The English wine harvest this year is so large that astonished winemakers are reporting that there is not enough space to store it.
The long hot summer has paved the way for an unusual volume of grapes, in what is determined to be the biggest vintage since the English wine industry started to take off thirty years ago.
With the harvest in full swing this October, harassed owners of vineyards need to bring in additional tank capacity, in some cases from overseas.
The owner of a 90-acre vineyard near Canterbury, Charles Simpson, stated: “Many producers are talking about this being the vintage of the decade, if not in living memory.”
He added: “We’ve been picking grapes non-stop for three weeks – last year we had it all done in five days. It’s such a busy year that we’ve had to import stainless steel tanks from France…there just isn’t the winery space for all of this”.
Denbies wine estate is one of the largest wine producers in the United Kingdom that is located in near Dorking in Surrey. Its chief executive, Christopher White, stated: “This has been the best ever harvest in our 32 years.”
He added: “We’ve rented out 200,000 extra litres of temporary tank storage …this year has been exceptional and you need to make the most out of it”.
The owner of Jenkyn Place’s vineyard that is based in Hampshire and was launched in 2006, Simon Bladon, stated: “This summer, we will have harvested more than in any previous harvest, and what we are picking this week looks the best of all. “Our solution was to hire extra tanks, which became increasingly difficult to find as the harvest progressed, and the size of it became apparent.”
Simpson continued: “It is the long heatwave of June and July, combined with an exceptionally warm autumn, which has produced such remarkable volumes of grapes and wine. Last year we produced roughly 20,000 bottles.”
He noted: “This year it’s more like 120,000. It’s a game changer.”