Harvest is complete at Biddenden Vineyards, with all eleven varieties picked, pressed and now in tank. It has been a bumper harvest, with both the quality and quantity of grapes being exceptional, largely due to the perfect growing conditions seen from the start of the growing year right through to the end of October.
Picking began on 28thAugust 2018 with Ortega, Biddenden’s signature variety, a month earlier than usual and the first time that picking has ever taken place in August. The prolonged warm weather & sunshine has meant that harvest has run for a full two months, with each variety being picked at optimum ripeness, in the sunshine and with harvest completed on 29thOctober 2018.
This has also allowed for selected varieties to be left on vine for longer and it is anticipated that a single varietal Gamay will be produced along with the potential for some interesting releases as Biddenden celebrates its 50thanniversary in 2019.
Julian Barnes, Managing Director, commented “It has been the perfect year for growing grapes and this comes at an exciting time for the English wine industry, especially here in Kent which is fast becoming recognised as the Wine Garden of England, with Biddenden right at the heart.”
Biddenden is Kent’s original commercial vineyard, run by the second & third generation of the Barnes family. All of the wines are made exclusively using grapes from the estate which are hand picked before being pressed & bottled on site.
“The wines are developing well in tank.” adds Julian, “Next year is an exciting year for us as it will be our 50thyear, and we are hopeful that we will be able to celebrate with some very special wines on the back of this year’s harvest.”
The wines will now be allowed to develop in tank, overseen by Julian and sons Tom & Will, with bottling taking place early next year and the first of the still wines likely to be released in time for the summer.
Visitors are welcome at the vineyard daily, with tastings of Biddenden’s award-winning wines, ciders & juices available in the vineyard shop.