February in the vines

It’s been a while since our last update on what we’ve been up to in the vines whilst we’ve been closed for the last two months.

It’s great to see the lockdown is making progress, it makes being closed feel that little bit easier knowing it’s all worthwhile and helping to fight the pandemic.

Lockdown has provided Mike and I (Sarah) with plenty of time on our hands, which we intend to make good use of. Unlike November’s lockdown, we now have a huge amount of work to crack on with up in the vineyard. We’ve set about pruning, as we have done for the last 10 or so years, with the vineyard providing a safe haven for us to work in. The vines are currently enjoying some super cold weather, reaching -4 earlier in the month, ridding them of any bugs and nasties. Thank goodness for thermals and thick coats is all I can say!

If you’ve ever joined us for a tour of the vineyard, you’ll remember me explaining how we remove all the old woody canes on which the previous harvest grew, to make way for fresh growth for the year ahead where the new grapes will appear. Pruning is a delicate art, take off too much or too little and the balance is thrown out of kilter and has to knock on effects for the year ahead. We are hoping for some kinder weather ahead to be able to finish in good time.

We are around ¾ of the way through the vineyard pruning the vines and removing last years’ growth. Generally, we then wait until the weather warms a little before tying the vine into shape along the miles of trellising. In the meantime, one of our most despised jobs is replacing old wooden posts that have rotted off at ground level. Having replaced dozens of posts each year for the last 5 or 6 years, we have finally given in and decided to gradually replace them with metal posts instead of wood. This means we shouldn’t have to replace them again for a very long time!

We certainly can’t wait to reopen the doors to the cafe when lockdown finally comes to an end. If you’re missing us, or more importantly our wine and food, you can see what we are offering during lockdown on our recently updated bottles + gifts page, including our new range of Devon cheese pairing boxes and other tasty Devon bottles.

Sarah Hodgetts

Sarah Hodgetts

Head of Experiences
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