February update from the vines

February in the vines

All the winter jobs are in full swing as we start our journey towards vintage 2022

So, it’s 2022, a year of positivity, hope and big plans. Big plans are afoot here for sure, so what’s new in the vineyard?

We’ve been rather busy since harvest time so here’s a good old round-up of what has happened, what’s new and what’s coming up in 2022.

With the colder weather comes dormancy for the vines. A time for them to rest and recoup their energy after a great 2021 harvest and a time for us to relax a little too. The end of the year is a great time to catch up on a bit of maintenance and forward planning. Not to mention gearing up to Christmas, which was really something special here and we can safely say we loved every moment of it.

The team enjoyed a well-earned break last month and have returned with a fresh feeling and busy minds full of super ideas. Looking ahead to 2022 we are busy curating a long list of special events for everyone to enjoy. Full details of each event will be released very soon but expect the return of our popular sunset winemakers tours, special foodie evenings, live music and some great new additions to the Kitchen and Shop. After the success of our bank holiday live music day and Christmas evening, there will be lots more, bigger and better than before.

Vines pruning

In the vineyard, the first few months of the year are really rather important. Whilst the vines are happily asleep and leafless we are pruning them, removing old wood and shaping the vine ready for another season. As anyone who has joined us for a tour will no doubt remember, the shape or training method is really important and to get this right means we have to layer up and head out into the cold to do so.

Pruning the vines makes them more vigorous for the year ahead, encouraging new fruitful growth for the new year. By removing old, diseased or damaged growth, encourages new, healthy and strong growth for fruit to emerge from. We don’t cut off everything though. 4-6 nice, straight and healthy shoots are saved and in the spring when the temperatures rise slightly, we start ‘laying down’. This is the process of tying the shoots to the horizontal wires to encourage new shoots to grow from last years’. This means a potentially larger crop can be taken from each vine, by filling the spaces in between each plant to develop more fruit. This is one of my favourite jobs every year as you can really see the progress you’re making as you work your way through the vines. By the time you’re finished you get a few weeks to look at the vineyard and think to yourself, ‘isn’t everything nice and tidy’ before the warm weather kicks the vineyard back to life again and the view turns to a sea of green emerging from the vines. Before we know it, it’ll be summer again!

In the winery, we are slowly but steadily finishing off our 2021 vintage ahead of being bottled in the spring. With just a few months to go before we start filling up shiny new bottles, we are in the middle of testing the wines and very soon it will be time to filter the wines.

We have a new Madeleine Angevine vintage poised ready for release in the near future, as soon as our 2018 vintage finally runs out. You may notice some changes around the vineyard too this year. We are moving fences and preparing new ground ready for new vines to be planted in 2023 alongside our ever-evolving nature area.

There are plenty of exciting projects in the works here in the vines, with much more information to follow soon. For news on events, you can keep up to date here or join our Vine Club for exclusive access to all the latest news and offers below.


Tom Hodgetts

Tom Hodgetts

Head wine wizard
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