These striking aerial shots show volunteer fruit-pickers harvesting grapes at a vineyard – which is enjoying its earliest harvest in over 35 YEARS after a hot summer.
Aldwick Estate Vineyard are well underway with their grape harvesting for this year, and are expecting a “much bigger harvest” of up to 30+ tonnes – up from 24 tonnes in 2017.
The Bristol-based vineyard began harvesting their grapes last week – a good week and a half earlier than their usual harvest start date of the end of September.
Their dedicated team of volunteers, including friends and family who visit the vineyard year after year, will spend 14 to 16 days over the next six weeks picking grapes.
And Sandy Luck, Managing Director of Aldwick Estate, said their grape yields are looking “really good” this year.
She said: “This year we’ve definitely got a much bigger harvest, it’s a really good yield.
“We harvested 24 tonnes last year, whereas this year we’re looking at closer to the 30-tonne mark or more.
“You get about 750-900 bottles per tonne of grapes – so this year we could be looking at anywhere up to 28,000 bottles.”
Sandy added: “Our grape-pickers will make sure we get the very best quality grapes by making at least two passes through each of our six different varieties of grapes.
“On the first pass they’ll pick the very best grapes, and leave the ones that aren’t quite ripe yet – and then they’ll come back to those ones later, once they have ripened.
“This makes sure we get all our grapes when they’re at their best quality.
“The grapes we’re picking now will start going to the winery straight away, and the whole wine-making process will take about six months.
“So we should know by March how many bottles of wine we’re looking at for this harvest.”
Sandy added: “Sparkling wine takes much longer – it can take as long as three or four years to produce that.”
For more information, visit: https://www.aldwickcourtfarm.co.uk/.