Harvest Reports

Good grapes make good wines so the harvest reports are as important to us as our tasting notes. If nothing else, they show the farming challenges of working with the vagaries of the English weather.

  • Flowering dates are a good quick guide to early seasonal variations
  • Veràison dates show the point at which the grape berries start to ripen
  • Harvest dates record the dates the grapes were picked.


The season to date:  after the wettest winter for a century at least, with rainfall up at +265% over long-term averages, It’s an understatement to say it rained. Fields were super-saturated but the soils stayed warm. No snow, few frosts. Just wet, wet, wet.  March and April were warmer than average, drier and sunnier; a much needed respite from the wettest winter since records began. May was simply spring like, a little cooler, showery, one or two days of proper rain.  June has started well.  We are now in “wait and see” mode as the season unfolds.

Flowering: started June 18th 



We started the year shivering and coated in mud as chilly winds and heavy rains blew over us.  The season got off to a miserable start: cold, wet and disheartening with vine growth lagging by a month as we reached May. May was magical. Warm and dry with stable high pressure and that’s the way the weather stayed until September. No Indian summer, cooler temperatures and, by mid October, worrying storms were forecast for the month end (the St Judes’ Day storm). That pushed us to pick in the last week of October. We ended the season as we began in torrential rain and howling winds just after the crop was safely in. That said, this was the year of Pinot noir – exceptional flavours in the fruit; now in the cellar as our first Blanc de noirs.

Flowering:  June 26th –July 8th

Veràison: September 18th

Harvest:   October 19th -21st



This year was a year of weather frustrations and failure. We started with a March drought, having to water the young vines in our High Field (Lakestreet). The vines were growing like Topsy until the 1st of April when they stopped in their tracks with the arrival of three months of chilly, damp  “bank holiday weather”, broken only by the one warm week in May (for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee). August was average, while the autumn was cool and grey.  We needed another two weeks of growing time as we headed towards November which is not a month associated with good plant growth. We made a decision not to harvest. That was tough.

Flowering: July 7th - 30th

Veràison:  September 29th onwards

Harvest:  Decision taken on October 30th: no harvest 



2011 was the year of great Chardonnay for us, both in terms of quality and quantity. The red grapes were soaked by rain at flowering, so we lost half the potential fruit load through lack of pollination. The Chardonnay, however, flowered earlier in the warm dry days of early May, thanks mainly to a very summery April amid an 8 week period of cloudless skies and beaming sunshine.

We picked the Chardonnay later than most of our neighbouring vineyards, as the load was significant requiring longer to reach perfect ripeness. We risked the possible drop in acid levels by letting the fruit hang until the end of October to get the natural sugar levels up.  Nevertheless, the gamble paid off, with a heavy load of clean ripe fruit, with perfect sugars and acidity, as reward. The red grapes were delivered to the winery, a week later still, in perfect shape: an even bigger gamble in some respects.

This outstanding Chardonnay harvest allowed us to make our first Blanc de Blancs. The smaller fruit load on the Pinot noir & Meunier, a consequence of the poor fruit set, had provided a natural green harvest which, combined with the very late harvest, allowed good ripe fruit to be delivered to the winery. Emboldened by the high quality of the red fruit, we produced an almost entirely Pinot-driven dark rosé, with a hint of oak age, now in the cellar and named: Mayfield Midnight.

Flowering:  June 23rd-July 6th

Veràison:  started September 13th

Harvest:   October 17th Chardonnay
                 October 26th Pinot gris and the red grapes



This was a roller coaster year where growing conditions were at times brilliant and at others extremely challenging and where a degree of strategic decision making and risk taking made the difference between a great crop and a very mediocre one.

We started on the back-foot with late bud-burst due to the chilled, snow laden winter. Then came a prolonged sunny and eventually warm period over the early summer, with 12 weeks without rain, which brought the vines from 3 weeks behind 2009’s growing pace to “same as“ by early August. Then came the coldest, wettest August for a hundred years. Growth slowed. October was warm and sunny and we ended the season picking just as the first frosts arrived.

Flowering:  July 3rd – July 9th

Veràison:  started September 5th  

Harvest:   October 21st & 22nd



This was the year the vines pretty much just grew themselves. After a snowy winter, the growing season started with a long dry spring, 8 weeks without rain. A normal July followed with weekend rains and sunny weeks. Next came a dry and sunny August, rain in early September as the fruit began to swell, warmth into October.  We recorded temperatures of 18°C on the first of October and that set the scene for a gentle Indian summer that carried us through to an early harvest.

Flowering:  June

Veràison:  started September 7th - 11th

Harvest:  October 14th