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For those who have closely followed the Estate’s progress since the first vines were planted in 2014, you will be aware that the very first harvest in 2016 was a great success with an impressive yield of 30 tonnes of grapes, which produced 20,000 bottles of wine.

Unfortunately after such a promising start, the subsequent 2017 crop suffered a catastrophic setback in the form of a devastating air frost, which decimated approximately 60% of the crop. This resulted in a repeat of 2016’s harvest and production volumes, which were far less than had been expected.

Consequently, this year has been filled with great anticipation and trepidation, particularly as our vines have been at the mercy of some extreme weather conditions; from the bitter “Beast from the East” at the start of the year to the relentless heat wave spanning the summer months. Nevertheless, these conditions have created a bumper crop, leading to predictions of a seven-fold increase in the harvest volumes on the Estate this year. This also includes the exciting addition of the inaugural crop from the Railway Hill vineyard site.

The 2018 harvest began on Monday 1st October and the Vineyard and Winery team have been working flat out these past three weeks hand-picking and processing the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes.

To prepare for the significant increase of circa 200 tonnes of fruit, four 10,000 litre capacity tanks arrived just in time to ease the pressure on the Winery.

This boost in production is fantastic news for the Estate and has allowed the Winery team to consider expanding the Simpsons’ portfolio of wines. In addition to the range of English Sparkling Wines and the flagship Roman Road Chardonnay, an alternative still Chardonnay and even a still rosé may feature in the 2018 vintage collection.

Be sure to follow Simpsons’ Wine Estate on social media to be kept up-to-date with the harvest and news of the future wine releases: