Lyme Bay Sandbar Bacchus is a superb example of the high quality wines that can be made from Bacchus grapes in the United Kingdom. This is 100% Bacchus sourced from two vineyard site, one in Devon and one in Kent. Whilst Bacchus has its origins in Germany, it is in fact a Silvaner & Riesling cross crossed with Muller Thurgau, in England, due to the cooler climate, higher acidity and lower yield, Bacchus tends to produce wines that seem to share much more in common with Sauvignon Blanc.
The Lyme bay Winery was founded by Nigel Howard and has made its name over the years for the production of a wide range of fruit wine, ciders, meads and liqueurs from their base in the Axe Valley in Devon. Whilst they still produce a wide range of these products, Lyme Bay Winery planted 26,000 vines in 2009 and 2010 within a stone’s throw of the winery and have since branched out with a good range of still and sparkling English wines. As well as farming their own vines, they also buy grapes from other grape growers in the South of England and argue that “truly special wines are born from grapes with diverse backgrounds.” The head winemaker is Northern Ireland born Liam Idzikowski who has previously worked at Langham Estate and Camel Valley. His move primarily prompted by Liam’s desire to produced high quality English still wines.
The grapes for the Lyme Bay Sandbar Bacchus are sourced from the Southcote Vineyard in Devon and the Sandhurst Vineyard in Kent. For the 2015 vintage the grapes were picked early between the 12th and 13th October 2015. For this fresher style of wine, the winery always aims to pick the grapes before they are too ripe. The grapes are crushed and destemmed and the juices are then 48 hours before being inoculated with four specially selected yeast strains to maximise the varietal character. After fermentation the wine is gently racked and then left to age for four months in stainless steel on fine lees to improve structure and mouth-feel, before being bottled at the end of February 2016. There is no malalactic fermention to ensure freshness. Lyme Bay Sandbar Bacchus is a superb English white wine, aromatic and made in a medium to dry style.
The label features a watercolour of a Dorset-inspired shoreline by artist Dina Campbell.