May 2018: Vineyard News
The start to 2018 could not have been more different to 2017.
Many people have been asking me if my vines were ok in the snow and cold weather and seem surprised when I say they are fine and it’s actually been quite helpful. Like fruit trees, grape vines go into dormancy in the winter and ‘wake up’ when they think spring is here.
Last year we had a warm spring, which meant the vines started growing early, followed by several fraught weeks of chilly nights and frost damage. This year the cold weather has kept the vines in the dormant state for much longer so they are only just waking up in time for some warmer weather. The frost risk remains until the middle of May but the later start lessens the odds of a cold snap affecting us.
At the vineyard we’ve noticed that our lovely swallows have not yet returned. We’re hoping they too have hung back like the vines and are in warmer climes waiting to move north once the weather improves and the insects they feed on become more abundant. Seeing the first swallow of the year is always a special moment for me. They are really special birds and the sound of them calling and flying overhead is a real feature of summer vineyard work for me.
We’ve had a small flock of ewes and lambs in the vineyard for the last few weeks gradually nibbling down the thick matted winter grass. By the end of the week I’ll have to ask the sheep farmer to remove them before the vine buds start to burst or it could end in disaster! I keep a close eye on them when I’m working and thankfully all they seem to eat at the moment is grass.
On the wine front, the late start in the vineyard has allowed me time to prepare for my wine launch at Bellita restaurant in Cotham and start making the first few deliveries of our new Pinot noir rosé. As you may know, most of our customers are restaurants and shops in Bristol and London but we’re now moving across into Bath this summer as well. It’s not far away but is an exciting development! It’s been fun getting to know some of the people behind the bars, restaurants and shops I’m not so familiar with over there. Our new Pinot noir rosé is particularly good this year so do contact me for your nearest stockist, if you’d like to try some.
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