September 11th, 2017
The earliest harvest in Denbies Wine Estate’s 31-year history commenced on Wednesday 6 September. Harvest began with the picking of approximately 3 tons of the early ripening Solaris varietal.
This year’s early start was an unexpected outcome for the vintage, which started with a widely-reported late frost which hit English vineyards in April. Typically, early harvests at Denbies commence during the third week of September.
‘We have never started harvesting this early, and even for an early ripener such as Solaris, the volume, sugar content and quality is quite outstanding,’ commented Christopher White, Denbies CEO, who has been anxiously monitoring the vineyard throughout the summer months. ‘Early concerns at the beginning of the season have proven to be unfounded. Although volumes will be slightly lower than those of the last few years, early indications suggest that the quality will be very good.’
Following the late frost, however, Chris White made the decision to plant 30,000 vines, a combination of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, on the Denbies hillside. This particular area of the vineyard benefits from optimum conditions - south-facing slopes and a temperate micro-climate throughout the year - which make it very unlikely to be affected by frost.
The 2017 harvest will continue on Monday 11 September with the picking of the Rondo varietal, another early ripening grape. In 2010, Rondo produced the exceptional gold award-winning Chalk Ridge Rosé, labelled ‘best rosé in the world’.
Denbies Wine Estate is England’s largest single estate vineyard. It has a range of 16 wines and produces over 450,000 bottles of wine per annum. Denbies is located in Dorking, Surrey with direct rail access from London Waterloo and Victoria mainline stations.