After what has been an incredible growing season, it will not be a surprise to learn that the English grape harvest will be starting earlier than normal, but surely not in August?

At Three Choirs Vineyards in Gloucestershire, the winery is preparing to receive the first grapes on 30th August, which we believe will be the earliest that an English commercial vineyard has started harvest.

The first grapes to be picked will be Siegerrebe, an early ripening, aromatic variety grown on the vineyard’s 75 acre Estate. The vines are situated directly outside the main shop and restaurant. Picking will commence at 9am on Thursday 30th August. The first pressing of these grapes will be at 2pm on the same day.

“This has been such an incredible year in the vineyard” says Martin Fowke, winemaker at Three Choirs.  “ We have had early years before, but I have never witnessed such a good, complete season.  The weather has been perfect at flowering, and the continued warm temperatures through August have assisted in giving an evenness of ripening through every bunch that I have never seen before”.

Three Choirs will also be the first English Vineyard to launch a wine from the 2018 vintage. The “First Release” will go on sale in late November, containing the first grapes picked in August.