Bluebell Wine estate holds harvest open day

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A vineyard close to the Bluebell Railway producing award-winning sparkling wine is set to open its doors to the public in time for harvest.

Bluebell Vineyard has been quietly working for a decade on its range of sparkling wine handmade by the traditional method - the painstaking process used to produce Champagne.

Now the vineyard is staging an open day from 10am on October 11 when visitors can spend half a day picking grapes followed by a tutored wine tasting and lunch.

Planted in 2005 the vineyard’s climate and terroir ensures it can rival well-established wineries around the world, and certainly compete with other prizewinning ‘fizzes’ produced elsewhere in Sussex.

Bluebell has achieved more than 25 national and international awards (including medals from Decanter and the International Wine Challenge.) Their Brut Rose 2010 was also awarded the top mark for a Rose at the ‘Judgement of Parsons Green’ and the vineyard was biggest medal winner at the English and Welsh Wine of the Year competition 2014 taking a coveted gold medal for its Classic Cuvee 2010.

The vineyard has grown in size to almost 100 acres stretching across two counties. Headed by winemaker Kevin Sutherland the team of viticulturalists nurture the three classic Champagne grape varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier throughout the year. As harvest approaches, grapes are tasted daily to determine the optimum moment for hand harvesting.

Visitors can travel via the Bluebell Railway to Sheffield Park station, minutes from the estate. Details, ring: 01825 791561