Vineyard News June 2017

May 30 2017

You may have seen in the national press that some English and French vineyards were damaged by frost at the end of April.

You may have seen in the national press that some English and French vineyards were damaged by frost at the end of April. Our vineyard is almost nine years old now and we hadn’t encountered serious frost damage until last year and unfortunately again this year. It just goes to show that farming and growing can be a little like playing a roulette wheel. A lot of the small green shoots that had just started to grow were killed by two cold nights on April 25-26. Finding the damage on a chilly, clear morning was not an experience I’d like to repeat but never fear, all is not lost. Vines throw out secondary shoots so with some careful management we should still have successful flowering and grapes at the end of the summer. Thankfully, we have two sites we source grapes from: one in the Chew Valley and one a few miles further south which wasn’t affected by the cold snap.

On the wine front we’ve had a hectic couple of weeks releasing the new 2016 Pinot noir rosé. We had a small launch party at a lovely restaurant we supply called Bellita on Cotham Hill, which was great fun. For the first time I made a business venture up to London to meet some new customers, which was also very exciting. Several hundred bottles have flown out over the first couple of weeks which has been great but exhausting!

At the vineyard, the damaged vines are starting to throw out fresh, new shoots and the grass has been creeping upward and producing beautiful seed heads in the dry weather. My beloved swallows are back, nesting in the barn in the neighbouring field and flying around me in the vineyard as I work. The buttercups have just started flowering so on a sunny day it’s a lovely place to be. The next task ahead for me will be tying down the reserve frost canes now the warmer summer days are ahead.

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