Vineyard News: August 2017
No two years are the same when you grow fruit in the UK.
No two years are the same when you grow fruit in the UK. Looking back at my previous July posts it’s interesting to see how much variation there is in July. Some years the vines are just at the point of flowering and we are not sure how many grapes will appear but in other years we can already see the little grapes swelling. This year the flowering has finished and the little grapes are at the small, hard, pea stage. All things being well, they’ll gradually grow and start to go ripen in August. After the frost damage we suffered back in April I was expecting little to no harvest so the sight of a decent crop is very welcome and quite unexpected.
For the last month I’ve been doing the very monotonous tasks of tucking in, shoot selecting and leaf thinning. In some years these tasks arise sequentially over the course of the summer but the warm weather this year has brought everything on at once, piling on the pressure to work as quickly as possible. Warm summer weather is very welcome but also carries the threat of mildew which adds to the feeling of urgency to keep the vines tidy with air circulating around the leaves and developing grapes. There are times when looking at 38 rows of vines can be a little overwhelming but one by one I have worked my way through them and finally feel like things are nicely in order. At this time of year, vineyard work can feel a little like painting the Forth Bridge. You get to the end and then notice that the start needs tidying again.
On the wine front, our award winning rosé is disappearing fast and our first sparkling wine is about to be bottled. After bottling, the sparkling wine will be sent to its new home at Furleigh Estate in Dorset where it’ll sit for a minimum of eight months before being riddled and disgorged in the traditional method. It’s a long process but will be worth the wait!
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