Weekday Wallowing

Stay a little longer and relax at your favourite PIG, for less!
Find out more

Castlewood and Devon Minnow: The story so far

MG 0097

In the world of winemaking, every year is a new chapter in the story of a vineyard's journey. In our collaboration with Castlewood Vineyard, we've experienced the ebb and flow of nature's influence on wine and style.

The Devon Minnow, a special project between mates Hutson, HIX and Corbett, has seen some intriguing years, each with its set of challenges and triumphs. Here’s an update on what’s been happening:

2021: A Cold Year with a Silver Lining

  • A lean, cold year with high rain in September.
  • Thankfully, the grapes were harvested in time to avoid dilution.
  • The resulting wine boasted an alcohol of 11.5%.
  • A green harvest was done to increase grape ripeness

2022: A Year of Drought and Contrasts

  • The opposite of 2021, 2022 brought drought and little rainfall.
  • We had only about half of the usual annual rainfall (around 20 inches) by September.
  • The lack of rain made the grapes susceptible to powdery mildew, a fungus that thrives in dry conditions.
  • Despite the challenges, a careful selection process resulted in tiny yields.
  • The berries were smaller than usual, producing only about a third of the typical vintage.

The 2022 Devon Minnow: A Rarity

  • The vintage was so unique that it resulted in just a quarter of the usual yield.
  • To adapt, the grapes were whole-cluster pressed, like the 2018 Devon Minnow.
  • The natural alcohol content was around 12%, allowing for fermentation with two yeast strains, X5 and Delta.
  • The fermentation took place in oak barrels, specifically 3-year-old ones.
  • The wine spent 11 months in barrels and was bottled in September 2023.
  • It will age in the bottle until spring 2024 when it will be tasted before its release.
  • This vintage shares similarities with 2018, featuring concentrated flavours, low yields and higher sugar content.

2023: Promising Progress

  • Castlewood Vineyard has experienced good warmth and yields, with disease-free fruit.
  • The wines in this vintage are notably low in acidity, making them ideal for still wines.

Sign up to be the first to hear about our wines’ progress – and all things food, drink and local at THE PIGs.


Photo credit George Chesterton.

Live Chat Chat to use