Harvest Report 2022
After 2 challenging years it was relief as well as a joy to have a very successful harvest this year.
Blessed with no late Spring frosts and dry weather the vines were off to a great start and then whilst the protracted drought and hot weather in July and August was potentially limiting to the younger vines, our well-established vines with deep penetrating roots took it all in their stride and rapidly developed a fantastic crop of grapes.
Harvest started 10 days earlier than usual and we moved through it quickly as the wet and warm weather in September created conditions ideal for botrytis and we wanted to pick the crop as clean and disease-free as possible. In the end we picked our second highest volume on record (beaten only by the famous 2018 vintage) and the quality of fruit was excellent.
Due to the labour shortage we used a machine harvester for a significant amount of the crop for the first time and we were very pleased with the results. We will still always pick some select areas by hand, but with on-going labour shortages likely and significant wage inflation we wouldn’t be able to carry on with this and still produce excellent quality wines at sensible prices.
Comments from our Consultant Winemaker, Salvatore Leone:
“2022 delivered very good quality fruit to the winery. I know what you’re thinking right now: wineries always say they have had an excellent crop… Well, the truth is the following: there is no harvest which is great for each single variety or wine style. There are differences as well between the different growing areas and this is the reason why not all the wines can be produced every single year, especially in the UK’s extreme weather.
lt is still a bit early to say, in the winemaking timeline, which varieties performed the best, and as winemakers we are always a bit cautious: we prefer to talk about potential. The varieties showing a very good potential this year are: the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir in all their interesting nuances between the different clones, vineyard blocks and winemaking techniques. The Bacchus too is starting to show some unique exciting expression that will acquire more definition in the next few months, as it develops.”
Since we harvested our first crop in 2013 we have only ever used our own grapes, grown by us, just meters from the Winery buildings. This continues today,10 years later and contributes to our relentless focus on reducing our carbon footprint as we don’t use up any diesel trucking grapes around the country! We also continue to find ways to reduce our energy consumption in the Winery itself during the winemaking process – our drive for low carbon winemaking now made that much more urgent by rapidly rising electricity bills!
Fingers crossed for 2023….. We hope its a good one!