Winemaker Cancels Harvest After Soggy Summer
An English winemaker has said it will not harvest grapes this year as a result of the wettest summer in England and Wales for 100 years.
Sparkling wine producer Nyetimber, which grows its grapes in West Sussex and Hampshire, said a combination of wet and cold conditions meant the fruit has not matured properly.
As a result, the quality and volume of this year's grapes did not meet the required standard, winemaker Cherie Spriggs said, adding the decision not to harvest had been a difficult one.
"Maintaining quality is paramount," she said.
"My first obligation as the winemaker is to ensure the quality of Nyetimber's wines, and we have collectively come to the decision that the grapes from 2012 cannot deliver the standards we have achieved in the past and will again in the future."
It comes as the National Farmers' Union (NFU) becomes the latest organisation to warn of rising food prices as a result of poor harvests across the country.
Wheat yields fell over 14% this year to levels last seen in the late 1980s, it said.
Guy Gagen, NFU chief crops adviser, said the UK's harvest compounds a series of challenging weather events for farmers - including the worst drought in 50 years in the US and a heat wave in Russia.
"The resulting tight supplies of many feed grains have driven up the prices of agricultural commodities around the world," he said.
"These UK harvest results will do little to alleviate the global dynamics of commodity prices, with the prospect of relatively high commodity levels through to 2013."
The price of cereals also impacts on other sectors, he added, especially pig and poultry farmers who are already struggling with higher feed costs.