To produce the Blanc de Blancs Nyetimber a small portion (3%) of the Chardonnay for this wine was fermented and aged in new French oak barrels. This wine spent more than five years ageing on lees in the cellars before ridding and disgorging.
Nyetimber uses only its own grapes from its own vineyards, each of which was deliberately selected to be south-facing with either sandy or chalk soils for optimal fruit ripeness. All Nyetimber vineyards are located in the lee of the South Downs, which affords them shelter from the coastal winds. Prior to harvest, the grapes are tasted to ensure the best flavour development before picking. Every single grape is picked by hand at the optimal time, a decision that is made on a parcel by parcel basis.
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.