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Nyetimber announces biggest ever harvest

Published:  29 September, 2023

English sparkling pioneer Nyetimber has revealed that harvest 2023 will be its biggest ever, with 350ha of vines to be harvested, up almost 8% on last year.

Harvest is fast approaching at the brand’s southeast-based vineyards on 6 October, where picking will take between two to three weeks, involving 400 pickers.

This year, it is anticipating a record crop. Headed up by husband-and-wife duo, Cherie and Brad Greatrix, the brand reports only minor and localised frost events during the current season and the weather was favourable during the flowering period, meaning a major year is on the cards.

“There are always a few hurdles to jump over before we can understand the final volume and, most importantly, the quality of the grapes,” senior winemaker, Brad Greatrix, said.

“We closely monitor the crop over two seasons and the warm spring last year resulted in a fruitful bud initiation. This year, we will harvest a larger vineyard area of 350ha, compared to 325ha in 2022, meaning it will be an enormous team effort with over 400 pickers harvesting by hand.”

Larger harvests are becoming a trend in English vineyards. WineGB’s latest report showed that the area of vineyards in Britain has increased 74% since 2017 with almost 4,000ha currently under vine. This is projected to reach 7,600ha by 2032.

Production of English wine has also increased by 130% in the past five years, with 12.2 million bottles produced in 2022, 68% of which were English sparkling wine.

Nyetimber accounts for over 10% of this market and is aiming to sell 2 million bottles a year by 2030, which would make it one of, if not the largest, sparkling wine producer.

Owned by CEO Eric Heerema, the brand takes pride in its ‘artisan’ approach to winemaking. All grapes are taken from 100% estate-grown grapes, spanning 11 vineyards across West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent.

Next week, the team will begin to pick the grapes by hand, with each parcel then being transported, pressed and fermented separately, leading to over a hundred blending components.

Each year, the team then decides whether or not to pursue its 1086 by Nyetimber vintage, which includes grapes selected from top parcels.