Life in the vineyard is very peaceful in January. The vines are dormant, the cold and wet don’t affect them at this time. December was very mild so we are hoping for a very cold period as this helps to reduce risk of pests over-wintering in and around the vines.
With Hanwell and Eglantine together, we have 12,000 vines to prune. This work must begin in January if it is to be completed before the buds begin to swell in the Spring. At Hanwell we use the Double Guyot training method, for this method we prune each vine to 2 lateral arms and 2 central spurs. At Eglantine many of the vines are spur pruned. For spur pruning the lateral arms remain and the spurs are selected along the length of each arm. 2 spurs are allowed to grow from each bud point.
If you have your own vine to prune we recommend these YouTube videos
At Hanwell we’ve spent the autumn tree planting, this adds to the beauty of the landscape, provides homes for nature and gives the vines some relief from strong winds. In 2017 we planted 50 and in 2018 an additional 85 trees. 135 is a small woodland. As most of them are small it will take a good few years before they begin to change the landscape, but viticulture (the science of growing grapes for wine making) is a long game. We’re patient!
If you’re going for a dry January we wish you the best of luck. Here’s a little bit of motivation … the first person posting on our facebook page @HanwellWine in February who’s made it through wins a bottle of wine!