Waitrose help with Harvest at Warden Abbey Vineyard

26th October 2015

Warden Abbey Vineyard, replanted on the site of a historic medieval vineyard in Bedfordshire and one of the few community-run vineyards in the UK, expects this year’s harvest of just under 4.7 tonnes to produce over three thousand bottles of top quality English still and sparkling wine.

This year’s harvest day was in jeopardy due to a last-minute glitch which led to an appeal for local businesses to provide crates to pack the grapes on harvest day. The local Waitrose store in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, IFCO Systems, and Kuehne + Nagel Logistics, came to the rescue and are loaning 500 crates for the harvest.

More than 65 volunteers helped pick the grapes this year, including some local children who had visited the vineyard previously as part of their studies.

Vineyard Manager Jane Markham said: “The pickers did an outstanding job in picking so much in one day. Although the poor August weather means our harvest was slightly later than last year we are really pleased with the quality and flavours. The few weeks of late sunshine we had in October really helped bring on our crop and we expect to produce award winning still and sparkling white wines this year. Waitrose’s support has been amazing – their help is really appreciated.”

The historic vineyard has been run by a team of volunteers for the past five years, making it one of the few true community vineyards in the UK. The volunteers work all year round at the vineyard which is hidden deep in Bedfordshire, close to the village of Old Warden.

Photo: Waitrose colleagues Denise and Nigel from the Ampthill Branch.



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