Research findings break down East Anglia’s ‘signature’ grape variety

Winemaker Ben Witchell has been analysing the make-up of the Bacchus grape variety, which is grown w

Winemaker Ben Witchell has been analysing the make-up of the Bacchus grape variety, which is grown widely in East Anglia. - Credit: Archant

Winemakers and experts gathered to hear the findings of research into a grape variety fast becoming East Anglia's speciality.

Ben Witchell of the Flint Vineyard near Bungay presented his results at Copdock Hall Vineyard in Suffolk after examining the Bacchus grape thanks to a £23,000 grant by the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.

He analysed 19 English Bacchus wines from 2015 using gas chromatography mass spectrometry to break down the what makes up its distinctive aroma.

The research found that Bacchus shares fewer aromatic compounds with Sauvignon Blanc than previously thought, and more with German varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer.

It also underlined the complexity of the Bacchus aroma, which supported Mr Witchell's belief that the variety potential to produce exciting world-class wines.

He said: 'These results may change the way we think about Bacchus and the approach we take to winemaking, in particular yeast selection, enzymes and skin contact.'

Flint Vineyard expects to release its first wine in 2017.

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