Harvest season bodes well for UK wine merchants

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September is a crucial time for UK wine merchants and vineyards, as it marks the start of the harvest season - so what can we expect in 2015?

The good news is that weather patterns in much of the country have closely matched those seen in 2014, which was widely considered to be a near-perfect growing season.

Interestingly, that doesn't mean it was a perfect summer by most people's standards, and UK wine merchants will have welcomed the unsettled conditions in August 2014 and again in 2015.

For the best growth on the vine, a mild spring followed by a relatively warm June and July is a good combination, and 2015 matched 2014 in this regard.

After that, August needs to deliver some refreshing rain - and last month supplied that in abundance too.

Now with a return to warmer, brighter weather, September 2015 is already shaping up to offer perfect ripening conditions before the harvest begins.

The UK Vineyards Association reported that some vineyards began their harvest early in 2014 thanks to the ideal conditions - and this may be seen again this year, with some grapes left on the vine for use in sweeter wines later in the harvest.