Fifth Trust News

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It's harvest time

09 October 2023


Our Elham Valley Vineyard has produced a bountiful crop of grapes this year!

On Friday 6 October, staff, students, and volunteers (from Saga, Age UK South Kent Coast, plus friends and family), joined forces to pick from the 500 Seyval Blanc vines in the heart of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The 700kg of harvested grapes were sent to local wine producer Defined Wines in Bridge, less than five miles from our vineyard – helping to contribute to our sustainability targets.

The second part of our harvest will take place over the next few weeks when the Pinot Noir grapes will be picked. Together they should yield some 1500 bottles of our new still rosé (available early summer 2024).

The new still rosé will complement our new 2022 vintage sparkling rosé, also launching in summer 2024, having been produced in the traditional champagne method. Both will be another exciting dimension to our vineyard's repertoire.

Previous offerings from our charming three-quarter acre vineyard - which was first planted over 40 years ago – include an Elham Valley sparkling white, a sparkling rosé, a Blanc de Noirs, and our delicate still white wine. All but the sparkling rosé can be purchased from our online shop, and are sold at our Elham Valley Vineyard Garden Centre and Café, where they can also be enjoyed by the glass.

The Fifth Trust social enterprise manager Peter Stratton said: "Our vineyard is not just about producing exceptional wines; it's about coming together and supporting our students. All profits from the wine help support over 160 adults with learning disabilities and allow us to improve the range of activities and opportunities we can offer them.

“We are immensely grateful to all the volunteers, students, and staff who have dedicated their time and energy to make this harvest a success. Salut!"

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