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April is over already!




Yet another week has flown by, I don’t know where April has gone, to be honest, it seems only yesterday that we re-opened! There’s been a buzz of activity in the vineyard not least with lots of tours and tastings going on, it’s been great to get back to showing people what we do here and exactly what goes into each glass of wine and of course, drink plenty of the stuff whilst we’re at it. 

On the occasions when the sun has come out, it’s been lovely to look down through the vines and see a great atmosphere developing out in the courtyard, music playing, wine flowing and food being enjoyed. 

On that, a few people have asked me recently what my favourite dish is at the moment, you see the best part about managing the vineyard is trying all the dishes the Chef fancies experimenting with, I’ve been treated to some fantastic breakfasts lately, my favourite being the mushrooms on toast and adding a poached egg on the top. It sets me up perfectly for a busy day amongst the vines and off the lunch menu, I’d have to say the rack of venison… It is absolutely DELICIOUS, so be sure to try it next time you pop in. 





So what else has been going on then? Well, it’s that time of year when the new buds are coming through and with that comes one of my least favourite jobs in the vineyard - Bud rubbing. This is as simple as removing any unwanted sucker shoots so the vines prioritise energy going into the fruit-producing ones. Sounds simple, but believe me it sucks. This is one of the jobs I list when people say, “Oh living on a vineyard is really nice isn’t It…” Yes it’s stunning and I love what I do, there are certainly some unbelievable perks of the job but bud rubbing is not one of them. It’s endless hours of being bent over each single vine, removing these sucker shoots by hand. I’ve managed to rope in Ruth and Ben from the restaurant team for a few days this last week, we also dug out a huge amount of weeds in the Bacchus plantation as we don’t spray any herbicides here! I’m not sure they quite knew what they were getting into but I was hugely grateful for the help. I’ve learnt that managing a vineyard is just one big game of catch-up. As the season progresses it’s always a case of catching up with everything that needs doing as you inevitably get pulled in 100 different directions with all the exciting things going on. So at this time of year, it’s nice to actually be on top of it all and on track for a great season ahead! 


Speaking of exciting things, we recently had a special delivery of samples of our 2022 sparkling white wine for us to try! As you can imagine it didn’t last long, we were trying differing samples to work out the dosage level. The dosage in sparkling wine is the amount of sugar added to the bottle after disgorgement before the cork is inserted. The sugar helps to round off the finished sparkling wine in the bottle. I’m really pleased with how this one has turned out, it is going to be our white “Cheeky Fizz” and is a blend of our 2022 Bacchus and Reichensteiner, a similar blend to our “Grape Escape” that you all love so much. I’m very excited to share it with you all in the next couple of weeks. There will be a limited run of just over 1,000 bottles from 2022 so if you’d like to pre-order a case, please let one of the team know, next time you are in or drop us an email. 





Our new chickens have also arrived, 10 new partridge leghorns, who will accompany our runner ducks when they arrive. This is all part of our plan to help with vineyard rejuvenation and give back to the soil. They have an important role to play in the vineyard, not least providing us with natural fertiliser but also feeding on any unwanted bugs and insects. I’m sure you’ll see them running around near the restaurant at some point as they very cheekily like to look for any food they can get hold of but please don’t feed them. We’ve been having fun trying to get them back into their new house at night but like most of us, they’re enjoying the extra hours of daylight far too much and it was funny to watch our old chickens lay down the law to these pesky new arrivals the other night but they seem to all be friends now which is great. 





That’s it for this week, cheers until next time. 

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