The owners of a Shropshire border vineyard say they are anticipating a bumper crop of grapes following the combination of heatwaves and rainfall this summer.
Kerry Vale Vineyard, located on the border of South Shropshire with Powys, expects a high yield across the grape varieties it cultivates – Rondo, Phoenix, Solaris and Pinot Noir.
Nadine Roach, spokesperson for the vineyard, said, “We had a fantastic flowering season in June, which was further enhanced by the rain in July. As it stands, it appears that we are on track for a remarkable harvest in terms of both quality and quantity.”
However, Nadine also emphasized the importance of favourable weather conditions in the upcoming weeks. Excessive rainfall could potentially harm crops susceptible to mildew, so they are hoping for the right balance of sun, wind, and rain. Ideally, they desire dry, breezy, sunny days with gentle overnight rain until the end of the month.
The future weather forecast appears promising, but it is still too early to start celebrating. The weather during the harvest period will ultimately determine the final outcome.
The industry predicts that 2023 will be a vintage year for English wine due to the combination of a wet spring and a subsequent heatwave, leading to early flowering vines and abundant bunches that are shaping up to provide a bountiful harvest. Kerry Vale and other English wine producers experienced a bumper year in 2018, and they are optimistic that 2023 may be equally as good.
During this time of year, the vineyard continuously monitors sugar levels. Once these are sufficiently high with the right balance of acid, they will begin picking the grapes. They anticipate that this year’s first day of harvest will be on September 26th.
Kerry Vale Vineyard grows four grape varieties: Rondo, Phoenix, Solaris, and Pinot Noir. If you’re interested in learning more about their vineyard, why not join them on a vineyard tour? These tours run every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from May to September.
Kerry Vale Vineyard is open to the public from Wednesdays to Sundays and admission is free.