Saffron Grange vineyard completed a 'record-breaking' harvest last month, which saw a haul of 58 tonnes of grapes.

Despite the challenges posed by Storm Babet, more than 200 volunteers took part in the harvest over three weeks at the vineyard near Saffron Walden - with the weather mostly on their side.

During the harvest, the volunteers hand-pick the grapes which are then pressed, fermented and bottled.

All of Saffron Grange's sparkling wines are produced using what is called 'the traditional method', which is also commonly known as the 'Champagne method'.

This means that the 2023 vintage will not be ready for at least another two to three years, however the team believes it will be worth the wait - as this season saw ideal growing conditions during flowering, with a late burst of autumnal sunshine leading to "excellent" quality grapes.

Nick Edwards, director at Saffron Grange, said: "The support and effort from our local community of volunteers this year was immense.

"It was fantastic to welcome our largest-ever group of volunteers - some who have been joining us for a decade or more and others who were trying their hand at grape-picking for the first time. Harvest is hard work, but we always have lots of fun!

"Our bumper harvest was due to a combination of our maturing vineyard and a newly implemented natural soil enrichment programme led by Paul Harrison, our vineyard manager, and his team.


"We are incredibly grateful for everyone’s efforts. The vineyard team will take a short, well-deserved break before starting preparation for a busy and festive Christmas market season."

In 2021 the vineyard brought more of their wine production in-house, investing in a new winery and a pneumatic press which gently presses the grapes in whole bunches - enabling them to produce more fruit on-site.

In September, the vineyard also welcomed nearly 500 visitors to its 'Mammoth Day Out' for food, wine, activities and music.

The Saffron Grange team will be at the Saffron Walden market on Saturday, December 2 and Saturday, December 16, with a range of sparkling wines available to taste and buy.