It’s official, Harvest 2021 has begun! After a summer where we saw a variety of weather, the past few weeks of warmth and sunshine has helped with the final ripening of the fruit before harvest began on Monday. We have caught up with our Vineyard and Winemaking teams on how harvest is going and what we can expect from the resulting wines.
“We’ve waited a long time this year for a spell of weather that resembles summer, so the recent sunshine and warmer temperatures have been very welcome.
On Monday, we officially began harvesting Bacchus at our Kit’s Coty vineyard and our Early Pinot Noir at our Hawkhurst vineyard. We’re hopeful that this will be the start of a seamless and trouble-free harvest with plenty of pickers!
The fruit is looking and tasting excellent, so we’re optimistic about the wines from this vintage. I’m particularly looking forward to our Boarley vineyard on the North Downs of Kent where we will be harvesting the fruit for the first time since planting the initial 125 acres in 2019! I’m most excited by the Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc here this year.”
Richard Lewis, Head of Viticulture
“In the winery the additional cellarhands we recruit to help during the harvest period have all arrived and settled in. They come from all over the world to be part of the UK vintage and this year the team is from Portugal, USA, Canada, Hungary, France, Scotland and England. For the harvest staff it’s a great opportunity to get under the skin of a wine region and learn as much as possible in a limited time. This is something which I have enjoyed in other wine regions and so I try to continue the tradition here.
Because it is a later harvest, there has also been plenty of time for cleaning. All of the tanks, presses, pumps and hoses get a thorough clean and everything looks shiny before the madness of harvest begins. The winery is now running 24/7, so unless we get bad weather and picking is paused, it’ll be non-stop until the last week of October.”
Josh Donaghay-Spire, Head Winemaker
Raise a glass to the harvest
Join us in celebrating this year’s harvest with our delicious still wines of Bacchus! The Bacchus grape thrives in England and has become something of a ‘poster grape’ for our young, wine growing region.