Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

London's only winery switches to Italy after turning down rotten French grapes

Published:  03 October, 2013

London Cru, the first central London winery, has had to turn away seven tonnes of grapes due to arrive from Bordeaux and the Loire Valley as the quality was not deemed to be up to scratch.

The grapes were set to arrive in the next two weeks, but have been turned away due to the high level of rot in the vineyards where they were grown. But fortune favours the brave and the winery has now managed to get its hands on four tonnes of Barbera grapes from an Italian producer, Luca Roagana, in northern Italy.

Gavin Monery, London Cru's winemaker, said: "Obviously it's a real disappointment to lose two parcels of grapes which we were really looking forward to working with. However, after a lot of conversation with the vineyard owners this week; we all felt that we were unable to get the fruit to London without a high incidence of rot by the time it arrived. It was essential for us to make the decision quickly in order to allow the growers to factor this fruit back into their own production.

"From the moment we first discussed the project it became a rule that we could not risk taking grapes with high potential levels of rot, especially with the extra travel time involved, and sadly what has been a tough vintage across much of France has forced our hand on this issue."

But he was now looking foward to receiving the grapes from Luca Roagna.

Monery added: "Luca is an acquaintance of one of our directors and recently approached us to express his interest in the project. He flew over to see the winery in August, and after lengthy discussions about what we were looking for, he managed to source an additional parcel of high-quality red grapes for us. This is something we hadn't really planned on until our second vintage, but the timely combination of the loss of grapes elsewhere and Luca's support has allowed us to move our plans forward.

"We will now be working with four tonnes of Barbera from Piedmont, which will take the place of the Merlot we were expecting. These grapes are coming from growers that Luca has known and worked with for many years. Having seen how well the supply chain works with ripe fruit in top condition we're really looking forward to having a trailer full of high-quality Barbera pitch up in SW6, and turning that into another exciting addition to our range."

In total London Cru has lost four tonnes of Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire and three tonnes of Merlot from Bordeaux.