Thursday May 11, 2023

New vineyard to be planted at La Mare

A new chapter for La Mare Wine Estate with the planting of a new vineyard.

Seventeen new rows of vines will be planted by hand at La Mare Wine Estate in St Mary this Friday, 12th May.

The new rows will consist of twelve Solaris, a variety of grape used for producing white wine, with five rows of Regent, a red grape variety. 

Solaris is an early ripening, hybrid grape variety developed to resist disease and is characterised by lush green, circular disk-like leaves and medium-sized clusters filled with chartreuse coloured berries. This grape requires around 90 days to fully ripen as opposed to around 100 days for other vitis varieties, thus enabling it to thrive in cooler, damper climates such as Jersey.

Regent is a red grape that produces wine that tastes similar to those from the south of Italy.. The advantages of this variety include early ripening, an above average must weight, a high resistance to winter frosts and to downy mildew, oidium and botrytis; therefore reducing the need for chemical plant protection. In good growing years they are even sweet enough to be eaten as a dessert variety.

The new vineyard will be over half a hectare and replaces Phoenix and Seyval Blanc varieties that were over 50 years old. 

The project is led by Head Winemaker Jordi Sanvicens Moreno and Vineyard Manager Andrew Smith. A team of extra labourers has already dug the 6 inches wide and 15 inches deep holes and planted the posts which has taken over 4 days to complete. 

Steel posts have been used rather than wooden ones as they have lower breakage rates and are more sustainable than their wooden counterparts, as they can be recycled after use. 

Following planting, for the first three years the team will be focussed on building architecture of the vine. By the fifth year the first crops will be indicative but not representative of the production. The vines will be most efficient from 15th – 25th year in terms of yield and quality as the roots take time to develop.

Jordi says “The careful planning and timely application of each step in the process of vineyard establishment is important not only to hasten the onset of vineyard productivity but also to ensure its long-term productivity. Every single one of the vines will be planted by hand and lovingly cared for.”