Family run Kerry Vale Vineyard on the Powys-Shropshire border is looking forward to a bumper crop of grapes following this summer’s heatwave.
The last bumper year for the vineyard, which is located near Montgomery, was 2014 and owner Geoff Ferguson is hoping that 2018 will be even better.
“This year we’ve had near perfect weather,” he said. “The sustained warm weather, after a period of rain and colder months, means the quality of grapes on the vine is exceptional. The flowering has been completely uninterrupted and early and the bunches look fantastic.”
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has said 2018 is set to be a vintage year thanks to a wet spring followed by the heatwave that led to early flowering vines and generous bunches which were “shaping up to provide a bountiful harvest”.
Due to the fine weather, harvest is going to be early this year, which makes for a great vintage and should produce stunning wines.
The future warm forecast also looks very promising, however it’s too early to start celebrating just yet. The weather during the harvest period will be crucial in deciding the result. Ideally, the vineyard needs enough rain in August to swell the crop and a warm September for harvest.
The lack of rain across much of the UK has proved problematic for many farmers and fruit growers, but not vineyards. “Currently, it looks as though we are going to have a fantastic harvest in terms of both quality and quantity,” added Geoff.
Kerry Vale Vineyard, which has three grape varieties – Rondo, Phoenix and Solaris – runs vineyard tours every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The vineyard, which has an award-winning coffee shop and art gallery, is open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday and is free to visit.