Harvest 2022 is officially complete, with the fruit now safely in the winery undergoing essential processes to create the Finest English Fizz. Harvest is both an exciting and nerve-racking time for all involved, with no two seasons presenting the same highlights and challenges. This year, in 2022, our team have plenty to be excited about, with the first harvest of our extended vineyard presenting particularly promising yields, exceptional weather throughout the summer and an excellent team in both the winery and the vineyard. All of this, arising in our 70th anniversary year, has made 2022 particularly optimistic for Hambledon Vineyard.
While many, when thinking about harvest, ponder the grapes themselves, some sometimes forget to recognise the integral part that human skill plays in crafting the Finest English Fizz from the exceptional fruit that our terroir provides for us. From pressing, to fermenting, to assemblage and bottling. Thinking back on this year’s harvest, we talk to the key people behind Hambledon Vineyard’s 2022 harvest, about what this season has meant to them.
Ian Kellett & Anna Krits-Kellett- Owners
As the business founders, Ian and Anna are the ‘architects’ of Hambledon Vineyard and manage all aspects of the business. Having taken advantage of a completely clean slate for the vineyard when Ian purchased the land in 1999, and the ability to make the most of the gift of our unique chalk terroir and the expertise of our team, each year presents an exciting opportunity to craft the Finest English Fizz. This, of course, means that harvest is especially profound for the pair. Commenting on this year’s harvest, the pair said that:
“The harvest has been wonderful, the weather has been glorious, which has been great for growing the grapes, amazing in our jubilee year.”- Ian
“I am very pleased with this year’s harvest and look forward to an opportunity to develop a new Cuvée.”- Anna
Nick Cran-Crombie- Vineyard Manager
As the vineyard manager, Nick finds himself at the heart of the harvest each year. Responsible for viticultural operations, and the year-round job of ensuring the best quality fruit, harvest is when the fruits of his labour are delivered to the winemakers. 2022 was the first year in which we received a full yield from our extended vineyard; an exciting piece of progress.
“2022’s Harvest has provided an ample haul of excellent quality fruit. With the grapes safely in the winery, it’s over to the winemakers to work their magic.”
Felix Gabillet- Winemaker
During harvest (and all year round!) Felix has the mammoth task of overseeing the winery, planning operations, and of course, making the wine itself. Though harvest in such an auspicious year certainly brings challenges, the excitement within the winery team was palpable as Harvest 2022 approached. Speaking about this year's harvest season, Felix was positive:
“Harvest 2022 was one of the best I’ve seen at Hambledon. The quality of the fruit shows potential for a vintage; we've had good weather and a very good summer this year, so this year's grapes have given an excellent reflection of our terroir. Our yield also increased, thanks to our first harvest with a good quantity from our extended vineyard. I'd say we have very happy winemakers!”
While our team now takes a well-deserved rest after the busy season, we now look forward to assembling those exceptional wines with other extraordinary years, currently ageing in our tanks as reserve wines. That, will be the topic of another story, that we will share next year, when we slowly leave winter behind us and enter another growing season.