One of the hot topics on any of our vineyard tours is what a year on the vineyard looks like, how much work is involved and how we fit it all in. Well, the reality is that growing and producing English wine is a bit like painting the Firth Bridge. One season quickly blends into the next and there are always jobs to do. To give it some context, below is the annual cycle of wine making. Winter Although the vines are at rest and dormant there is still plenty of work to do. The
There are many key moments in the vineyard year but none for me so poignant as when the grapes start to ripen and go through veraison. This is truly the start of the countdown to harvest and this year the English climate has scored a hit with weather to match our European neighbours. Veraison is the point where ripening begins and the grapes begin to change colour and accumulate sugar. It's now, and only at this stage, that we have begun to allow ourselves to plan this year's
"It was a lover and his lass, With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino, That o’er the green corn-field did pass, In the spring time, the only pretty ring time, When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding; Sweet lovers love the spring."
(As You Like It, 5.3.15-20) With the Beast from the East a distant memory and temperatures beginning to build, the results of all the hard work from the winter has started to bear fruit. Bud burst, the first shoots of spring on the vines, generally