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October 2020 - Grape weather we're having

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.

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