A sparkling wine company with vineyards in Sussex is celebrating a bumper harvest.

Nyetimber said this year’s harvest was record-breaking, for both the number of grapes picked and the area of vineyards harvested.

The company has 11 vineyards across the south of England, including in West Chiltington, near Pulborough.

Over 21 days of harvesting across its vineyards, Nyetimber recorded an average yield of 9.7 tonnes per hectare from its 350 hectares.

Experts at the company expect this harvest will produce more than two million bottles of wine.

"During harvest, our sole aim is to preserve the delicate characteristics of our grapes, ensuring only the highest quality fruit is selected to craft exceptional English sparkling wines,” said Eric Heerema, owner and chief executive of Nyetimber.

 “In England, each vintage is unique, and 2023 represents a successful harvest for us. We will look to produce over two million bottles and our tastings show that our wines, though still in fermentation, are already showing impressive flavour diversity.”

Nyetimber’s team of 450 pickers are trained to analyse the fruit carefully and selectively harvest only grapes that are ripe and healthy.

Senior Winemaker Brad Greatrix said: “This year, the weather mostly cooperated during harvest season.

“As with everyone involved in viticulture, we did experience some challenging moments with rain and wind, but through teamwork and determination, we achieved what we set out to do.

“Thankfully, at the most crucial moments of the season, including budburst and flowering, the weather was quite favourable for our vines, and we have a large and balanced crop to thank for that.”

Head winemaker Cherie Spriggs said their hands-on harvesting means she, Brad and the winemaking team can choose from the varied collection of base wines to make ones with new flavours.

“We can make wines with a delicate balance of flavour, freshness, and acidity”, said Cherie.

"Ultimately, our aim as winemakers is to keep things simple and allow the elegant and complex flavours to shine through, to create those joyous moments, where you can savour every sip right to the end of the bottle."