Bumper crop of grapes at vineyard thanks to volunteer pickers

Kerry Vale Vineyard is celebrating a bumper harvest of quality grapes thanks to the help of a band of volunteer pickers.

Russell Cooke with some of the grapes from the harvest
Russell Cooke with some of the grapes from the harvest

The local volunteers worked with owners Russell and Janet Cooke, their family and workforce over three days to harvest a whopping 12 tonnes of grapes from the four acre site on the Shropshire-Powys border near Montgomery.

“The last month has been incredibly busy, but also very exciting,” said Russell. “Harvest time is the culmination of a year’s 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

“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.”

The vineyard has harvested three grape varieties this year - Rondo, Phoenix and Solaris - each of which ripens at different times which allows them to be harvested over four weeks. The grapes will make a range of red, white and rose sparkling and still wines.

Russell and Janet thanked all the volunteers who helped with the harvest. “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.”

Kerry Vale Vineyard’s wine is available at the cellar door shop and vineyard café or via the website kerryvalevineyard.co.uk. Follow the vineyard on social media to see how the picked grapes get turned into wine.

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