Kent Vineyards Going Forward – spring 2010

Kent Vineyards Going Forward (originally posted in spring 2010)

In the story so far we’ve explained that drastic action needs to be taken to bring the vineyard back to full production. We told you we wanted to have a secure contract in place with the vineyard owner and we asked for your thoughts on the situation.

The response has been tremendous. We’ve had a raft of positive and constructive comments from both English and international winemakers that came to us via the website, through Twitter, Facebook and direct via email.

Ready for Pruning
We haven’t given up on the vineyard; its resurrection is our priority. Despite the heavy rain in November 2009, we have now cleared the Schöneburger, almost two acres, to a degree that means it is now ready for pruning to begin. Clearing work on the rest of the vineyard has continued too, the many sapling trees, some of which were around seven years old, have been cut down and burned.

These pictures demonstrate our progress.

Schoneberger is now totally clear

It’s beautiful to see the vines recovering

We’ve burnt the many saplings that strangled the vineyard

Giving Bacchus a Chance

With all the clearing work to do, we simply don’t have the time this year for replanting vines, so we’re putting that off until next year. Putting the replanting off for a year gives us the opportunity to give the Bacchus a chance to recover, it’s a wonderful variety and we want it in our vineyard, so we’re going to clear it, prune it back, apply some TLC and see how it grows. We think it will do just fine and when it does, we will replant the gaps with more Bacchus.

Creating Healthier Grapevines
Pruning the Schönburger will begin in the New Year and it’s going to get quite a cropping. I remember at school when someone has a very short hair cut we asked them if ‘they’d had a fight with a lawnmower?’ and once we’ve pruned, that’ll be a question you could conceivably pose to these vines. To ensure we eradicate any unhealthy growth we’re cutting back to the crown and may yet even cut the crown off and let a new one form.

The pruning will be severe to ensure healthy growth

All growth with be cropped back to the crown

Ready for Revival
So come the spring, the Kent Vineyard will be ready to thrive again. And while we don’t expect much from it in 2010, it’ll be a great place to be, we’ll be able to experience its revival day by day and we’ll be learning plenty about growing the best grapes and making delicious wine . We’ll be well prepared for the harvest of 2011.

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