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Updated: Dec 3, 2020

After the flurry of activity during the autumn, November brings a period of calm to the vineyard. With all the grapes harvested, the vineyard is left to itself till the new year, when preparation for spring begins. Despite that we have still been busy here over this month, sorting out sales, Christmas wine tastings, and deliveries.

Deliveries? Yes, you heard right, we now are able to do deliveries all across the UK, and what’s more, its free! Simply pop over to the store page on the top, to make an order now. A case or two of our wine makes for an excellent Christmas gift, especially our Sparkling Cuvée.

If a box of wine is not enough, why not give the ones you love a truly memorable experience, with one of our new wine tasting gift cards. Enjoy as a member of the family gives you a personal tour of the vineyard (weather dependant) followed a sampling of our award-winning wines, with our sparkling available as an optional extra. It’s a great gift for those both knowledgeable and new to wine and viticulture, showing how wine is made in the beautiful Cotswolds area.

For people local to the area, you may notice a number of local farm shops stocking our wines over the next couple months. We believe now, more than ever, it is important to support local shops and produce. So, if you see one, pop a bottle in your basket. You won’t regret it.

Its been a shorter blog this month with the vineyard devoid of activity, but we’ll be sure to make it up to you in the new year. Thank you for your continued support, and have a Merry Christmas

Time flies when you're having fun, or when there's a major pandemic on it seems as the time has flown by and we are now in November. October started off in a rush, with us in the middle of our harvest, with our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay left. It had been a tough year for these poor grapes, they're used to much balmier French weather, and for many other vineyards in England they didn't make it. Yet luckily our little soldiers held on, and a couple weeks into the month we managed to bring them home. Want details? Here's the monthly missive from Mark:

'The harvest finished in a bit of a rush on 14th October, 10 days ahead of 2019 but 14 days after 2018.

The forecast for late October wasn’t good so we picked everything we had left on the same day and finished with a few bottles of our fabulous 2018 Sparkling. A huge thankyou to all those who helped during the picking, we couldn’t have done it without you.

The last grapes off the vines were the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, both had excellent analysis for making quality Sparkling wine so fingers crossed….. The Pinot was significantly down on yield, a consequence of the extremely hot May.

The leaves have stayed well on the vines and we have managed to apply some foliar feed s which will revitalise the vines ready for Spring. The different leaf colours of the varieties are standing out well although the Pinot vines have yet to go bright russet red. We will let the vineyard rest now for a couple of months before we contemplate winter pruning.

We have had a new resident in the vineyard this month, a particularly possessive cock pheasant, he has been quite aggressive with anyone coming into his territory and seems oblivious to any danger.'

So what does that mean for the wines? Well unfortunately due to the small pinot harvest this year we will be taking a skip from making our (award winning) Still Rose and instead will be putting it in with the chardonnay to make some of our (soon to be award winning*) Sparkling Wine instead. But do not despair for we have plenty of the 2018 and 2019 Rose in stock, so come spring we shall be ready. (*Its very good)

At this time of year the weather can be as confusing as the government, rainy one moment, sunny the next, yet if you do find that sweet spot come over for a walk. As Mark mentioned, the leaves are starting to change their colours, with the pinot in particular will soon be taking on a beautiful red hue to its leaves. However do watch out for one feisty bird, it seems we have been usurped as the owners of the Stag Oak vineyard, and theres a new sheriff in town.

With all that excitement of harvest over its back to the rest of the farm for us, and shoring up for the winter. Meanwhile over at Three Choirs' Winery, the magic is happening. Till next month, stay warm, stay safe, and stay with a bottle of ours in your hands.

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

From our kitchen, at our house just up above the vineyard, we watch the sunset displayed brilliantly against the Malvern Hills. In high summer, the sun can be found setting off to the right of them, yet as the days get shorter the point of dusk swings to the left. It is past the first peak of the Malvern’s that my father, Mark, affectionately calls ‘The Nook’. When the sunset passes here it is the beginning of the end. ‘Only a month left to dig holes, Charlie,’ he says, ‘After that its too dark and wet.’ And so it is with regret I inform you that, since the start of September, we have indeed pased the nook, so if you have holes left to dig it’s now or never!

Still, whilst winter may be coming, the vineyard has been a flurry of activity. Leaf stripping, grape picking, awards and more, this September has been a flurry of activity. The most important think of any vineyard though is the vines, and to that I have this monthly report from Mark.

'After a rather dreary August the Vineyards have enjoyed a more normal September. The grapes were lacking sun during August which is crucial for both ripening, sugar increase and flavour development. To help them ripen we implemented some intense leaf stripping allowing the grapes to get as much of the last bit of sunlight before winter comes.

The relatively dry conditions have allowed us to harvest 80% of our grapes in good conditions and although yields are low this year the sugar content and acidity have been very good for Reichensteiner, Bacchus and Seyval Blanc. We are now waiting for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to ripen. The Chardonnay is looking really good, my only worry is keeping it clear of Botrytis if the weather turns cold and wet. We will split the chardonnay and harvest some with a higher acidity to go into our Sparkling wine and then hope that a week or so later the rest will be ripe enough to join the Pinot Noir in a Rose still wine.

The bunches never really recovered from the excessive heat and drought in May which coincided with flowering, all varieties are rather small bunched with lots of small grapes yielding less juice than usual, only the Bacchus and the Chardonnay have shown more typical development.

Now the growing season is closing we will be turning our focus to sales, with the current demise of the Deer Park weddings we have much more wine in the cellar than we anticipated however our recent success of 2 bronze awards in Decanter World Wines Awards 2020 is fantastic!

Remember that smelling and tasting wine is a good test for Covid 19!!'

Yes, we are delighted to announce that both our Bacchus 2018 and Rose 2018 won Bronze level awards at the Decanter World wine awards, with our Special Reserve 2018 coming in hot behind with a commended. These where our first submissions to any competition so naturally we applied to one of, if not the, largest most competitive wine awards in the world, so, in the words of many of our friends reluctant at English wines ‘it’s actually pretty good!’.

If you want to secure yourself a case or two of the award-winning wines, or any of our stock, then contact us at deer park wines. We currently only offer pick up orders, but will hopefully be able to offer delivery soon, so if you want to pre-order some boxes for the day that comes, let us know.

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