Shropshire Star

Volunteers bring in bountiful harvest at Kerry Vale Vineyard

Owners of a vineyard are celebrating after a very successful harvest.

Owner Russell Cooke

Husband and wife team Russell and Janet Cooke, of Kerry Vale Vineyard, said they are delighted with the quantity and quality of their grapes this year.

Picked over three days by the family, their workforce and a team of local volunteers, the group brought in 12 tonnes of grapes from the four-acre site on the Shropshire/Powys border.

Owner Russell said: "The last month has been incredibly busy, but also very exciting. Harvest time is the culmination of a years worth of work on the vineyard, and determines our future wine production capabilities.

"This year’s harvest has been very successful and I’m really looking forward to tasting the fruits of our labour, once the pressed grapes have been turned into wine."

The vineyard, located just outside of Montgomery, has been very lucky with the weather this year, said Russell.

"Our lovely warm summer with just the right amount of sun and rain at the necessary times has led to good growing conditions, resulting in a fantastic yield and high quality grapes with a good sugar content."

Kerry Vale Vineyard has harvested three grape varieties this year – Rondo, Phoenix and Solaris. Each grape variety ripens at different times which means grapes could be harvested over four weeks. These grapes will go on to make a range of red, white and rose, sparkling and still wines.

Russell and Janet said they would like to extend a huge thank you to all the volunteers that helped them this year.

"We really couldn’t have done it without them," said Janet. "We have such a lovely group of vineyard friends and we all had a fantastic few days picking together. It’s such a satisfying feeling to see your bucket filling up with grapes as you pick. If you have an interest in wine, it’s a great way to understand how the process begins and how the grapes are grown."

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