In England, the 2009 vintage is set to produce an ‘outstanding harvest’ both in terms of quality and quantity.

Harvest Report: England

Word from the Purbeck Vineyard in Dorset sees the 10th October as being the most likely date for the harvest to begin. This vintage is set to produce an ‘outstanding harvest’ both in terms of quality and quantity.

Purbeck Vineyard is a small, family run estate amounting to some 3,000 vines covering Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Seyval Blanc and Phoenix varieties planted across 2 acres of land only minutes from Dorset’s famous Jurassic coastline.

The Purbeck Vineyard
The Purbeck Vineyard

The annual harvest at the Purbeck Vineyard involves a gathering of friends, family and the local community volunteering to cut the grapes by hand from the vines. The winemaking team provide instruction on grape picking and then family and friends roam the vines, harvest the grapes, watch the fruit being pressed and even have a taste of the juice which, following fermentation, produces a range of English wine including Studland Ruby and Kimmeridge Mist. At the end of the harvest the pickers share their stories over a complimentary traditional harvester’s lunch.

Theresa Steel, owner of The Purbeck Vineyard, says: “We are monitoring the vineyard daily to check for ripeness and to maintain overall vine health in readiness for the October harvest. Our grape vines are doing really well and we expect to have a bountiful harvest this year, producing approximately 3,000 bottles of wine. It’s always a hive of activity at the vineyard at this time of year and we look forward to welcoming our pickers to help us celebrate the harvest.”

Brightwell Vineyards
Brightwell Vineyards

Further north in Oxfordshire Carol at the Brightwell Vineyard reports they enjoyed excellent weather during June’s fruit set and late summer sun during September. They are looking forward to a good year for English wine.

“Here at Brightwell we will start our harvest on Sat 3rd Oct and will pick on approx 12 days during October. We’ll start with Reichensteiner, then Bacchus and Huxelrebe. The reds and Chardonnay will be left until the second half of Oct. We hope to pick at least 25 tonnes this year which will equal approx 25,000 bottles. We have far more grapes than last year (poor weather during fruit set) and the quality looks good.”

Brightwell Vineyard played host to a little bloggers visit earlier in the year; a report is on Spittoon.

Andrew Barrow  is the author of Spittoon, one of the top wine sites on the internet. A member of the prestigious UK based Circle of Wine Writers and WSET Diploma holder it would appear that total immersion in the online world of wine (with a sideline in food)  is just a step away.