So now it is just over two weeks since we first visited the vineyard, and already it feels like a part of our lives; so much has happened and we’ve already learnt a lot. It’s probably worth mentioning now that at this late stage in the year, there wasn’t any chance of harvesting this year’s crop of grapes.
Although there were (and still are) quite a few bunches left on the Seyval Blanc, any grapes on the other two varieties, Bacchus and Schoneburger had spoiled. We also discovered that although the vineyard is set over five acres, the density of vines in the final acre is thin. There are many empty patches where there are simply no vines at all, so it is more like a four acre vineyard at the moment and we will need to replant to bring it up to full capacity.
Here’s a quick overview of what has happened during the first two weeks at the vineyard.
18th October (let’s call it day one), Justin and Tom (chap who works for him) arrived at the vineyard with the machinery and equipment and got stuck in clearing the overgrowth. It’s heavy going work and progress seems slow,when all you can see is brambles, weeds and out of control vines, you need to have a vision of what you are creating; believe that one day this will be a vineyard where beautiful grapes grow and wineries are your friend.
Some pics from day one.
There’s more brambles than grapes!
The vines had gone wild
The boys get stuck in.
It feels more like a jungle than a vineyard
It takes determination
Perseverance pays off
And now after just three weekends’ work, progress is being made.
…now looks like this
Looks like this
At last, the vines are free!
So much progress has been made in clearing, but there is still a lot more to do, we have so far cleared about two acres of the vineyard, but we now feel we will be ready for pruning to begin in January and we look forward to new growth in the spring. We are preparing to welcome Owen Elias, to the vineyard; he’s the award winning winemaker from Chapel Down, the winery in Tenterden. He’s coming to have a look!