Caring for your Christmas tree

caring for your Christmas tree

Our top tips for caring for your Christmas tree

This year, for the first time, we have Christmas trees available from the vineyard. The trees have been growing patiently nearby for a few years and are ready for the lights to be strung up and the presents to sit beneath them this Christmas. Here’s our top tips for caring for your Christmas tree, to make sure it lasts as long as possible.

  1. Our trees were grown just 3 miles away from the vineyard, but as soon as they are cut down it naturally starts to seal its own stem. Before putting your tree up, cut an inch (2.5cm) off the bottom of the tree and place in your stand with water.
  2. Cut straight across the stem with a sharp saw to ensure the tree stand can grip the tree well. Don’t try to cut ‘v’ shapes or holes into the stem, this wont aid the trees ability to drink more water and will make it much more difficult for the stand to get a good grip on the stem.
  3. When in position, remove the netting to allow the tree to take its natural shape. The netting we use at the vineyard is biodegradable so put it on a compost heap (if you have one) to break down into the soil.
  4. Keep your stand topped up with water throughout the Christmas period. It only takes 5 hours for the tree to re-seal its stem so keeping the tree hydrated is rather important. When you cut the tree for the first time it will be super thirsty so keep it topped up as much as possible.
  5. Eat, drink and be merry over the Christmas period! Perhaps join us for a festive treat in the vines? You can see what else we have going on in the vines here.
  6. There are lots of ways to dispose of your tree once you’re finished with it. From composting to helping to protect beaches from coastal erosion or creating a haven for birds and wildlife. Below are just a few ideas to put that tree to good use once you’ve finished with it.

Create a wildlife haven.

If you have the space in your garden, you can prop up the old tree up against a hedge, or wall near a bird feeder. String up slices of orange, bread, crackers, fat balls and nut dispensers creating a haven for robins and finches. Ideally, position the tree near to a window with a nice comfy chair, so that you can sit with a lovely cup of tea (or a glass of wine) and watch the birds as they enjoy their treat!

Help to prevent coastal erosion by dune thatching.

Each year, organisations such as The Wildlife Trust and The National Trust organise Christmas tree beach planting days across the country. The idea is fairly simple, the old trees are planted at the base of eroding dunes. The trees act as a stabiliser to prevent the dunes from further erosion and as the wind blows the sand over the trees, the dunes can actually grow in size. Dunes are an important part of a beach, providing protection from erosion as well as being home to many important and protected plants and species. Find out more here.

Creating new habitats in ponds.

If you have a large pond or lake, placing your old tree in the waters can provide a wealth of hiding places for fish and other creatures. Be sure to ask permission if you don’t own the pond though!

Make your home smell nice

You can stuff small fabric pouches full of the needles from the tree once you’re finished with it. Add other scented foliage too and place in drawers or cupboards to freshen and make them smell lovely.

Our Christmas trees are available here at the vineyard right up to Christmas week (subject to availability). Why not pop in to choose one for yourself?

Merry Christmas!

Tom Hodgetts

Tom Hodgetts

Head wine wizard
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Opening times

9-5pm wed-sun

Christmas opening times

10-4pm BANK HOLIDAYS

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Alcohol Awareness

We love wine here at Alder Vineyard but it’s useful to remember that wine is of course an alcoholic product. Whilst wine can be enjoyed in moderation, it is important to seek help and advice if you think you, or a loved one is drinking too much. 

You must be 18 or over to purchase wine and other alcoholic products. 

Our Kitchen is well stocked with drinks from across Devon and beyond and proudly includes several non-alcoholic options. This includes non-alcoholic beers, gin-alternatives, mocktails and of course, soft drinks. 

If you think you, or a loved one may need help and support due to alcohol misuse, please use the links below to find incredibly useful charities and resources that can help you. 

Sustainability Statement

We are proudly committed to protecting our environment and the planet in any way we possibly can. Our ethical and sustainable practices are at the heart of what we do here. 

What have we done so far?

  • Introduction of ‘wild areas’. The garden of the Kitchen includes our gorgeous wildflower area that is ever-changing and evolving. We have also set aside a huge area of land below the vineyard which has become our nature haven. We are allowing mother nature to repossess this area, surrounding a beautiful stream. Encouraging wildflowers and native species to thrive on our vineyard land. 
  • 100% of our power comes from renewable provider Octopus, powering the Kitchen, winery and shop. We also use energy-saving light bulbs and other techniques to reduce our uses wherever possible. 
  • We source products and ingredients from countless local suppliers, reducing food miles and supporting other local businesses. 
  • We send no waste to landfill. 100% of our waste is recycled, reused, composted or used to make energy via DCW 
  • We harness a natural spring on the farm to provide water for tasks such as washing vehicles, vineyard work, watering plants and flower beds. We only use mains water for use in the kitchen and winery. 
  • Our own products are bottled in lightweight glass and aluminium caps, meaning our bottles are created, transported and recycled with minimal energy use. 
  • Our entire range is packaged in plastic-free shipping boxes and is delivered to the customer by our courier, APC who use modern, aero-dynamic, fuel-efficient vehicles that are regularly maintained and serviced to reduce carbon emissions. 
  • We promote the use of plastic-free packaging to our suppliers.
  • We employ a wonderful team of local people. Where possible we encourage car sharing, travelling by bike or electric vehicle. 

 

What else do we aim to do in the future:

  • Our goal is to add solar panels and batteries to our building to remove or reduce the need for power to be brought in from elsewhere. 
  • Another mission is always reducing our requirement for the use of chemicals in the vineyard. We have always refused to use insecticides, however we would like to focus on reducing the use of other sprays wherever possible in the near future whilst making use of ever evolving organic alternatives. 
  • We will be partnering with other local companies who can make use of our harvest waste. For example, our red grape skins will be used to make ‘Grappa’ for the first time in 2023.

Accessibility information

This guide is designed to make your visit as fantastic as possible and to give you the opportunity to let us know where and when we can help you with specific needs. 

Our entire building is wheelchair friendly and we will always endeavour to cater for any specific need or requirement. 

If there is anything we can do that is not mentioned in this guide, please do let us know by emailing hello@aldervineyard.uk or calling 01566783409 ahead of your visit. 

 

Level Access:

  • Our entire building is on one level, meaning you can get around easily with a wheelchair. 
  • You can park directly in front of the building entrance, on a flat paved area. From here you can access the café, our unisex accessible toilets, outside terrace, and the winery. 
  • Please note: If you are joining us for a tour, this does involve a walk around the vineyard which is unfortunately not wheelchair friendly. Due to the terrain of the vineyard, a steep hill and lack of hard walkways this is not suitable for wheelchair users or those who struggle to walk. For more information, or to discuss joining a tour which can be adapted to be accessible please email tom@aldervineyard.uk. We will endeavour to adapt the tour to suit your individual needs where possible. 

 

Hearing:

  • Our café is a modern space designed for the very best social eating experiences. 
  • We have a fantastic, self-made, playlist of music to provide a relaxed atmosphere whilst not being imposing as you are eating. However we understand that might not be ideal for some. Each speaker in the ceiling is individually controlled and can be turned off to make a specific area quieter. Please just let us know when booking if you prefer a quiet space and we can choose a table more suited to this and turn the music off in that area. 
  • We have invested in large, padded photographs for the café walls which are actually sound buffering panels in disguise. This, along with our chair socks reduces the sound in the café as well. 
  • There are no speakers outside, however the outside area is not covered so we cant guarantee this will be suitable on wet/cold/windy days. 
  • All of our team are trained to be able to help you as much as we possibly can. 

 

Visual

  • Our café is designed around full height windows and have dark grey frames to make them stand out as much as possible.
  • The walls and doors have high colour contrast.
  • Our team would be more than happy to read the menu to you if you have vision problems as well as answer any questions you may have. 

 

General

  • We have a complimentary ticket system for personal assistants or carers. 
  • Our whole team has been trained to help in any way possible to ensure the best experience. 
  • We have an emergency evacuation protocol in place for disabled visitors. 

We have your Booking!

We will check our availability and be in touch soon to discuss your private group tour booking via email. 

We are Covid secure

Yours and our teams safety is our number 1 priority. We have made a number of changes in the vines to keep us all safe. This is under constant review and will be updated when the government advice changes.

safe travels

We have been verified by Visit England as ‘Good to go’

Social distancing

Please keep to a 2m distance when you visit. We have set all our tables at least 1.5m apart and do recommend face coverings in all indoor areas. Our team will still be wearing face covering when around you too.

Tables size limits

To continue to keep us safe in the vines we are keeping our tables limited to 10 people. We can accommodate larger groups but please get in touch to discuss any 10+ bookings with us.

Hand washing & cleaning

We have introduced a number of hand cleaning stations and guests are required to use hand sanatisor on entry. Our team are washing their hands between each customer and we are disinfecting all tables and chairs between use.

Payment

We are offering table service in the kitchen and advice using contactless or card payments where possible.

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We will check our availability and be in-touch soon to confirm your table via email.

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Please call us on 01566 783 409 as we may not get to your email in time. 

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