Taking a quiet moment to reflect …
The last bunches have been picked and the ferments are happily bubbling away, so we’re taking a quiet moment to reflect on the 2019 harvest.
If this year can be summed up in a sentence, it would be – a vintage made through blood, sweat and tears! We had a good start to the growing season, dodging anything Jack Frost could throw our way with the help of our trusted bougies (large candles). Even so, many sleepless nights were had by Jake, our Vineyard Manager, worrying about the dreaded frosts.
Budburst came in the final week of April and lasted around 10 days. The months of June and July blessed us with plenty of sunshine resulting in an even, healthy flowering on our Chardonnay vines. Some of the Pinots were less fortunate due to the cold, wet spells seen at the end of flowering. But all in all, the vines fared well, and we were through this nail-biting period before the final ace at Wimbledon had been served.
Rain and moderate temperatures continued into August, slowing the growing season right down. The start of harvest was destined to be later than last year. Fortunately, prevailing winds kept botrytis at bay, and we bounded into September filled with energy and optimism.
Picking began on 26th September with Pinot Précoce, shortly followed by Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir – exact timings varied across our four sites. At times Mother Nature tested our spirit and resilience. We certainly had our Glastonbury moments wading through mud in our wellies with Romanian music to keep us going. But we weren’t deterred and persevered on in pursuit of making great wine! On 25th October, we picked the final bunches of Chardonnay, bringing the 2019 harvest to a timely yet welcome end.
Yields returned to a more typical level after the bountiful harvest of 2018 and our skilled and experienced vineyard team ensured that only the very best fruit was sent to press after careful selection and sorting in the field. When asked about this year’s harvest, Jake commented:
“The weather during harvest was some of the wettest we’ve seen in a long time. However, it was no match for our hard-working, dedicated team who showed unwavering enthusiasm day in, day out.”
As always, with the finest of sparkling wines, it’ll be a few years before the wines are ready for release and we’re excited to watch their evolution. We promise to share them with you as soon as we can. For now, it’s time to focus on the main event – our beloved harvest party. This year’s theme is bangers and bubbles. Yes, that’s right, we’re having a BBQ in November. What can we say? That’s just how we roll!!