To produce the Classic Cuvée Multi Vintage Nyetimber each vineyard parcel was processed separately. The grapes were pressed in shallow Coquard presses (which come from Champagne) and vinified in stainless steel. All wines underwent malolactic fermentation. These were blended with 30% reserve wines, which were on average four years old. Once in bottle, the wine was aged on lees for 36 months before disgorgement and dosage, following the traditional method. After disgorgement, they were aged for a further 6 months’ before release.
Nyetimber only uses grapes from its own vineyards, all south-facing with greensand and chalk soils. They own nine vineyards in Sussex, Hampshire and Kent, but only seven are currently in production. Harvest was entirely manual, with each plot picked on a parcel by parcel basis to ensure optimal maturity.
The Nyetimber Estate is based in the heart of West Sussex, on what is regarded as a perfect site for the production of sparkling wine. The Estate, which was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, was first established as a vineyard in 1988 when just over 14 hectares of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines were planted. Ever-increasing demand for Nyetimber’s sparkling wines led to considerable vineyard expansion from 2006 onwards. Nyetimber now has 11 carefully selected vineyards across Sussex, Hampshire and Kent, with a total of 327 hectares under vine. The Estate is owned by Dutchman Eric Heerema who, alongside Head Winemaker Cherie Spriggs, has installed an impressive cellar. All of their grapes are 100% estate-grown, handpicked and gently pressed, parcel by parcel, by six state-of-the-art Coquard presses from Champagne. Nyetimber’s vineyard holdings lie either on chalk or greensand soils, both of which are favoured for their good drainage and low vigour. The vines are rigorously managed to ensure excellent flavour concentration and de-leafing is carried out to maximise the exposure of the grapes to sunlight. Nyetimber was the first producer to make English Sparkling Wine exclusively from the ‘Champagne varieties’: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier. Nyetimber provides a lot code on the back label of each bottle. Entering this code on their website will provide a precise chronology of each bottle from the moment it was bottled to when it was riddled and disgorged.