Veraison and Titrable Acidity Tests

So here we are in early August, and veraison (the onset of ripening) has well and truly started in the Rondo, with other varieties tagging along behind. All of the new plantings are properly tied and trained and the grass is freshly mown. be honest there is still a bit of tying in to do, but more leaf stripping has taken precedence in the areas that we are cropping this year.

And what crop it promises to be. Obviously I’m trying to cross fingers and touch wood even as I’m typing, but so far the signs are for a very healthy harvest indeed. I just need to think of ways to keep the picking volunteers happy. It could be heavy work (hopefully).

On a darker note there is one small cloud on the horizon. We are now equipped with the kit and chemicals to carry out our own Titrable Acidity tests on the grapes as they ripen.

This important task was left to others last year and called for a ninety minute round trip each and every time. This ninety minute round trip has now been replaced by trembling fingers and dark flashbacks to o-level chemistry failures – and then a ninety minute round trip to check the results.

I shall, however, persevere.

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Busy, Busy, Busy

OK, so it’s taken more than a little longer to get this blog started than anticipated, but believe me – I have an excuse. In fact, I have 3.

Firstly, we took over the management of Tiltridge Vineyard site, and took a while to adapt to the needs of the Double Guyot system VSP that is in place there. Compared to our GDC there seems to be a lot more thinning and tucking going on to ensure fruit quality.

Secondly, the superb weather. Thankfully it’s bunches, bunches everywhere – but canes and leaves everywhere as well. James hasn’t had time to come up for air. He has been doing sterling work keeping both vineyards in good order. Keeping things tidy, ensuring good light and air within the canopy, and generally cossetting the vines has been, well, time-consuming. And in our short experience of recent seasons – unprecedented.

silver medal at Wine of the Year 2014
Thirdly, and here we all take a collective sigh and blush a little – sales have been fantastic on the heels of our excellent showing in the UK Vineyard Association Wine of the Year Competition 2014. Whether it be restaurants, wine shops or drop in visitors and organised tours, the response to our wines has been hugely positive, and we extend our thanks to all our new customers. The shop, tasting room and wine-garden are finished; the accommodation is ready for its first guests this week; and we have cemented our relationship with another small local business (ahem) – The Morgan Motor Company who generously allowed us to promote our wines at this year’s Thrill On The Hill. In a word – busy, busy, busy.

I could say more at this stage, but no – the vines have grown about 4 feet since you started reading, and I am off to tuck and tidy some more.

Until next time, goodbye.

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