grapes on a vine in a vineyard

Vineyard Summer Update 2020

Frost recovery

Following on from the frost damage we suffered in May, the vines have recovered well, some varieties better than others. In late June/early July the vines flowered, which then set into fruit. They are now developing well with some of the red grapes just starting to go through veraison – where the red grape varieties start to change colour from small, green berries to juicy red grapes.

They grow so blooming quick!

At the moment the main jobs in the vineyard are leaf stripping and summer pruning. We strip leaves from the fruiting section of the vines, this helps to get more sunlight onto the fruit, to get the sugar levels up in the build-up to harvest. We also summer prune to get the vine to put its energy into producing fruit rather than just growing more shoots and leaves. Anyone who has a vine in the garden will appreciate how quickly they can grow.

It’s thirst-quenching work.

On top of these jobs, there is also the general day-to-day maintenance work in the vineyard. The grass has been growing very well with the warm weather with regular rainy days, so it’s a lot of work on the mower to keep on top of it. There is also the trellising to maintain as there’s always a post to replace or a wire to fix, especially this time of year with the weight of the vines bearing down on them.

We are never alone in the vineyard.

It’s great to be out in the vineyard working away, there’s always some wildlife to keep us company. We often see buzzards and red kites circling overhead, and small birds darting in and out of the hedges. Chris always loves it when the swallows return at the start of summer and set up nests in his tractor shed, it’s brilliant to see the fledglings take flight for the first time. We get quite a lot of ladybirds and other insects, which are good for the vines as they eat aphids.

Sometimes we get joined by a deer or two passing quietly through the vineyard -we’ve got to be quick with the camera to catch them though!

It’s great to see you again.

It’s been lovely to be able to open the vineyard again, as lockdown restrictions eased, and share our beautiful and peaceful space. The tours have been going very well and we’ve made big changes to how we run them to be able to keep people socially distanced. Our visitors seem to be really enjoying the tours, as we have had some lovely reviews and feedback.

A new addition this year has been the afternoon tea picnics, they are proving popular with people wanting a bit of tranquility for a couple of hours to enjoy the picnic and bottle of wine or beer.

Harvest is coming – we need you!

All the work we do in the vineyard is building up to our harvest, which will be in October this year. We rely solely on the help of volunteers coming to help us pick the grapes and it’s really good fun for all the family. So if you’ve ever fancied picking grapes, follow us on social media and we will keep you posted about our harvest days.

We will be closed for tours and picnics from 12 October – 4 November for harvest.

Vineyard Summer Update 2020 – Georgina Spakouskas

Georgina is the daughter in-law of the vineyard owners Chris and Gillian. Georgina works hard throughout the year with the vines and also on our tour days.