Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 13:26 UK

Wet summers put a damper on wine

Richard Liwicki in his vineyard
Richard Liwicki has been hit by four years of bad grape growing weather

Oxfordshire's oldest vineyard will not have any new wine this year because of successive wet summers.

The grapes at Bothy Vineyard in Frilford Heath were affected by bad growing conditions in June and July leading to a very small crop.

Owner Richard Liwicki said: "I felt quite devastated actually, I felt very despondent.

"It's the fourth year in a row that we've had a poor harvest due to weather conditions at the vineyard."

"We had a lot of rain, we had a lot of wind, and it was cold," he added.

Hard times

A small amount of grapes were produced, but the wine from them will not be available until next year, Mr Liwicki said.

"There's going to be no income for the vineyard this year, but clearly a lot of outgoings.

"But this is a hobby that's gone mad for me. I've still got a 3 day a week day job that pays the bills, but it would be nice to turn the corner and stop subsidising the Oxfordshire wine drinking public," he added.

Bothy Vineyard is Oxfordshire's oldest commercial vineyard and in July 2008 it won two silver awards at the English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition.



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