Harvesting is well on the way to completion at Bluebell Vineyard Estates, in Furners Green, near Uckfield, and a special event was held at the weekend enabling guests to get involved in the experience.
About 40 people helped harvest Pinot Noir, which will go into Bluebell Vineyard sparkling rose, enjoyed lunch overlooking the vines, and a tutored wine-tasting session with winemaker Kevin Sutherland.
In the afternoon they were able to taste the fruits of their labour by sampling the freshly pressed juice of the grapes they picked during the morning.
The next event to look out for if you are interested in the wine-making process is a blending workshop which will be held at Bluebell Vineyard Estates in the spring.
All Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier have now been harvested and Chardonnay graps are now being picked. The harvest is due to finish on Monday.
This has been described as an “exceptional” harvest, with ripe fruit and lots of delicious fruit flavours due to such a long, sunny summer and early autumn.
Joyce Tay from the vineyard was welcomed at a parliamentary reception this week to celebrate the achievements of inspiring women in the wine and spirits industry. Also there was Jonica Fox of Sussex Vineyards in Mayfield.
Both were invited by Wealden MP Nus Ghani, who said afterwards: “In Wealden we are hugely lucky to have some fantastic vineyards, and I’ve loved my visits to both Sussex Vineyards and Bluebell Vineyard Estates.
“I am especially proud that both of these vineyards have strong and successful women at the top, with Jonica and Joyce both leading their businesses from strength to strength.”
Bluebell Vineyard Estates grows Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape varieties and a tasting room is open there from Monday to Saturday, 10am-4pm, throughout the year.
Tours are available too. Read more on the Bluebell Vineyard Estates website here.
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