Thanks to the August heatwave, Bolney Wine Estate in the heart of Sussex is preparing to harvest what they think will be their biggest crop to date. The Estate is expecting to process over 240 tonnes of grapes.
The idyllic estate nestled on the edge of the South Downs comprises of five unique vineyards and has been making award winning still English wines for over 40 years. The team at Bolney will start the picking process in mid-September, at least a week earlier than usual due to the recent extended periods of warm weather. The Pinot Noir grapes at Bolney have started going through véraison (when the grapes ripen and change colour) much earlier than normal for the estate.
Sam Linter, MD and lead winemaker at The Bolney Wine Estate comments “The resulting wine from these grapes which have grown in hot sunshine for so many weeks will be full of flavour and complexity. We’ve seen the Pinot Noir grapes doing particularly well in this climate which helps produce large volumes of our Bolney Rose wine. This weather is also great for our Pinot Noir still red wine, Pinot Gris, Bacchus and Chardonnay varieties.”
Is there such a thing as too much sunshine? The mature vines at Bolney are deep rooted in the soil so they aren’t impacted too negatively by prolonged periods of drought. For wine enthusiasts hoping to catch a glimpse of the bountiful vines before the harvest in September, Bolney Wine Estate offers tours with tastings starting from just £10 per person.
Linter concludes; “This summer has been one of the best we’ve had for wine making in a few years, I’m really looking forward to tasting the wine we will produce from this harvest.”