It goes without saying that this year has been unusual on all fronts. For the first time in memory, our shop doors had to close, tastings & tours ceased and the vineyard has felt considerably quieter without all our usual visitors. That said, we’ve been grateful to be able to finish the year with our Festive Shop open and it’s been lovely to have seen some familiar faces as well as new ones – albeit behind masks!
We’ve also been overwhelmed by the support for our home delivery service and Biddenden has continued to be enjoyed across the country thanks to your orders. We must at this point also thank our fantastic trade customers, many of whom have shown an incredible amount of support for Biddenden and allowed us to keep supplying a great network of independent businesses, both throughout Kent and further afield.
Whilst we have had to adjust & adapt our visitor offering, growth in the vineyard doesn’t stop and behind the scenes we have been working hard throughout the year. Grape harvest began 3 weeks early this year and produced a crop of exceptional quality. The first wine has already been bottled, with the rest currently in tanks due to follow in January. We’re working on some very special release wines and look forward to being able to tell you more next year.
On the subject of special release wines, our Biddenden Special Ortega, of which we produced just 600 bottles, sold out last week, and we have also launched 50 Joyce Magnums in celebration of our founders Richard & Joyce Barnes, drawing our 50th anniversary celebrations to a close. We are extremely proud to be a third generation family business, we all continue to play an active role in running every part of the business – this year even more than ever.
Of course, it’s not just wine that we produce here at Biddenden, the last few months we have been pressing apples & pears on a daily basis for our juices & ciders. Alongside our own drinks, we also press & bottle for numerous local farmers & producers and are proud to be able to provide a service which gives back to the local business community, especially at a time when supporting local is of such importance.
As we approach the festive break, it will certainly be a chance to reflect on the past year and to tentatively begin planning for 2021. We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and most of all would like to thank you for your continued support throughout the most challenging of years.
Julian, Sally, Tom & Will