After setting a vineyard record of 99 tonnes in the perfect conditions of 2022, the team at the Langham Wine Estate knew it was possible to increase yields from their Dorset vineyards but they never imagined it would be as much as 123 tonnes!
As the last grapes were picked, owner Justin Langham admits to being very worried about the estate’s 13th harvest after experiencing challenging weather in the south west for the last three months and a very wet summer.
Justin says due diligence and hard work won the day: “After 17 days of picking, pressing, pumping and now fermenting, the winery is absolutely full to capacity with grape juice on its journey to becoming Dorset sparkling wine. It has been a mammoth effort from the winery and vineyard teams and I couldn’t be more proud of the work they’ve done.”
A team of 16 pickers brought in Langham’s record-breaking harvest of 123 tonnes, up from 99 tonnes in 2022 and 55 in 2021.
Last year, Langham Wine Estate expanded its vineyard from 30 to 85 acres in a bid to keep up with the growing demand for English sparkling wine. The first harvest from the new planting is expected in 2024/25.
Pictured: Estate owner Justin Langham (second left), Head Winemaker Tommy Grimshaw (fourth left) and Vineyard Manager James McLean (fourth right) with Langham’s vineyard and winery team.
Photo credit: Lara Jane Thorpe
Links to drone footage of the 2023 harvest:
ABOUT LANGHAM WINE ESTATE
As winegrowers, the team at Langham Wine Estate pride themselves on crafting sparkling wines which reflect the land around them, using grapes grown solely on their Dorset vineyard. Taking a low-intervention approach to both grape growing and wine production, they are constantly striving to minimise environmental impact and produce honest wines that reflect the terroir.
Planted in 2009, the Crawthorne vineyard spans 12 hectares planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and is located on a sheltered south facing slope 90 metres above sea level. The soil consists of a shallow clay loam, containing flint, over deep Cretaceous chalk and Coralliferous limestone. The chalk soils provide the award-winning wines with a fresh, saline character and by reducing intervention both in the vineyard and winery the Langham team strive not to cloud these characters.
Now a world-class wine estate, the Langham vineyard was originally established by John Langham on a very small scale. In 2009 John’s son, Justin Langham, decided to develop his father’s rudimental vineyard into a commercial venture, and planted 30 acres at their Crawthorne Farm. To keep up with the increasing demand for English sparkling wine, a further 45 acres of new vines were recently planted in May 2022.
The boutique winery currently produces between 50,000 and 60,000 bottles of exceptional quality sparkling wine per year priced from £30.95.
Justin Langham heads up the vibrant and passionate young team which includes head winemaker Tommy Grimshaw.
The Langham team were elated to be named as the International Wine & Spirits Competition’s (IWSC) Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year in November 2020 seeing off competition from more than 700 entrants including Champagne houses and Prosecco brands.
Langham was also awarded Wine GB Supreme Champion in 2019.
Langham Wine Estate hosts regular events, tours and tastings. Visitors can buy wine from the cellar door shop and relax with a drink or a meal at the vineyard café.