Winter is well with us and we are now experiencing some lovely white mornings! Keeps you moving when you’re out there for your 6.30am exercises doesn’t it!
Luckily the vines are asleep, so its not bothering them.
There is one important aspect – despite the low temperatures, we have been experiencing some stunning days – sunny and little wind. Its a bit easier to get people out there prunning etc in these conditions. Yes, its time for pruning the vineyard and preparation for another growing season.
Read below for more details of what’s happening in the vineyard and our latest news.
Our 2017 harvest was fabulous – good yields and excellent quality grapes. We were a bit concerned when rain and a cold spell hit mid-harvest, but conditions dried up and ripening continued well, albeit a bit slower.
Significant in this harvest was the first substantial production from our Arneis and Marsanne blocks. We are really pleased with the condition of the fruit and the characters we are seeing in the wines.
2017 is the last season we will produce Merlot grapes. The half acre of Merlot has been cut out to make way for more Arneis. In fact it was harveted one day, and gone the next! Is that keenness or are we just well organised? In this situation we will plant rootlings, prepared for us by one of the viticultural nurseries and ready to plant this winter. Looking forward to it.
So another production cycle is complete and we are well into pruning. Its a slow process with every vine needing attention – and of course there are a lot of them. As you can imagine, the long vine canes are difficult to disentangle when pruning, so we have gone thrugh with a special machine (a barrel pruner) and chopped all those long canes into small pieces and leaving much smaller canes for the pruners to more efficiently handle.
Exciting new varieties to be released in Spring 2017
We are so pleased to let you know that our first vintage of Arneis and Marsanne is now in botle and we will release the two varieties very soon in Spring.
A number of you have watched and been interested in how these varieties would work in our environment. I am pleased to report that both are really doing very well – good foliage growth, excellent fruit set and a good ripening. If anything, the Marsanne is enjoying our climate too much and we have to keep its tendency to produce too much fruit down and under control. It’s smaller partner, Rousanne is a quieter yielder and thats fine – the Rousanne just gives some more complexity to the Marsanne and more floral notes on the bouquet.
So look out for the release of these two!
We have retired some lovely French barriques and turned them into furniture and kitchen items of real character. The free standing wine racks have proven very popular as have the various sized barrel head tables. Platters made from staves and even lazy susans made from beautiful barrel heads are a feature. These are great ideas for presents.