A small family owned and run vineyard and winery using traditional methods and minimum intervention to produce handmade wines in Kent England. Planted in 1979
Environment sustaining production at its best. All our wines are from old vines, grown, made and bottled by us at the vineyard. Handmade wines from Harbourne and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The Harbourne Vineyard is a small English vineyard owned and run by Laurence Williams. All the wines produced are grown, made and bottled by Laurence at the vineyard. Only hand picking and manual basket presses are used. Traditional methods and minimal intervention are employed throughout the grape growing and winemaking processes. All our wines are made from old vines between 30 ans 42 years old
The Harbourne Vineyard was planted in 1979 in an area of south East England that was noted in Roman times for the quality of its wines. The vineyard is a part of a designated Kent Wildlife Site It covers 1.2 Hectares and the varieties of grapevine planted include Ortega, Bacchus, Muller Thurgau Seyval Blanc and Pinot Meunier. The soil is a medium loam over Wealden clay and is very well drained. The vines are spaced 1m apart in the rows with 4m between the rows and are trained to the double curtain system with high trellises, the fruiting wires are at a height of 1.6m. permitting good air circulation and maximum exposure of the fruit to the sun. Because of the height of the fruit, frost is less of a problem and the vines are able to take full advantage of the beneficial climate of this part of the Garden of England.
The long growing season allows the grapes to assimilate the delicate flavours and aromas that are the hallmark of Harbourne wines. Great care is taken to ensure quality. Grass is grown between the rows to break up the monoculture and to help reduce the build up of fungal and other problems and to maintain the soil structure. No insecticides are used and all the skins, pips and prunings are put back onto the land. We do not use any other fertiliser except manure if we can get hold of it! The vines are always hard pruned to reduce crop and ensure good quality.
In the winery, manual basket presses are used to gently squeeze the juice from the hand-picked and selected grapes. This type of press cannot over-press the fruit and thus avoids the risk of off-flavours in the wine caused by crushed pips and stalks. Fermentation takes place at low temperature so that all the fine aromas are retained and not bubbled off in an over-vigorous fermentation. Likewise the wine is allowed to settle naturally in the cold of winter. No chemical additives or preservatives are used except sulphur in very small amounts.
The wines are produced as naturally as possible. All Harbourne wines are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The wine is gently filtered and cold sterile bottled and aged in bottle released for sale. We age the wine in bottle. Fantastic flavours develop in the bottle as opposed to tank. The good acid balance favours marvellous ageing properties. These are real wines, which have character and individuality and we use natural corks.
We produce several wines each year: dry and medium -dry white wines and red and rosť wines. When conditions permit we also produce varietal wines.