It’s Sunday 17th October 2021 and Jaine & I have cajoled and bribed 20 close friends & family to join us for the first harvest of Cary Wine Estate.

The sun isn’t shining, it’s autumnally cold but thankfully it is not raining. Half of the 20 ‘pickers’ have been tempted with the offer of a Saturday night supper & sleepover at The Old Rectory, lamb tagine washed down with a few bottles of ‘vin rouge’ which, if not English is almost certainly Bordeaux, toujours Bordeaux! Early morning coffee and a hearty plate of cooked breakfast energise the troops and off we march to the vineyard to greet the fresh faced that have travelled locally to join the picking jamboree, fruit picking shears in hand.

A military operation ensues, carrots are dangled, praise is heaped, finger snipping wounds are plastered, bellies are filled, egos are massaged and finally 8 hours later, 8 tonnes of fruit are in the press!

Post-harvest celebration amongst the pickers is now anticipated, we try not to disappoint, a salmanazar of fizz is popped and thirstily guzzled, a feast of boeuf bourguignon with accompanying wines is served. The 22 around the table are having a lot of fun, just as we dreamt it would be. Bring on harvest 2022…..

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