Squerryes Vineyard on why this summer’s unpredictable weather is set to result in another fine vintage and how you can be part of their special Harvest tours and tastings…
At Squerryes Vineyard in Westerham, Kent, the warm burst of September sunshine arrived at just the right time to allow the fruit to ripen perfectly on the vines.
The process that follows is known as veraison, where the organic acidity levels begin to decrease and the natural sugar in the berries rises. We have been watching the grapes increase in size and flavours intensify ever since.
Towards the middle of October, the grapes will be fully ripe and the harvest will begin, just at the time when the vineyard takes on the glow of autumn with warm, rich vibrant colours we look forward to seeing at this time of year.
Higher than most vineyards at an altitude of 150 metres above sea level, Squerryes has a slower ripening process than some other vineyards. This means we enjoy an evenness in the crop and our grapes have a vibrant acidity which helps wine to age.
A recent survey by Knight Frank highlighted that Kent is the sunniest county in the UK, which is certainly beneficial to the vines at Squerryes.
Squerryes owner, Henry Warde, said: “The last time we had identical weather to this year was in 2014, when we had a warm June which was ideal for ensuring a great fruit set with good bunch numbers, followed by a wet July and August with warm nights, followed by a lovely sunny start to September. With these ideal conditions, we are hoping for another award-winning vintage from this year’s harvest.”
The magnificent award-winning vintage of 2014 is now only available to enjoy from Squerryes Winery as a magnum although, during our harvest celebration (11-27 October), we are offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy it by the glass in The Estate Deli and Winery Restaurant to anticipate how the 2023 vintage will taste.
Squerryes is also preparing a new Harvest Menu which will be available to enjoy during the harvest celebration in the award-winning restaurant, alongside other choices such as the popular Sunday Roast, which has returned in time for autumn. The Harvest menu will be available from Wednesday to Friday at lunchtime. The Squerryes Winery team will be available to talk about what to expect from this year’s harvest and how it compares to the summer of 2014.
Harvest tours and tastings (until 22 October 2023)
Harvest tours and tastings are the best time to come and see the vines, with grapes ripening and the anticipation of harvest around the corner.
As we approach the end of the growing season, you can enjoy learning about Squerryes wines with a tasting led by expert staff and a front-row view of the ripening grapes. Our ambassadors take you on a journey to learn about the 300-year-old Squerryes Estate with a tasting of three of the vineyard’s signature wines. Tastings will continue after 22 October as tutored tastings, taking place in The Cellar Door and will include a sharing charcuterie or cheese platter. To find out more or to book a tour and tasting, please visit squerryes.co.uk/vineyards-tour-and-tasting. The Estate Deli also offers visitors the opportunity to try a Squerryes wine flight of our three signature sparkling wines without the need to pre-book.
Become a member of Squerryes
Squerryes offers a limited number of membership places each year. Members are required to purchase a minimum of just two cases of wine each year and are invited to attend the special member-only events including ‘The Harvest Picking Party’ on 22 October 2023 which sees members don their wellies, pick up their secateurs, help pick the grapes, and toast the next vintage!
Shop at The Estate Deli
Visitors to Squerryes can also browse The Estate Deli to take home some local artisan products, Neal’s Yard cheese, Squerryes vintage sparkling wines and a selection of the best English and International wines chosen by our resident Master of Wine.