Taking a quiet moment to reflect …
Yet another harvest is done and dusted and this year, it was all over by the start of October – simply amazing to have all of our fruit in so early! Picking started in earnest on the 14th of September with the last bunches sent to the winery on the 8th October. You know it has been an early harvest when you look out to the vineyard and the canopy is still as green as a pea, and in great nick!
It is clearly an understatement to say that it has been a strange year, however, the never-ending cycle in the vineyard meant that for our vineyard crew, work meanders along. Budburst came early in the second week of April and lasted for around 10 days. Flowering looked to be progressing really well in June with Chardonnay benefitting from the best of the warmth and sunshine of mid-June.
August saw some record-breaking weather with some very warm days at the start of the month making it difficult for us out in the vineyards. On the whole though, our vines lapped up the sun. Veraison (or the process by which the grapes start to ripen and change colour) was a drawn out affair not helped by extreme temperatures and wasn’t really fully complete until the start of September. Despite the delay in veraison, the levels of sugar seemed to rise more sharply than normal and acids started to fall away which gave rise to what many say will be the earliest harvest in the UK’s grape growing history.
Picking for us began on 14th September with our Pinot Précoce, shortly followed by Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and our bountiful crop of Chardonnay. Timings varied across our sites which allows us to be very selective in what we bring in. Overall, yields were slightly up on 2019 and the quality was fantastic which meant selection and sorting in the field was a breeze.
As always, with the finest of sparkling wines, it will 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.