As another year draws to a close, we would like to extend a big thank you to all who have supported us throughout 2021. Despite continued uncertainties, we have been able to keep our shop doors open throughout the whole year as well as continue to keep you all well stocked up with orders from our online shop, which we have had the pleasure of sending out across the whole of the country.
This year also saw the launch of our new Self-Guided Tours which have proven extremely popular and we are looking forward to continuing again from spring next year. We’ve also run lots of Private Guided Tours, and are already seeing bookings coming in for next year.
Out in the vineyard, we had a successful growing season, despite extremely challenging conditions, and even undertook the first trial of machine harvesting vs hand harvesting, with three Bacchus wines now developing in the tanks. We’ll have more updates on this in the new year, and if you’d like to find out more, you can read our harvest report here.
On the subject of wines, we released a very special wine this year, Biddenden Ortega Late Harvest 2018, a sweet wine made using grape must with the UK’s highest recorded residual sugar level. There’s been a real buzz around this wine since launching, and there’s certainly going to be a good number of bottles under the tree ready for Christmas Day! That said, it’s certainly not just a wine for Christmas, and we will continue to offer the wine for sale online and from the cellar door throughout the year.
We also saw success in a number of wine competitions, including Biddenden Sparkling Ortega Demi-Sec 2019 being awarded the trophy in The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards’ Dessert category, and Gribble Bridge Sparkling White 2016 scooping Silver.
Both still & sparkling wines as a whole have sold exceptionally well this year, with the interest in English wines & local produce continuing to boom, and we will be bottling the 2021 vintage early in the new year for release from Spring 2022 onwards – keep an eye on our social channels for further updates, or sign up to our newsletter here to be the first to know about our new releases.
It’s also been a busy season for the cider & juice side of the business, and as well as our own ranges we have once again been working with lots of local producers & farmers to create bespoke drinks including juices, cordials and much more. It’s extremely important to us to be able to give back to the local business community and we are proud to be able to help so many fellow businesses extend their product offering – many of which you can find in our Vineyard Shop too.
Our brilliant stockists have again been a tremendous support, and we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all who have chosen to have Biddenden on your shelves, bars & chillers, as well as to everyone who has bought from these amazing local, independent businesses.
As we approach the festive break, we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thank you for your continued support.
Julian, Sally, Tom, Will & all of the Biddenden Team.