February: Vineyard News
As I mentioned last month, winter is the time for pruning and I’m still slowly working my way through my 38 rows of vines – currently at row 12! I always find the first few rows go very slowly and that I seem to double in speed as the weeks progress.
As I mentioned last month, winter is the time for pruning and I’m still slowly working my way through my 38 rows of vines – currently at row 12! I always find the first few rows go very slowly and that I seem to double in speed as the weeks progress. Quite why this is I’ve never worked out. I think it has something to do with the pruning becoming an unconscious process through constant repetition. I have quite a short attention span so find that listening to the radio helps keep me motivated as I inch my way along each row.
Like most gardeners I love the reward of a good bonfire at the end of a task and you can make a big bonfire when you have a vineyard! I am careful to check my pruning pile for wildlife before I start and am always astonished at the extreme heat even a small bonfire can produce - I have to make sure that I don’t start the fire too close to the hedges or the vines. Bonfires are great fun, hypnotic to watch and amazingly efficient at reducing a huge pile of twigs to practically nothing. Happily they also help in disease control as burning the prunings kills the fungal spores they harbor which in turn reduces the risk of mildew appearing next summer.
You may remember from last year that the Children’s Laureate and award winning Illustrator, Chris Riddell, drew a lovely Pinot noir dryad illustration for our wine label. For this year we have decided to work together again but have not yet decided what we will create so watch this space for more information when we have it!
Our latest Pinot rosé is still with the winemaker and won’t be bottled for another couple of months but we’re very keen to find out what it’ll be like. As we are only a small producer our wine is subtly different each year, reflecting the weather conditions and the size of the crop produced that summer. It’s hard to imagine it will ever be summer again in the murk of January but it’ll be here before we know it and I’ll soon be rushing about with a million jobs to do in the vineyard.
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