Winemaking Process - Nyetimber
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Our Winemaking Philosophy

Explore our winemaking process and learn about the year-round hard work, dedication and attention to detail that go into producing our world-renowned sparkling wines.

From growing the finest raw materials in our vineyards, to capturing the beguiling sparkle in our winery, we seek perfection at every stage of a wine’s journey, for only exceptional quality will do for Nyetimber.

The Finest Raw Materials

Spread across several separate sites, our vineyards, with greensand or chalk soils, allow our vines to flourish across the south of England, and are perfectly situated on gentle south-facing slopes for the best possible exposure to the English sunshine. This ensures our Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes gradually achieve the ideal level of ripeness before harvest. Each handpicked parcel is assessed for optimum levels of quality, ripeness and character before being used to produce a Nyetimber wine.

The Harvest

The time to begin harvesting our vineyards across West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent is determined by the ripeness and taste of the grapes, and as all the fruit we use is estate-grown we have complete control over choosing the perfect moment to start. Due to England being a cool climate wine region, harvest usually begins around early October, and the long growing season allows our grapes time to develop the complex and delicate flavours we strive for.

The rows between the vines are filled with around 350 vineyard workers during harvest, many of whom have been hand-picking grapes at Nyetimber for several years. These workers use 15kg baskets which ensure that the fruit is conveyed to our pressing centre in the most delicate way possible and arrives in the best state of health.

To ensure the highest quality of juice from our grapes, we must press them as soon as possible after picking. Our state-of-the-art pressing centre at the heart of the Nyetimber estate in West Sussex allows for all grapes to be pressed within several hours of being harvested.

After the grapes are pressed, the juices are tasted and carefully assessed by our winemakers to evaluate the quality level, and then transported by gravity flow to be stored for a short time before moving to our winery for the next stage of the winemaking process.

From Fruit to Wine

Once at the winery, we make sure that the juice from each vineyard parcel and each grape variety is kept separate so that we protect all of the individual characteristics. By adding yeasts which react with the sugars in the juice, we kickstart the fermentation process that forms the ‘base wines’ we use for blending.

One exception to this process, and something very few people will know about, is the Pinot Noir for our Rosé. Handpicked fruit from specific vineyard parcels is taken straight to our winery where the juice is fermented in contact with the grape skins. This infuses the juice with the beautiful colour and flavour of these red-skinned grapes. This fermentation produces a light red wine that we use to blend with other white wines to create the delicate pink colour of our sparkling rosé wines.

The Perfect Blend

Blending together the still base wines is when all of the elements for each style of Nyetimber wine are chosen. Despite the one white-skinned and two red-skinned grape varieties we use, all of the base wines are white, and all are rigorously tasted and assessed by our winemakers for quality and character. They then look for different characteristics to bring together every component required to produce the desired style of wine, even including reserve wines from previous years to bring consistency of style and flavour to our multi-vintage wines, or to faithfully express the seasonality of a single vintage year.

Capturing the Sparkle

When the blended wine is ready for bottling, it must go through the crucial element of the traditional method process and become sparkling. This is when yeast are added to each bottle to kickstart the secondary fermentation before it is sealed with a crown cap and laid to rest in the cellar where it will develop a supple texture along with rich and complex flavours of biscuit, honey and brioche as the wine ages. At Nyetimber our wines typically spend 3-5 years on the lees before release to develop the sophistication and depth we require.

Ready to be Enjoyed

Once the ageing process is complete, the bottle must be prepared to be opened and enjoyed. First the yeasts are removed from the bottle and the crown cap is replaced with a cork.  After a further rest of several months, the bottle is then it is dressed with front, back and neck labels and rested for a short time before sending out to be savoured with family and friends. At Nyetimber we share a unique code on the back label of each bottle that when entered on our website reveals the exact blend, vintage(s), bottling and release date of the wine, so that for the curious among us, every detail can be appreciated.

 

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The Finest Raw Materials

Spread across several separate sites, our vineyards, with greensand or chalk soils, allow our vines to flourish across the south of England, and are perfectly situated on gentle south-facing slopes for the best possible exposure to the English sunshine. This ensures our Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes gradually achieve the ideal level of ripeness before harvest. Each handpicked parcel is assessed for optimum levels of quality, ripeness and character before being used to produce a Nyetimber wine.

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The Harvest

The time to begin harvesting our vineyards across West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent is determined by the ripeness and taste of the grapes, and as all the fruit we use is estate-grown we have complete control over choosing the perfect moment to start. Due to England being a cool climate wine region, harvest usually begins around early October, and the long growing season allows our grapes time to develop the complex and delicate flavours we strive for.

The rows between the vines are filled with around 350 vineyard workers during harvest, many of whom have been hand-picking grapes at Nyetimber for several years. These workers use 15kg baskets which ensure that the fruit is conveyed to our pressing centre in the most delicate way possible and arrives in the best state of health.

To ensure the highest quality of juice from our grapes, we must press them as soon as possible after picking. Our state-of-the-art pressing centre at the heart of the Nyetimber estate in West Sussex allows for all grapes to be pressed within several hours of being harvested.

After the grapes are pressed, the juices are tasted and carefully assessed by our winemakers to evaluate the quality level, and then transported by gravity flow to be stored for a short time before moving to our winery for the next stage of the winemaking process.

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From Fruit to Wine

Once at the winery, we make sure that the juice from each vineyard parcel and each grape variety is kept separate so that we protect all of the individual characteristics. By adding yeasts which react with the sugars in the juice, we kickstart the fermentation process that forms the ‘base wines’ we use for blending.

One exception to this process, and something very few people will know about, is the Pinot Noir for our Rosé. Handpicked fruit from specific vineyard parcels is taken straight to our winery where the juice is fermented in contact with the grape skins. This infuses the juice with the beautiful colour and flavour of these red-skinned grapes. This fermentation produces a light red wine that we use to blend with other white wines to create the delicate pink colour of our sparkling rosé wines.

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The Perfect Blend

Blending together the still base wines is when all of the elements for each style of Nyetimber wine are chosen. Despite the one white-skinned and two red-skinned grape varieties we use, all of the base wines are white, and all are rigorously tasted and assessed by our winemakers for quality and character. They then look for different characteristics to bring together every component required to produce the desired style of wine, even including reserve wines from previous years to bring consistency of style and flavour to our multi-vintage wines, or to faithfully express the seasonality of a single vintage year.

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Capturing the Sparkle

When the blended wine is ready for bottling, it must go through the crucial element of the traditional method process and become sparkling. This is when yeast are added to each bottle to kickstart the secondary fermentation before it is sealed with a crown cap and laid to rest in the cellar where it will develop a supple texture along with rich and complex flavours of biscuit, honey and brioche as the wine ages. At Nyetimber our wines typically spend 3-5 years on the lees before release to develop the sophistication and depth we require.

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Ready to be Enjoyed

Once the ageing process is complete, the bottle must be prepared to be opened and enjoyed. First the yeasts are removed from the bottle and the crown cap is replaced with a cork.  After a further rest of several months, the bottle is then it is dressed with front, back and neck labels and rested for a short time before sending out to be savoured with family and friends. At Nyetimber we share a unique code on the back label of each bottle that when entered on our website reveals the exact blend, vintage(s), bottling and release date of the wine, so that for the curious among us, every detail can be appreciated.

 

“ENGLAND IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO GROW GRAPES FOR TOP-QUALITY SPARKLING WINE”

Cherie Spriggs

THE NYETIMBER COLLECTION

Our carefully curated selections of wine are perfect for any occasion, and make for the ideal gift – be it a wedding, a birthday, or simply a treat for yourself. We raise a toast to you.

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