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It is always quite difficult to know what varieties to plant for the English climate. I did my research on the net and asked local vignerons what varieties they had planted and how they were doing, and also discussed it with my chosen supplier, Derek Pritchard. It seemed to be a consensus that the latest disease resistant varieties were the best way to go. Also as I was not aiming for commercial production, I could use hybrid varieties without worrying about the stupid restrictions imposed by EU naming regulations.

Also as this was largely to be an experimental vineyard, I wanted to plant a number of varieties but not so many that vinification became a pain. I wanted enough of each variety to allow me to experiment in the winery with oak, malolactic fermentation, length on the lees, blending, etcetera. So I decided that the roughly 300 vines I would plant would be of three different varieties.

So, the varieties planted are:-

Phoenix Phoenix is one of the most successful disease resistant varieties. It is a crossing of Seyval Blanc and Baccus which produces attractive, herbaceous elderflower scented wine in England with a minimum of spraying.
Madeline Angevine This is an early ripening variety used for table grapes and for wine production in England and Krygyzstan! Several different varieties go by this name. Some wines are attractively scented and crisp.
Reichensteiner Reichensteiner is a white grape variety whose creator, Helmut Becker maintained it was the first European Union crossing, with French, Italian and German antecedents. In 1978 he developed this crossing of Muller-Thurgau with a crossing of Madeline Angevine and the Italian early Calabrese. Its looser bunches are less prone to rot and well pruned plants can reach good must weights.

Descriptions from The Oxford Companion to Wine.

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