A Historic Day …

Historic day…..I am writing the first vineyard Newsletter for all of you who have opted to join the Mailing List via our website/Visitors Book or have enquired about the vineyard via email.  If you would prefer NOT to receive any further Newsletters please let me know by reply email and I’ll remove you from the list.

Today has been busy and exciting as we are starting our 2014 harvest tomorrow with the picking of the ‘early’ Bacchus.   What I mean by this is that we pick a proportion of our Bacchus grapes at a lower level of sugars than the rest as the aromas and flavours at this point are slightly different to more mature Bacchus grapes.  This gives us the opportunity to blend a more complex and interesting wine later on – by using wine made from ‘early’ and ‘later’ pick Bacchus.

Last year, as the harvest was much later (we didn’t start picking the Bacchus until 10th October), we were only able to do one pick.  The recent warm weather in September coupled with the early warm Spring this year has given the grapes an excellent opportunity to ripen earlier.   We are all thankful for this as it means we hope to get all grapes harvested by mid-October before the weather starts turning colder and wetter and the risk of a frost at night increases.

We estimate that most of the grapes will be picked this year between 3rd and 20th October – but we carefully monitor ripeness levels and agonize over long term weather forecasts to refine and amend dates!  If any of you would like to come and spend a few hours in the vineyard picking do let me know by email.  The bulk of our picking is done by Romanians and it is a tough job when you are doing it for 8 – 10 hours a day, day after day.  However, as a volunteer, if you are available at short notice and don’t mind just joining in for a few hours so you can get a feel for what happens and watch the process then do get in touch and I’ll let you know the days ‘volunteers’ can attend.

Lastly, I also have a limited number of spaces left on two Tours of the Vineyard and Winery I am doing during the harvest on Saturday 11th and 18th October 11am to 1pm approx..   The Tour costs £12.50 and includes a Tasting and a tasting glass to take home!  Again, email me if you are interested and I’ll confirm your place.

We will start regular Tours in the Spring next year and run all through the Summer months…..so plenty of opportunity then if you can’t manage in October.

Fingers crossed for this dry, sunny weather to continue!

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Albourne Estate is an award-winning, modern vineyard and winery overlooking the beautiful South Downs, near Brighton.

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