It’s that time of year again…and would you believe it’s been a record winning one! Last week once again, some of the hardworking members of #teamcarden were busy harvesting the grapes from our three acre vineyard in Cheshire ready to produce our distinctive and award winning Carden Old Gold sparkling white and rose wines.
Since its revival more than 10 years ago and with the careful nurturing of Estates Manager Peter Pattenden, one of Europe’s most northerly commercial vineyards has produced the finest bunches of Seyval Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes. The Seyval Blanc grape being well suited to the British climate and producing a light, nutty and crisp wine, whereas the Pinot Noir variety of red grape produces the sparkling rosé wine.
However this year due to a warm and dry summer, a bumper crop came into fruition over the harvest with 15 tonnes of grapes picked, which will create an incredible 15,700 bottles of wine! The highest crop ever recorded at Carden Park Hotel in its 20 years and a major increase on our 1.5 ton haul last year.
Of this year’s fantastic crop, Peter said, “‘It takes a great deal of time and energy throughout the year to maintain, monitor and finally harvest these thriving high grade grapes. After this year’s April frosts where we saw subzero temperatures we had our work cut out, but managed to keep the vines in good condition before we experienced the relatively warm and dry summer, which has yielded this year’s bumper crop”.
General Manager Paul Bayliss was delighted with the news and explained that “May to September is the main growing season and the whole team was involved in the growing and harvesting process. It took around two and a half days to pick and package the grapes from more than 4,000 vines on the south west facing slopes”.
Our record breaking amount of grapes (which will produce an equally impressive 11,800 litres of grape juice) will now be carefully transported to Halfpenny Green Vineyard in Staffordshire, where the wine-making will continue using champagne yeast in a classic process called ‘Méthode Champagnoise’ which gives the wine its sparkle. The wine is then bottled in spring the following year and matured for a further nine months.
All in all, this process should take around eighteen months to complete.
This year, Carden Park is breathing new life into the vines with a new label for the hotel’s signature sparkling wines to commemorate our 20-year anniversary. If you want to buy a bottle of Carden Old Gold as a magic memento or as a gift for your nearest and dearest, you can purchase your memory from £31 in the hotel’s various restaurants and bars‚ or from reception.