After a very low harvest in 2017 we can barely believe the quantity of grapes that we’ve picked this year…..its been a record-breaking harvest and the largest probably ever seen in the UK.
The double-bonus of this vintage was not only the quantity but also the excellent quality – the long hot summer, followed by a dry sunny September provided the optimum conditions for ripening the grapes to perfection whilst helping stave off the threat of rot. How often in England do we get the weather working for us across the whole year?….from a frost-free Spring to the dry June, to the hot July to the sunny September, its been the perfect year for growing grapes in England……this may sound a bit extreme, but I wonder if I’ll ever experience this again in my lifetime as a Vineyard owner?
The size of the crop has undoubtedly brought its challenges – our Winery literally could not fit in all the wine. We’ve had to buy temporary storage containers and even hired in an extra stainless steel tank from a brewery…but its also given us great opportunities. For the first time ever we are making a red wine – it’s now sitting in french oak barrels undergoing gentle maturation. We’re also planning a unique new product that will be a ‘first’ in the English wine market following on from our English Vermouth last year. Watch this space to hear more…
All in all it was a great team effort to bring in the vast tonnage of grapes – all picked by hand and lifted crate by crate onto our trailer. So thank you to everyone who helped – many an early morning and late night, but worth it. We fully expect our 2018 wines to be excellent.
Now its back into the Winery to check that the tanks are fermenting away nicely!