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Thanks to all our harvest helpers!




Our 2021 harvest season came to a close yesterday with the picking of the apples and although that was only a two-person job, the grape harvest certainly was not!





We were delighted with the huge influx of volunteers that turned up to help us complete the monumental task of picking all the grapes from our 15,000 vines. It was lovely to see so many faces we have become familiar with throughout the summer and spend time with them in a more social setting and to work alongside all of the gardeners who have been working hard maintaining and developing the estate across the summer.


This year’s harvest came sooner than expected which was both exciting and slightly inconvenient as it meant that The Motley Cru café had to close its doors a couple of weeks early. We learnt the hard way last year that once the sugars in the grapes are at the right level, picking is of the greatest urgency or you risk the alcohol content going too high, hence we are currently producing our very own brandy from last year’s Solaris!



Our first harvest day got off to a smooth start but soon the rainy showers came in and much to the dismay of our volunteers we were forced to take a coffee break. We were soon back out and picking again between sunshine, showers and rainbows making for a thoroughly enjoyable morning. After stopping again for a wonderful feast of Motley Cru favourites including of course our now famous Motley Cru Deli Feast Sharing Platters as well as Milena’s ingenious tear and share cheesy garlic loaf, we set out into the vineyard fuelled up and ready to finish off the day. With all the picking done by about 5 o’clock we loaded up our vans before Jayne and Ian set off on their journey to the winery. Little did they know that due to the fuel shortage their trip would involve an over-night stay!

Despite trying to refill many times on their way up, the fuel gauge was soon in the red zone. Thankfully they enjoyed a lovely little mini break in a Holiday Inn near the winery whilst the rest of The Motley Cru scrambled around to get the café up and running for service the next day. With a bit of luck and patience everything worked out and we were delighted to hear that our grapes were of very high quantity and quality.





Thankfully the fuel crisis had passed before it was time to harvest the rest of our grapes and we tore through the rest of our plantations, with a total of 30 helpers turning up on one of the days! We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that helped us, and we hope to see plenty of fresh and familiar faces when we reopen The Motley Cru café again in December.




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