2017 Grape Harvest is approaching

We’re excited to be approaching our 3rd grape harvest sometime in the last 10 days of October 2017.

As our vines mature the potential for more grapes increases.  Until this year we’ve pruned each vine back to 1 cane (Single Guyot).  This year the better established vines have been pruned using the Double Guyot method, as the name implies 2 canes remain.

In theory, each bud point along those 2 canes develops 1 bunch of grapes, we leave between 6-12 buds per cane. Hence you can begin to estimate the size of your potential crop.

Despite losing ~60% of the Chardonnay buds due to frost in Spring and 10% of grape bunches across all varieties being damaged by hail in August, the remaining grapes are looking promising.

Would you like to help with grape-picking? Sign up here.

Do you remember the Summer as wet and sunny?  The met office are reporting 325mm of rainfall which is 135% of the 1981-2010 average and 494 hours of sunshine, 98% of average.  The grapes are riper than they were at this point in 2015 and 2016, however more sunshine is needed if we’re going to harvest them before the end of October.

William as Vineyard Manager is looking forward to breathing a huge sigh of relief when the grapes are loaded into the press and no longer his responsibility!

Until then however, there is only so much we can do to protect the grapes. Last year hundreds of beaks removed ~60% of the not-quite-ripe-enough-to-pick Pinot Noir.  This year we are ready, the bird netting has been hung before the Starlings began arriving.  Starling flocks migrating from Northern Europe will continue to arrive until mid-November, time will tell if the netting works.

Our Chardonnay that was not affected by frost are the sweetest grapes so far.  We’ll continue to test the sugar levels with refractometer and mouth!  Then we’ll grab the nearest sunny day and pick!

Our snips, picking buckets and crates are ready, are you?

If you’d like to come grape picking then sign up here and we’ll drop you an email on the morning of the harvest, if you can join then great, if not, then there’s always next time.

Happy harvest!

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