Harvest at Tinwood Estate
The Most Exciting Time of the Year
Harvest season transforms the vineyard into its most exhilarating phase. This period represents the vineyard team’s peak activity, and with around 200,000 vines requiring hand-harvesting over a span of more than 3 weeks, meticulous planning of dates, equipment preparation, schedule coordination, and workforce mobilization is crucial. To ensure the grapes reach the winery at their peak maturity, we meticulously plan dates, prepare equipment, coordinate schedules, and mobilize our workforce.
For visitors, this is an opportunity to witness this bustling activity up close—and increasingly, to actively participate. English vineyards are now offering dedicated harvest experiences more frequently. You can engage in grape picking, enjoy camaraderie, and savour delightful lunches and wine.
Tinwood’s Harvest Experience strikes a superb balance between hard work and rewarding indulgence. The day kicks off with a warm welcome from the owners, complete with coffee and cake. Following a brief lesson on the art of grape harvesting for quality winemaking, it’s time to venture into the vineyard. You’ll spend a couple of hours picking grapes, culminating in a well-deserved three-course harvest lunch complemented by complimentary Tinwood wines. The Harvest Experience offers great value at just £65 per person.
The Harvest Experience Itinerary
9AM: Arrive at Tinwood Estate, where Art and Jody, the vineyard owners, will greet you with coffee and cakes. The team begins by explaining the grape-picking process, emphasising that only the finest grapes are selected to craft our delicious sparkling wines. We hand-pick all grapes to ensure the highest wine quality.
9:30AM: Start working alongside our experienced vineyard team for 2 hours. Working closely with the team allows you to ask questions and discover the inner workings of the vineyard. In these 2 hours, you will harvest one of our different grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier.
12.00PM: Enjoy a three-course rustic harvest lunch, each course thoughtfully paired with a different glass of our three sparkling wines. Take this opportunity to relax, rejuvenate with a glass of wine, and choose to sit in the sunshine or under our patio heaters overlooking the vines.
2PM: We finish our tasting and tour
The 2023 Harvest
“Our Vineyard Team has safely hand-picked our grapes over three weeks. The vines and our team are pleased with the quality and are now taking a well-deserved rest.
This year’s combination of rainy spells and heat waves has resulted in an early harvest, characterised by higher sugar levels and exceptional quality. We anticipate that this year’s crop will yield intense flavours and an exquisite Vintage.”
Art – Second Generation Farmer
This season can be summarized by warm, dry weather. April is the most concerning time for our vineyard, as the vines awaken, and the buds begin to burst. Spring-time frost poses a risk, and temperatures falling below 0 degrees can lead to frost damage. May brought great weather conditions, with daily shifts from rain to bright sunshine, resulting in the emergence of flowers in early June.
Throughout July, our grapes experienced rapid growth, with consistent rain during short heat waves filling our chalky soil. Warmer temperatures in August accelerated grape development, causing bunches to increase in size and go through veraison. This transformation involved a shift in colour from green to yellow in the Chardonnays and from green to red-purple in the Pinots.
We’ve enjoyed abundant sunshine and ripeness, resulting in concentrated flavours in smaller grape bunches. This year, our harvest begins in the final week of September, and we are hopeful that the harvest round-up blog will bring good news.
Interested in joining the Harvest Experience next year or gifting it to someone? Join our mailing list to stay updated on events and be among the first to hear about the next harvest experience.