John Worontschak has been making English wine since 1988.
In 2010 John decided to create the first Litmus wine, Element 20. The concept was to move away from the traditional fruity and often one-dimensional English wine styles.
The Litmus range is the culmination of John's experience and are designed to highlight the very best of cool climate English still wines promoting balance, complexity and length of flavour.
The range consists of four wines - Element 20, White Pinot, Red Pinot and Orange.
To be and be seen as being the very best still wines produced in England, producing food orientated Northern European cool climate styles.
John Worontschak is the founding director of Litmus Wines and one of the world's leading wine business consultants. Having worked in almost every wine producing country in the world from Mexico to Moldova and in between he brings a wealth of winemaking talent to the Litmus business.
England’s varied and capricious seasons mean that in reality there are no “best sites”. Litmus is produced from a number of sites in Essex, Surrey and Sussex working closely with the vineyard owners to achieve premium ripe fruit that requires little or more often no winemaking intervention. The use of older barriques and extended lees contact are a hallmark of Litmus wines.
Ancient marine fossils known as coccolith’s furnish our vineyard soil with an abundance of calcium – the backbone of truly complex and long-lasting wines, and The 20th Element of The Periodic Table. The star shaped image on our label is a stylised ‘discoaster’ coccolith. This image symbolises not only the significance of soil in the production of fine wine, but also the New English Wine – a star in ascendance.
2012 was a challenging but rewarding year and will be remembered as one of the wettest summers on record where careful fruit selection was paramount to achieve the highest quality.
2013 saw a return to more normal cropping levels after the miniscule 2011 and 2012 seasons. A spectacularly warm and sunny start to the year gave us a wonderful base to deal with the trying conditions that were to follow.
The 2014 growing season was sensational. Perfect flowering conditions followed by August rains and a warm September led to early ripening of a good crop in the coolness of October.
2015 was the third good harvest in succession for England. A disappointing August caused concern until a prolonged Indian summer arrived to perfectly ripen the crop.
Cherry red with a vibrant translucency the wine displays raspberry and clove characters on the nose. The palate is elegant and rich, being underpinned by an earthy spiciness and a long finish. This wine will gain further complexity with ageing and reward the patient collector.
Straw gold with orange hues the wine has grassy, quince and hazelnut overtones. On the palate the striking and unusual pithy tannin structure, although disorientating at first, is harmonious and smooth with good acidity and an incredibly long finish. The wine will get more interesting with time and can be enjoyed with oily meats and spicy dishes.
Litmus White Pinot is made from 100% Pinot Noir that was gently handled throughout the winemaking process. The wine was fermented and matured in 2-5 year old French oak barriques and remained on full lees for nine months prior to bottling.
Pale straw in colour with some evident peach, honeysuckle and smoky characters. This complex wine displays a fullness and roundness rarely found in English wines. The palate is structured, full bodied, rich and silky with a steely backbone of acidity and layered nuances of multifaceted almost red wine characters. It will hold up to being enjoyed with hearty full flavoured dishes and cheeses.