The vines are calling!
It’s time for the fruit they have borne to be harvested, slightly earlier than was anticipated or indeed planned for. The warmest summer on record has lent itself to such prosperous growing conditions that the grapes are ready for picking several weeks early, with a yield which is significantly greater than 2021.
With the newly planted Cricket Pitch being a non-fruit bearing Vineyard in its first year, there are thankfully just the 8,000 vines in the Cherry Orchard to harvest! From these 8,000 vines, 17 tons of fruit will be picked over a period of a month, strategically planned around the maturity testing results for each wine we wish to make. The chardonnay for our sparkling wine is the challenge for day 1, when a gang of family and friends and lovely community spirited folk gather at the vineyard for a dawn to dusk adventure. It is important that the entire crop of chardonnay is picked within the day, so that they can be transported to Defined Wines for same day pressing, and their journey to the bottle begins!
The weather is lovely, warm September sunshine, morale is high, the catering tent is busy, ready to fuel the team with bucket-loads of caffeinated goodness, bacon & sausage sandwiches, sweet treats and of course lunch! What would we do without the added help from Peter (the boss) and of course Luke, who is on hand to offer tuition, knowledge and advice to the keen-to-learn picker newbies.
There is of course reward for this hard days graft; what is now becoming a legendary evening of celebration. A hearty and well attended ‘Harvest Supper’, washed down with copious quantities of Macon and ‘Jolly Good Claret’ to quench the thirst of the pickers worked up in their race against darkness.
Chin chin, bottoms up, salut, cheers….we raise a glass to all that helped with the harvest and the production of circa 17,000 bottles/magnums of Rosé, Fizz, still Chardonnay & still Pinot Noir!
All in all a good vintage!