2018 Amazing harvest for English Wine

Ridgeview’s 2018 harvest is officially over and on record as our biggest and best since we were established in 1995.

We were very fortunate with the weather throughout the year, dry and sunny at the key viticultural points, budburst, flowering, ripening and harvest. We anticipated the heavy volumes early on and therefore decided to invest in quite a lot in fruit thinning (green harvesting). A large crop can make ripening difficult, however our hard work pre-harvest paid off and veraison was early at around mid-August.

The September spell of great weather with clear days and a drop in the night time temperatures was crucial in maintaining acidity levels, which is key to quality. We began accepting grapes into the winery at our earliest ever date. The quality of the fruit was amazing with very large bunches and incredibly clean which made it a dream to pick.

“Honestly, hand on heart this is the best crop I have ever seen in my 17 years at Ridgeview, phenomenal!” commented our Vineyard Manager Matt Strugnell.

A difficulty we have had this year is fluctuations on yield estimations which resulted in a challenge for logistics. With so much fruit coming in and above predicted weights we have had to have last minute orders for tanks to make space in the winery which has been an industry wide issue.

Our Winemaker Simon Roberts remarked: “It is unusual for a harvest to have both high yields and incredible quality in both sugar and acidity. The juice is tasting amazing with lots of complexity and length”.

We have pressed 560 tonnes which will be our biggest ever harvest since 367 tonnes in 2014. This actually equates to over 3 million bunches of beautifully clean ripe fruit. We are incredibly excited about the quality and importantly quantity of the 2018 vintage wines due for release during 2020 when we will be celebrating Ridgeview’s 25 anniversary.