Heppington Vineyard

2021 vintage report

Yes this was a very challenging year. Awful summer (the dullest August in Kent since 1968) only redeemed by a decent Sept and Oct.   We have 6.25 hectares under vine and harvested 52 tonnes in total this year compared to 82 t last year. This was principally because we green harvested vigorously to improve ripening.

We dodged frost in April and managed to avoid downy mildew thanks to a stringent spray regime. Our crop was very clean but brix levels were low so the increase in permitted chaptilisation will be welcome.

Last day of harvest was 29 Oct – the Chardonnay could maybe have done with being left for another week or even more but there was no labour availability beyond the end of October. And in fact the weather turned in the first week of November so we may not have been able to improve ripening by much.

Of our varietals the Pinot Gris had the best balance of brix and TA. Our wine makers were very pleased with the quality of the fruit in general, but we shall have a reduced quantity of still Chardonnay this year. So overall I’m relieved and optimistic that the product from this year’s harvest will live up to last year.

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