World-renowned West Sussex sparkling wine producer celebrates most expansive harvest to date
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The 2023 harvest season has set new records for Nyetimber in terms of both the number of grapes picked and the area of vineyards harvested.
Nyetimber's uncompromising dedication to quality, craftsmanship, and excellence remained at the heart of this year's harvest process, with its meticulous attention to detail apparent in its parcel-by-parcel approach and careful handling of its 100% estate-owned hand-picked grapes.
Nyetimber’s CEO and Owner Eric Heerema said: “During harvest, our sole aim is to preserve the delicate characteristics of our grapes, ensuring only the highest quality fruit is selected to craft exceptional English sparkling wines.
“In England, each vintage is unique, and 2023 represents a successful harvest for us. We will look to produce over two million bottles and our tastings show that our wines, though still in fermentation, are already showing impressive flavour diversity.”
Harvest at Nyetimber is a time of purpose, and this year, 450 experienced pickers were instrumental in bringing the crop in. By using only estate-owned and grown fruit, Nyetimber can maintain complete control over quality. Nyetimber ensures its pickers are trained to analyse the fruit carefully and selectively harvest only grapes that are ripe and healthy to ensure only the best of the crop is transported to be pressed.
Senior winemaker Brad Greatrix said: “This year, the weather predominantly cooperated during harvest season and was somewhat of a secondary consideration for the most part, allowing us to get on with our jobs.
“As with everyone involved in viticulture, we did experience some challenging moments with rain and wind, but through teamwork and determination, we achieved what we set out to do.
“A start date of October 6 is more or less in line with our long-term average. Over the course of the growing season various parts were warmer or cooler than average, meaning at various times our vines were either ahead or behind compared to normally, but on aggregate we ended the season with ‘typical’ timings.
“Thankfully, at the most crucial moments of the season, including budburst and flowering, the weather was quite favourable for our vines, and we have a large and balanced crop to thank for that.”
As the pioneer of English Sparkling Wine, Nyetimber continues to set itself apart by its attention to detail, including keeping grapes from each of its vineyard parcels separate. In this way head winemaker Cherie Spriggs and senior winemaker Brad Greatrix can preserve and thoroughly assess the quality and subtle nuances in taste from each parcel. So, when Cherie and Brad come to blending, they can choose from a varied collection of individual base wines and go on to create exquisite sparkling wines with grapes that reflect the many defining characteristics of soil, landscape, and climate from each parcel across each of Nyetimber's 11 vineyards.
Head winemaker Cherie Spriggs added: “By following this exacting approach, we can discover some real gems and can make wines with a delicate balance of flavour, freshness, and acidity, for which Nyetimber is known and celebrated.
“Ultimately, our aim as winemakers is to keep things simple and allow the elegant and complex flavours to shine through, to create those joyous moments, where you can savour every sip right to the end of the bottle."