It’s that time of year again, although it arrived slightly earlier than last year, with our first pick on the 10th September, our earliest yet.
There’s been a lot of talk over the summer about how the heatwave has had a knock-on effect on everything from the farming to the tourism industry. Vineyards throughout the UK are finding themselves with a bumper crop this harvest, thanks to the favourable weather conditions throughout the key stages of development in the vineyard.
In the vineyard...
We’re expecting our biggest harvest yet, with an intimidating amount of grapes on the vines. This is the first year we will be harvesting off all our 45 acres, and a combination of higher yields due to the summer weather, as well as an increase in our acreage will keep the press busy.
Our first picks were some of our early-ripening Pinot Noir from our Stonehouse site, and our Solaris grapes in Woodchester. Last week was dominated by Bacchus which we picked for 5 days until the rain stopped play at the weekend. Over the next few weeks we will be moving on to our sparkling wine varieties, and the Pinot Noir clones for our red wine. If you’re walking through the vineyards over the next month or so, you might see the teams and tractors hard at work gathering the grapes. Fingers crossed for a dry & sunny October as this will make for ideal harvest conditions.
In the winery...
It’s all kicked off in the winery over the past few weeks. We’ve just installed our sparkling wine equipment, a giro pallet and disgorging line, for the final stage of the sparkling wine making process. This is the process of removing the yeast from the bottle following the lees ageing. All our sparkling wines are aged on the lees for a minimum of 15 months before release. We are disgorging two of our 2016 sparkling wines; our Cotswold Classic and our Rosé, as well as our first ever Blanc de Blanc from our 2015 harvest. These will be ready for release in a few months’ time.
We’ve also had some new tanks and barrels delivered to accommodate the additional volume of wine we will be making from this year’s harvest. Fnally, our new ‘elevator’ was a welcome addition to the winery to help with loading the grape press; this can now be done much quicker, with much less heavy lifting.
And in other news...
We’re very excited to announce the release of our new vintage Bacchus 2017, which recently won the trophy for best dry white wine in the SWVA 2018 annual competition, not to mention a Silver medal in both the Decanter World Wine Awards 2018 and Wine GB 2018. We’re thrilled with the news and are celebrating with a special promotion until the 14th October in our shop and online. Use the code BAC17 online, or pop into the shop for an additional 10% off case purchases.