FUNDRAISING UPDATE. OVER £20,000 HAS BEEN RAISED SO FAR AND WE NOW HAVE A TRACTOR! READ MORE ...
September 19, 2018
What an incredible year for English wines in general and for Forty Hall Vineyard in particular! The weather could not have been more favourable: no late frosts (unlike 2017), a warm, dry spring, ideal for flowering, and an unexpectedly hot summer. Over 80% of our vineyard is now in production and our yields this year were unprecedented – at just under 20 tonnes, the harvest was nearly four times bigger than our previous record. Yields were high across every grape variety and sugar and acid levels were excellent.
We picked on nine separate days – up from our usual 3 days other years- and we picked three times a week from mid September through to the first week of October to ensure that we harvested the grapes as soon as they reached their optimum sugar and acid levels. We were not rained off once! We lost some grapes to starlings and parakeets, but our bird scaring techniques were quite effective and we were very happy to see a pair of buzzards settling at the farm this year.
There was a lot of media interest in our harvest and we were filmed for both BBC London News and London Live as well as for Russian TV! We also had a visit from photographer Miles Willis who took some incredible photos here.
We will be making our two single varietal still white wines this year – our 2018 Bacchus and 2018 Ortega. We will also be producing our award-winning London Sparkling Brut, which will be ready for release in 2020. We are expecting outstanding quality from these vintages given the excellent sugar and acid levels achieved this year. We look forward to releasing our 2018 still wines at the Real Wine Fair in May 2019 where we will also be showing our delicious 2016 Vintage London Sparkling Brut.
Finally many thanks to our absolutely fantastic team of pickers this year: the great team from GP Garden Services, all our volunteers and harvest helpers and all the staff and volunteers from Forty Hall Farm. Between them they gave us over 1200 hours of their time. We are extremely grateful for their enthusiasm and hard work.
Photos: Miles Willis
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