English sparkling wine firm Nyetimber is making preparations for its first harvest after a fruitful summer — at a sociable distance.
It will harvest grapes from 640 acres of vineyards in West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent over the next few weeks, which it said is the largest area of harvested vines of any English sparkling wine producer.
Nyetimber forecast production of around 1m bottles from this harvest, which will rise to 2m bottles within the next few years as more of its younger vineyards come to maturity.
It also expects to sell 2m bottles a year by 2030.
The English wine industry has been growing rapidly, rising to 10.5m bottles produced last year from 5.9m in 2017.
Sales rose 70 per cent between 2018 and 2019 to 5.5m bottles, while the UK’s total area size of vineyards has risen 83 per cent since 2015.
“Having embraced the required social distancing measures we are looking forward to a bumper harvest as we have benefitted from good growing conditions this year, in particular the warm and dry summer weather which got us off to a great start,” said Cherie Spriggs, head winemaker at Nyetimber.
“We expect 2020 to once again bear fruit of high quality for our wines.”