Harvesting has begun at Hampshire’s vineyards
Hampshire’s vineyards are preparing for a busy month of harvesting. The ripeness of the grapes is measured by sugar, acid and tannin levels with the style of wine desired dictating the ideal time to harvest the grapes.
Harvest began in the county at the weekend with Danebury Vineyards which is located on a former nineteenth-century racecourse training yard near Stockbridge. The vineyards cover seven acres of sheltered, south-facing fields on chalk and flint-stone.
The grapes were picked in the bright sunshine by the vineyard’s friends and neighbours, many who return every year to lend a hand. They picked the Madeleine Angevine variety, from which Danebury make an award-winning dry white wine, and now look forward to harvesting the sparkling wine varieties later this month.
Patrick Westropp, the Estate Manager, said “due to the low spring temperatures, we were concerned that the grapes would be late to ripen, however the recent sunshine has brought them on well and we are now looking forward to a very good 2015 vintage”.
Hampshire has just been named in the new ‘Wine Trails’ book by the Lonely Planet as one of the world’s greatest wine regions. It has been recognised for its excellent sparkling wines and tranquil setting.
The Vineyards of Hampshire brings together a group of Hampshire sparkling wine producing vineyards including Danebury Vineyard, Exton Park Vineyard, Cottonworth, Hambledon Vineyards, Hattingley Valley, Jenkyn Place and Meonhill, who work closely together to spread the word about Hampshire sparkling wine. Over the coming weeks all the Hampshire vineyards will be harvesting their grapes.
Hampshire’s Vineyards are coming together on Thursday 3rd December at 7pm at Hambledon Vineyard for Fairy Lights and Fizz, £30. This is an opportunity to taste and buy wine from seven Hampshire vineyards in time for Christmas. Contact Hambledon Vineyard for more information.