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Maiden Wine Co



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Made in Dorset with grapes grown along the Hampshire coast. The grapes underwent carbonic maceration for 3 weeks + 1 day before being pressed off in a hydropress and fermented into a textural wine with notes of red apple and tropical starfruit. Racey lime acidity and a long, structured finish.

Don't serve too cold and give her time to breathe.

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Maeve 2021 Carbonic Maceration Chardonnay

2021 wasn’t only a challenging year for grapes in the UK, it was also a challenging and rewarding year for me.

We bought the property that our house and the winery are on in February 2021, during the final and longest COVID lockdown. Just weeks before this, I’d suffered a very painful and traumatising miscarriage. In a physical sense, it was one of the scariest things I’d ever dealt with. This coupled with being in lockdown, not being able to go to the hospital and not being able to be with my mom or sisters, meant it was an incredibly difficult time for me.

But, after a rollercoaster in 2020 and a difficult start to 2021, I now had an opportunity to get to work and create something positive after everything I’d been through.

The winery was the first thing on the property we worked on. It was a brick two-level workshop with solar on the roof, and after taking down some walls, moving electricity, and several new coats of paint, the dream started to take shape. The winery equipment arrived in August and my production license came through a week after my birthday, later that month.

With the 2021 vintage being tricky, I was only able to buy Chardonnay grapes that year, and thus created my first ‘wine baby’, Maeve. A name I’d always said I wanted to give to my first daughter, but this felt like the perfect opportunity to name my first independent wine something I already loved.

While working with David Hearn on the imagery, I’d always had in my head lots and lots of green. The grapes were so beautifully clean and green when they came into the winery — I wouldn’t have been able to do carbonic maceration if they hadn’t been.

The place where I live and make wine is surrounded by the rolling green hills of Dorset, which to me is the most beautiful place on Earth.

And we knew we had to have a Maeve on the label.

We worked through my mood boards Dave created for me (one for each wine) and picked out aspects of inspiration I loved. Thus, the Maeve label was created to embody this incredible story and innovative wine, all born from the 2021 vintage.


Coming from Harmony Vineyard, a coastal vineyard, just outside of Portsmouth in Hampshire, this vineyard has only Chardonnay planted, and special attention is given to growing the best possible fruit regardless of the vintage. 

2021 was a particularly challenging vintage, and while we didn’t see any spring frosts, as we had in previous years, it wasn’t an easy growing season. A very difficult summer with cool, grey conditions meant many vineyards saw the loss of entire crops if the management of the vineyard was not adapted to the challenging conditions. 

Luckily, Harmony Vineyard is managed by one of the best viticulturists in the UK, and the fruit that came into the vineyard was pristine, completely free of rot and mildew, some of the cleanest Chardonnay I’ve ever seen.


The total acidity in the grapes at harvest was 14g/L, a result of a cold ripening period. I knew there were multiple ways to work with this high acidity, and this directly led to the decision-making that created this wine. 

Typically, in England, we have naturally occurring tartaric acid in our grapes, so I knew a portion of the acidity would cold stabilize out once we got into the winter months. But before that happened, I had to decide whether to put all of my 1.5 tonnes of Chardonnay into base wine for sparkling, or whether to try a little experiment, and, if it worked out, I knew I’d be the only one in the country making wine like this. After chatting to a few winemakers about creating a carbonic maceration Chardonnay, I felt confident this would lower the acidity in the wine and raise the pH. I wasn’t entirely sure what flavours and aromas would develop but I knew that I liked the result when this method is used in red wines and so I decided to take a chance. 

Two 300L tanks of whole bunch Chardonnay underwent carbonic maceration for three weeks and one day. I was only able to do this because the fruit was so perfectly clean. If there’d been any signs of rot, it wouldn’t have been an option. In a way, the process of carbonic maceration, in this case, is a nod to the quality of the grapes that came into the winery. 

After the time on heat, I pressed off the grapes in the hyrdopress and the smell was instantly tropical and amazing. The wine wasn’t finished fermenting yet, but when those grapes were being pressed, I knew my experiment had ‘worked’. 

The wine finished fermenting without any additional commercial yeast or chaptalization, but with the assistance of yeast nutrients so the natural yeasts could have a little boost to finish the job. 

After fermentation was complete, the wine was racked one time off the gross lees at the end of January 2022 and then spent a further eight months on fine lees. 

The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered, so as not to strip any of the incredible flavours and aromas from the wine. 

Even the colour is slightly deeper than the finished base wine from the same vintage, thanks to the carbonic maceration process soaking up some of the grape skins' colour from the inside out.

Tasting Notes and Tips

I prefer this wine opened ahead of time (an hour if you can plan for it) and chilled but not too cold. The colder a wine is, the less you taste and smell. This wine having gone through carbonic maceration and then spending eight months on fine lees has a very rich palate. 

On the nose, you get tropical fruit, apple, and a slight almondy oxidation. 

On the palate, you get starfruit, red apple, Asian pear, and Meyer lemon (one of my favourite types of lemon). 

Because it’s unfined and unfiltered there may be sediment in the wine – this is just extra flavour, consider it a bonus!


ABV: 10%

pH: 3.13

Free SO2: 0ppm

Total SO2: 34ppm

Residual Sugar: 0.03g/L

VA: 0.263g/L