What a wonderful year it’s been! Whilst Denbies’ winery team works as hard as ever fermenting, bottling and taking care of our young wines, we look back over a successful and bountiful 2018 to examine what made it such a great harvest here at Denbies Wine Estate.
Conditions in March were chilly with very heavy rainfall, leaving us wondering when we would see sunshine. However this rainfall left us in very good stead for the heat and dry weather to come, with good water reserves for the vines to draw on throughout the summer months. Things began to warm up, with an exceptionally sunny May, resulting in early bud burst and Growing Degree Days well ahead of average. Continued warm weather meant strong growth in June and bud burst to flowering in just 60 days, followed by ideal conditions for fruit set. With little rainfall, berries were in perfect health and predictions for an early harvest began. July brought more hot and dry weather, with this month being one of the hottest on record. This meant early ripening for many varieties, by as much as several weeks. August once again saw above-average temperatures, with little (but welcome!) precipitation, with largely dryer than average temperatures right through until October. This enabled our harvest to take place a couple of weeks earlier than usual here at Denbies, always a welcome event to reduce the risk of any early autumn frost affecting the berries. Therefore the combination of steady sunshine, heat and low rainfall gave us a record-breaking yield, with well-ripened, near-perfect berries.
Denbies premium offerings from the 2018 harvest will include a varietal Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Bacchus made from top-quality parcels of fruit, as well as a Ranmore Hill blend, made from noble varieties such as Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. We will also have a stunning range of sparkling wines to look forward to, including our award-winning Greenfields blend.
We look ahead to an exciting new year at Denbies and raise a glass to an exceptional 2018 harvest, with the promise of some of our finest wines yet!