We’re proud to say that, here at Lyme Bay Winery, we produce the best English wines from the best fruit grown by the best growers in the best vineyards – and our Bacchus wine is no exception.
Now, we can forgive you if you’ve not heard of the Bacchus variety before. Bacchus is somewhat of a baby when it comes to the wine world. Originally created in Germany in the 1930s, the Bacchus grape is believed to be a combination of a Riesling-Silvaner crossed with Müller-Thurgau and was not commercially available in wines until the 1970s.
By comparison, Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grapes used for wine, dating back to Ancient Rome, so it just goes to show how much of a ‘new kid on the block’ that Bacchus is!
But today, it is the UK’s third most planted grape variety behind Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, going from strength to strength in recent years and has somewhat cemented itself as the flagship English wine.
If you are new to the world of English wine and want to learn a bit more about the history, we’ve covered it in our brief guide here.
The History of the Bacchus grape
The name Bacchus is taken from the Greek god of wine, winemaking, and excess of the same name, who is also known as Dionysus. The grape was first created by Peter Morio at the Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding in Pfalz, Germany, in 1933, but wasn’t released for general cultivation until 1972, and was then brought to the UK the following year.
The grape itself is a relatively early ripener in the growing season, known for having high sugar potential and low acidity, making it quite ‘unstable’ in winemaking terms, which is why it is often combined with other grape varieties.
But thanks to the cooler climate and shorter growing season in England, the grapes are picked while the levels of acidity are still preserved, which offers a different flavour to the grape – fresher, aromatic flavours akin to Sauvignon Blanc.
Most growers aim for medium-sized yields, as the Bacchus grape can overwhelm the palate if the grape flavour is too concentrated. The grape also thrives in the cooler vineyards where the yields are more tightly controlled.
Pairing Bacchus with food
Of course, Bacchus is a wine that can be enjoyed on its own, with zesty flavours and English hedgerow notes, it is best enjoyed on a sunny day! But thanks to the complex range of flavours, it also pairs excellently with food.
The grassy undertones make it an excellent accompaniment to fish and seafood dishes, as well as spring vegetable dishes – anything with asparagus, broad beans, or peas. Equally, the citrus notes mean that Bacchus pairs with lightly spiced dishes. If you think of a Thai curry or a dish which is lemongrass-based, this wine will go hand in hand.
Lyme Bay’s 2021 Vintage
Our 2021 Bacchus is made from 100% Bacchus grapes, delicately blended from six vineyards located in three different regions in England – Essex, Kent, and Hereford. It was finally filtered and bottled in May 2022, and you can purchase it for yourself here.
If you are experiencing our Bacchus for the first time, why not check out our beginner’s guide to tasting wine to really amplify the experience?
Enjoy our full range of English Wines
Bacchus is just one variety of fantastic English Wines that we produce here at Lyme Bay, so why not check out our full range online, or pop into our Cellar Door shop if you’re passing and fancy a chat – we look forward to seeing you soon!