THIRTY-SEVEN volunteers helped pick 2.7 tonnes of grapes at a vineyard in Malmesbury.

Bow in the Cloud vineyard harvested their Bacchus and Schonburger grapes on September 22 and 23 with the help of volunteers.

The volunteers, 20 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday, managed to pick the grapes that will now be made into still white wines.

Family run, the business has been selling wines produced by their small vineyard for 23 years and this year was the largest crop since inception.

Keith Willingale planted the vineyard in 1993 and was a fixture at farmers markets in the nearby communities over the years, winning numerous awards for his quality wines.

After Keith suddenly passed away early this year his daughter Sophie took over managing the family vineyard.

“It’s been a really challenging year, there’s been so much to learn and get to grips with,” said Sophie.

“We then had an incredible summer which meant we didn’t have to struggle with the usual diseases that attack grapes.

“The weather this year has been very kind to us.

Sophie wants to thank people for being so supportive of her and the business.

“I’ve reached out to a lot of people this year when I’ve needed help,” she added.

“It was one of the reasons why I thought we could do a community harvest this year and get everyone involved, it was incredible how many people responded to the facebook posts.”

This year, Sophie opened up the vineyard in early September for a community BBQ and numerous tours, something she would like to think more about doing next year.

Sophie aims to raise the profile of the vineyard locally and to reach out to new business and for new opportunities.

“As a small family business, and being so connected to Malmesbury, I really want to connect as much as possible with local people and local business so that they can be proud of their local vineyard and the local wine,” Sophie added.

“We know our wines are fantastic and our vineyard is a beautiful place but we’ve kept a very low profile over the years.

“The last still wine Keith made was only 550 bottles and in 4 months they have all gone, bar one or two we will keep for prosperity.”

You can keep up to date with the vineyard on their Facebook page at

For more information on the wine, go to