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Kerry Vale Vineyard celebrates successful harvest

Andrew Longman, vineyard supervisor at Kerry Vale Vineyard, harvests the grapes.

Kerry Vale Vineyard is celebrating following this year’s “very successful” harvest of grapes from the five-acre site on the Powys-Shropshire border.

Husband and wife team Russell and Janet Cooke say they are delighted with the quantity and quality of their grapes this year.

The family, their workforce and a fantastic team of local volunteers, harvested a whopping 12 tonnes of grapes over three days.

“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.”

The vineyard, located near Montgomery on the Welsh border, has been “very lucky with the weather this year”, according to vineyard supervisor Andy Longman.

“Despite our late start due to a cool April, just the right amount of sun and rain at the necessary times has led to good growing conditions’. It seems we may have bucked the national trend as reports suggest the nationwide picture is not quite so positive.”

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

Russell and Janet Cooke thanked 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.”