What is contract winemaking?
Author: Jack Grey
Vineyards across the UK frequently take advantage of contract winemaking services, such as those offered at Stanlake Park Wine Estate in Berkshire. Using these expert solutions, they are able to get the very best out of their cherished grapes, and attain wonderful final products for their customers.
Currently in the UK there are roughly 500 vineyards, meaning fields planted with grape vines, whereas there are only around 150 wineries, which process those grapes and transform them into wine. Many of them, like Stanlake Park, have both their own vineyards and winery, although the majority of the vineyards rely on another company to produce their wines.
On the other side, there are companies that only make wine buying grapes from different vineyards, but they don't own any vines themselves. Those businesses are usually known as merchants or négociants in France.
For the English wine world, it has been an exciting couple of months. With the harvest season drawing to a close, the winemaking process has begun. At Stanlake Park, our Italian winemaker Nico Centonze steers this creative operation with the help of Assistant Winemaker, Josh Ravell-Gough.
On top of our own grapes, the duo takes on fruits from other local vineyards and helps them to create exceptional English wines using Stanlake Park’s equipment, experience and expertise. This arrangement is known as Contract Winemaking. In total, Stanlake Park makes about 40,000-60,000 bottles of wine a year for clients through its contract winemaking services, and this include both still and sparkling wine.
Even during our 2020 harvest, we were accepting delivery of freshly picked grapes from other vineyards and processing them through our top quality machinery. They receive the same careful and attentive treatment as Stanlake Park’s own grapes, and are turned into brilliant wines as per their owner’s requests.
Contract Winemaking Clients
A number of English Vineyards make use of Stanlake Park’s contract winemaking services. For example:
- Danebury Vineyards (Hampshire)
- Dropmore Vineyard (Buckinghamshire)
- Hendred Vineyard (Oxfordshire)
- Oaken Grove Vineyard (Oxfordshire)
What We Offer
At Stanlake Park, we create high quality products for our clients, offering services for both still and sparkling wines. We are able to draw on a great deal of experience when working with either style, as our range, made from our own grapes, includes both. Our clients benefit not only from Stanlake’s winemaking machinery and equipment, but also from our understanding and expertise in the creation of fantastic bottles of wine, and our innate love for what we do.
If this kind of skilled and committed service is what you and your grapes need then please email our Winemaker, Nico Centonze, using the address firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.