For those that didn’t catch my tweets, we survived the frost in May. The temperature dipped to 0.4 C and the boujies helped keep it warm.
Since my last blog, away from the vineyard the first batch of sparkling has been bottled, (a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Seyval mix,) and Silent Pool Rose 2012 is now on sale. Nick’s blog can tell you more about this.
Back on site and we’re a tad behind on flowering. We would want it to be happening now, Wimbledon time, but there’s another few weeks to go. Which means, IF, we have warm weather for the rest of the summer we will be harvesting towards the end of October. Last year’s shocking weather meant we picked at the end of October, hand selecting the ripest bunches. The vines are self pollinators, and the timeframe is 120 days from flowering to harvest. This is what we have at the moment.
June has seen some fertilising and keeping the vineyard smart. We’ve started the first wire lifting. On a row of vines there is a permanent strong wire, the fruiting wire, to support the crown of the vine and the fruiting canes as they grow. Above this we have two sets of ‘catch wires’. They are not so tight and you are able to unclip them from the metal posts, bringing them out, round and down to catch the canopy. Then you re-attach them to the post and move on to the next post and continue up the row with that wire. When the canopy gets longer you do the wires higher up too. This is probably done three times across the growing season. It supports the vines as they grow and also makes the vineyard look tidy, which to me is important.
I’ve also been ‘crown thinning’ on the vines. Removing the weaker shoots so the vine’s energy is used efficiently and sent to thicker canes. It made me see stars a few times bending up and down, but nothing a cuppa didn’t sort out!