Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A Royal Visit with a Toast to The Queen!

Last week we were lucky enough to have a visit from His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent. We were incredibly excited to have the Duke come to the vineyard, and very much enjoyed sitting with him and relaxing in the sun with "A glass of Albury"!
HRH The Duke of Kent with Nick & Alex

We showed the Duke and the Lord Lt of Surrey, Michael More Molyneux, the different varieties of vines and explained how critical the next few weeks would be with the threat of frost. The Duke was very interested in the ‘boujies’, the candles that we light throughout the vineyard to lift the temperature above freezing.

The Duke and other guests including Deputy Mayor of Guildford Gordon Jackson and his wife Sue were invited to taste all of our wines, as well as the Albury Royal, a cocktail created in honour of the Queen’s birthday and made from Albury Estate Blanc de Blancs with wild hibiscus flowers and hibiscus syrup. As the visit was the day before Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday, we proposed a toast to Her Majesty!

Nick and The Duke proposed a toast to The Queen
with the Albury Royal Cocktail
Nick showed The Duke our wines and brandy
The Duke particularly enjoyed the Duke’s Reserve Brandy which is named after the Duke of Northumberland who owns the Albury Estate, and which is made from our wine distilled by Silent Pool Distillery.

It was a terrific honour to have HRH The Duke of Kent visit Albury Vineyard and it was great to have the opportunity to show him how we grow our organic vines and tell him about our naturally produced, award-winning wines. We are proud to be part of the rapidly expanding English wine industry, and are thrilled that his HRH enjoyed tasting our fine wines from the Surrey Hills.

It was a beautiful sunny day, the neatly pruned vines looked immaculate, and several guests told us afterwards how the Duke looked happy and relaxed, sitting chatting with the team. A very surreal moment for us!

HRH seemed relaxed chatting to Nick, his daughter Lucy,
Alex and Mike Florence, our winemaker from Litmus Wines

Friday, 15 April 2016

Introducing the Albury Royal Cocktail!

The Albury Royal, designed in celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday this year, is made by adding Albury Estate Blanc de Blancs to a wild hibiscus flower, with a dash of hibiscus syrup.

Hibiscus flowers come from the foothills of the Blue Mountians in Australia. The beautiful crimson fowers unfurl when added to liquid, and can be eaten when the bubbly has been drunk! They have a delicious rhubarb and raspberry flavour.

With the Queen's 90th birthday next week (and official birthday in June), St Georges Day on 23rd April and English Wine Week starting on the 28th May, we think it's the perfect time to be drinking English fizz!

You can try our cocktail and sample #AGlassofAlbury at the vineyard on Saturdays - we are open between 11am and 4pm and have a lovely patio area with beautiful views of the vineyard. Children, dogs and muddy boots welcome!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Warming up the vineyard at 4am!

Vineyard friends help us to light boujies in the middle of the night!
Visitors to the vineyard over recent weeks have been asking us what all the white tins positioned in between the vines are for. They are called boujies and are essentially large candles that we light on frosty nights to warm up the vineyard, and this week we had to use them!

Bud Burst
Last Saturday night temperatures fell towards zero resulting in our weather station sending us a text message at around 1am to warn us that temperatures were dropping. The vines are currently at the 'bud burst' stage and are vulnerable to frost at this time. Although no damage will be caused to the buds at -1.1C, a temperature of -2.2C will cause a '10% kill' of the buds and -3.8C will lead to a '50% kill'. 

Nick and friends came up to the vineyard to start lighting the boujies as soon as the warning came through, and they managed to stop the temperature falling below -1.3C. This is good news as the buds are fairly resilient up to around -1.9C at this stage.

So think of us on frosty nights - we will try to limit our wine comsumption and be early to bed!