From the wines that excite her the most, to her best winemaking experience to date, here Lyme Bay winemaker Sarah Massey shares her experience making wine at Lyme Bay…
I’ve worked at Lyme Bay for… just over a year, I started at the beginning of last harvest, so this is my second harvest. Before coming to Lyme Bay I suppose you could describe me as a travelling wine maker. I made wine in California, Australia and Burgundy. And I wasn’t planning on staying for longer than one harvest at Lyme Bay Winery but it has won me over – I love making wine here and wouldn’t want to go anywhere else now!
Burgundian wines have a special place in my heart… also Jura, which is a little wine region between Burgundy and Switzerland which produces some real gems. Chateau Musar is a Lebanese wine which is well known for a being a bit different and I really like it. My tastes are quite eclectic I would say.
My best winemaking experience to date is… when I did my vintage in Burgundy. We also made some Beaujolais as it borders the region. I will never forget the first time we drove down to the vineyards. We took the scenic route as the sun was rising, touching the vines with such incredible light. It was the most picturesque wine region I have ever been to and was such a beautiful moment. I ended up writing my dissertation on Beaujolais after that!
The fruit we have seen from the 2020 harvest is utterly amazing… truly ripeness I have never seen in English grapes before. I am really excited about the wines we are creating from this harvest.
I worked the night shift this harvest… so 6pm to 6am. Generally when I arrived I would take
over pressing from the day shift and focus on the wine work like monitoring, additions, fermentation and racking. We regularly taste the wines as well. Plus the punch downs and pump overs with the reds, and adding to barrels when they’re ready.
I am looking forward to working on the Pinot Noir the most… We’ve had some incredible clones coming in. I also have another project of a small batch of wine that I’ve been working on – I can’t reveal the details yet but hopefully we can shout about it soon if all goes well! The 1801 clone has ripened beautifully and is looking to be an exceptional wine. I’m also really excited about the Chardonnay – we have made some stunning Chardonnays here in the past so I’m looking to replicate and even exceed those.
It’s great to be given so much say… my opinion really matters here. It’s really the people that make anywhere good and the people here are amazing. It’s incredible to have someone like James at the helm – he is very passionate about wine and has big ambitions which I’m thrilled to be a part of. It feels like we are on the precipice of something very exciting with English still wines.