A promising yield despite the scorcher season
You don’t need to be a seasoned winemaker (or wine drinker) to understand why 2022 has been a challenging time for us and many others. In fact, it’s been the hottest and driest conditions that the UK vineyard scene has had to contend with since 1976.
A dry, muggy climate isn’t necessarily bad news for grapes, but it’s not the conditions that vineyards are used to, and it presents further challenges around irrigation. Grapes like sun, heat and water during the growing season, and generally the vines thrive in long summers that aren’t too hot, and rainy winters that aren’t too cold.
The UK climate is unpredictable to say the least. Not too long ago, our weather was the butt of many a joke. In more recent years, it’s cause for concern as our climate changes, becoming less predictable and more erratic. That said, we are optimistic and undeterred, always exploring and implementing new ways to be more sustainable in our processes.
The heavens opened
Thankfully, a short spell of rain in September was just enough to give our thirsty vines the boost they needed. We approached harvest with clean grapes showing excellent sugar levels, which came as great relief after a scorching season. And we finished the season with a tremendous volume of processed fruit – over 250 tonnes! This is the largest we’ve seen since we began.
Raising a glass to 2022
Similarly to 2020, this year’s vintage is showing promise for sparkling and still wines, with a notable concentration of ripe fruit flavours, naturally balanced with a freshness of acidity. This is certainly a contrast to last year’s season, which yielded a much lower quantity of grapes thanks to the rain and overall dampness of the British summer’s of yesteryear.
Several wine blogs and magazines are already calling 2022’s harvest as exceptional, with many producers claiming their yields being the best they’ve seen for quite some time.
We certainly agree, and I think we all deserve a pat on the back. There are some fresh, crisp and flavourful wines in our near future, and considering many areas of the UK recorded just 10% of expected rainfall this season, that’s quite the achievement. Cheers!