Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Nyetimber 'excited' as grape picking commences across UK

Published:  08 October, 2013

English sparkling wine producer Nyetimber is "excited" to have begun grape picking alongside other English producers after it wrote off last year's because of poor-quality grapes.  

It has welcomed this year's buoyant vinatge and confirmed that following a cool spring and a warmer than average summer the crop looks promising, and the definitive quality will be assessed once harvesting is finished and the individual parcels have completed vinification.

Head winemaker Cherie Spriggs said: "Last year's decision was an extremely difficult one but I am confident it was the right decision for the house. The entire team is very excited about this year's harvest and getting back to what we do best at Nyetimber."

Elsewhere, it seems from early reports that for most the vintage is not going to be a classic harvest that many might have been expecting from July's hot weather. However, most producers are happy with the overall quantity and quality. 

Bob Lindo, owner of Camel Valley, Cornwall, started picking early varieties of Pinot Noir, Rondo and Reichensteiner last Friday, but said some of the later varieties are a week behind average. "Quantity is well up, even Yorkshire has plenty of grapes this year," he said.

Lindo said it is holding out for a warm October and some late final ripening. "However, I sense a big rush to pick coming on, as the weather is due to change and get colder in the next few weeks with a risk of frost, so holding one's nerve will be difficult," he added.

Larry Warr, owner of Henners Vineyard in East Sussex, said quantity was up this year with Chardonnay the highest yielding. It hasn't begun picking Pinot Noir yet as it is still waiting for the sugars to fully rise.

Guy Tresnan, sales and marketing director at Chapel Down, said it started harvesting the early-ripening grapes last week. "We're expecting a decent crop with good quality and excellent flavours, but it's been a late summer and the usual challenge faces us on how long to leave the grapes out."

Simon Bladon, owner of Jenkyn Place, Hampshire, said it is "very excited" about the 2013 vintage. "After perfect conditions over the summer, in stark contrast to last year, the quality is looking fantastic and the quantity will be up too - we're expecting our best harvest ever.

"We're just starting to pick a small selection of our Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier over this weekend (October 12/13), moving on to the rest of the Pinots next weekend (19/20), together with the first of the Chardonnay, and we aim to finish by about October 25. The weather is meant to get colder later this week, which will start putting pressure on us to get all the grapes in, but everything points to 2013 being a classic vintage for English sparkling wine."

Marketing director at English Wine Producers, Julia Trustram-Eve, said: "Harvesting has started on the earlier ripening varieties and the main sparkling wine varieties will start to be harvested from next week. Harvest is a little later than usual - grapes are on the whole looking clean and vines healthy, and we are expecting good quality and volumes this year."