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UK winemakers drown sorrows as rain falls

The next 10 days will be crucial in determining what quality of grape harvest will be produced this year, according to English winemakers.

Last year's heatwave, combined with a hard winter and a mild spring, helped produce a sensational crop that made about three million bottles of wine. But the wettest June since records began has led to predictions that some producers face low yields in this year's October harvest. Winemakers are hoping for a late burst of sunshine to encourage their vines to flower and help create a good quality, bountiful crop.

Frazer Thompson, chief executive of Chapel Down winery in Tenterden, Kent, said: "The next week to 10 days are the ones that now really matter for all English winemakers."