Vin, Wimbledon, with an impressive line up of judges from the UK wine industry including Saturday Kitchen’s Susie Barrie, presenter Oz Clarke and winemaker Sue Daniels (of Marks and Spencer).

The judges’ glowing comments are testament to the dedication and passion of our small team for producing world-class sparkling wines from our estate; we couldn’t be prouder!

Award Winning Sparkling Wine
Langham Classic Cuvée 2014 is a blend of the three classic Champagne varieties Chardonnay (50%), Pinot noir (25%) and Pinot meunier (25%). In appearance it has a golden colour with a stream of fine bubbles. The nose has aromas of red apple and brioche giving way to a refreshing palate with luxurious mouthfeel and flavours reminiscent of honeydew melon and poached pear. An elegant acidity brings poise to the palate and provides a mouth-watering finish, and it pairs perfectly with seafood and summer salads – or drinks beautifully on its own.

Langham Rosé 2014, a beautiful salmon pink sparkling cuvée, is a blend of the Estate’s finest Pinot Noir (89%) and Chardonnay (11%). This wine has a fine stream of small bubbles with a rich nose of butter pastry, strawberry and fresh red cherry. The palate is light and refreshing with flavours reminiscent of summer fruit pudding and a complex honeyed richness on the finish. It can be happily enjoyed on its own, with lightly spiced Asian-inspired dishes or with fresh fruit desserts.

 

Gold for Classic Cuvée 2014 in the SWA

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We’re delighted to be celebrating again this year, this time in the 2018 Sommelier Wine Awards (SWA) with a Gold for our Classic Cuvée 2014.
Classic Cuvee 2014

Langham Classic Cuvée 2014 was described as ‘Lovely by the glass and good value,’ by Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu London, noting its ‘floral, nutty, fruity and elegant nose, and friendly, fresh and quite juicy palate’. The Don’s Carlos Ferreira said it was ‘a bit spicy with red apple, oak and stone fruits, good balance and finishing long and creamy’. SWA judges team leader Martin Lam found it ‘very distinctive, with a creamy, almost honeyed nose, and quite high acidity’.

Considering the calibre of judges involved in the SWA we are very proud to have our Classic Cuvée 2014 so well-received. The judges’ glowing comments are testament to the dedication and passion of our small team for producing world-class sparkling wines from our single-vineyard Dorset estate.

Langham Classic Cuvée 2014 is available direct from our Tasting Room or website. Come and try before you buy; we’re open 10pm-4pm Tuesday to Saturday through until the end of 2018 but please check our contact page for up-to-date opening hours.

May’s Fizz Friday with Lesley Waters

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On the first Friday of every month we host Fizz Friday here at the winery. For May’s event we had wonderful Dorset chef Lesley Waters introducing her Spring menu, all accompanied by Langham sparkling wines!
Guests began with a mixed platter starter served with freshly baked bread, butternut hummus, marinated feta and dukka, chorizo ragout. This was followed by Spring lamb koftas with smokey Puy lentil salad, caramelised roasted peppers and red onions served with a side of wild garlic aioli, whereas vegetarians were treated to marinated vegetable kebabs served with a baby spinach, lemon and wild garlic salad.Dessert was a sumptuous-but-fresh Spanish orange honey cake served with Catalan cream and everyone was able to choose two glasses of any of our Langham cuvées to accompany the meal.

We were delighted to have a full tasting room for the evening, experiencing Lesley’s lively patter and exclusive preview to her menus of the season. It was a delicious and exclusive evening in our rustic tasting room, stay tuned for future culinary events here at Langham Wine Estate!

Our next Fizz Friday is on the 1st of June co-hosted by Summer Lodge chef Steven Titman who’ll be serving a four-course menu paired with a selection of Langham cuvées. Click here for details.