This year’s ‘corking’ summer has seen Britain’s vineyards enjoy a bumper grape harvest – set to produce stunning wines.
In contrast to last year’s washout, the long and hot summer has produced near-perfect growing conditions.
The award-winning Camel Valley Vineyard near Bodmin, Cornwall, has enjoyed one of its best ever harvests.
Sam Lindo, chief wiremaker on the vineyard, said: “It’s been an excellent summer for us.
“We had temperatures above 30 degrees during our flowering period at the end of June and beginning of July which we’ve never had before. This provided us with ideal weather conditions to produce an excellent crop.”
The vineyard, the largest and most decorated in Cornwall, has over 24,000 vines across 17 acres on south-facing slopes.
It produces an array of white, red and rose wines and is famed for its sparking rose, which won best in the world at the 2010 World Wine Awards.
Sam, whose parents Bob and Annie opened the vineyard in 1972, said: “We’ve had one of our biggest crops yet due to the weather.
“The crucial time for us is the flowering period, so we were extremely happy to get such perfect weather conditions which will also help us with next years crop.
“This year started off terrible. In May it was very cold and wet and we were anticipating another summer like last year’s so it was a relief when the warm spell arrived.”
The UK enjoyed one of its hottest summers on record this year with temperatures putting 2013 as our warmest, driest and sunniest for seven years.
Approximately 189mm of rain fell over the summer, around three-quarters of the average and making this about the 16th driest since records began.
Britain’s vineyard industry, which is relatively young, has enjoyed a surge of interest in recent years and the industry now boasts around 100 wineries and 420 vineyards.
England produces around three million bottles of wine each year, with Chardonnay the most commonly grown grape.