The 2020 grape harvest is now complete at Biddenden Vineyards, with 11 varieties of grapes successfully picked. This year’s harvest began around 3 weeks early, on Tuesday 1st September, commencing with Biddenden’s signature variety, Ortega, which accounts for approximately 50% of the 23 acre vineyard.
With almost perfect weather conditions, warm & dry with little rain, the harvest, which is picked entirely by hand, was of exceptional quality. Tom Barnes, General Manager, commented “In a year with much uncertainty, it is a big relief to have safely brought in the harvest here at Biddenden and have all the juice in tank, ready for winemaking to commence. This year we have focussed heavily on quality over quantity, purposefully thinning the grapes earlier in the year to produce a smaller but higher quality crop.”
Biddenden produces a range of still and sparkling wines, all made using only grapes grown on the family estate, established in 1969. Over the coming months, juice from the 2020 harvest will undergo the winemaking process, with wines usually being released from the following June onwards.
Tom adds “It’s still early days, but we are hopeful that there may be the opportunity to produce some of our very special smaller release wines from this year’s harvest. Gamay Noir in particular is a variety which, under the correct conditions, we are able to produce a still red wine from and for which our last vintage in 2018 gained much praise.”
Biddenden’s wines are available to purchase directly from their shop, open Wednesday-Saturday as well as online for local and nationwide delivery at www.biddendenvineyards.com