It's been a manic last few months as we hit peak growing season. It was amazing to watch as our vines grew to easily 7ft in just a matter of weeks. With that, as usual, came the onslaught of weeds that decided to make it their life's mission to make my week a living hell. For a long time, it seems like you're fighting a losing battle, constantly in the tractor or strimming.
We decided last year that we're going down the route of not wanting to spray any herbicides to prevent the weed growth, which inevitably is harder work but worth it in the long run... we hope!
There was a shining light towards the end of the growing season in the form of a shiny new Biodynamic Weeder. It's an Italian made mechanical weeder from a company called Rinieri and so far I have to say it's been doing a fantastic job, getting rid of 99% of the weeds in between the rows. It works very similarly to a Rollhacke, which is great as it aerates the soil around each vine at the same time as taking out the weeds.
In amongst all the chaos we had our very first Vineyard Tours, Wine and Gin Tastings which went down a storm with our Pygmy Goats proving a firm favourite amongst the Ladies!
We brought in the big guns, filling the boots of the Land Rovers with an assortment of Wines, Gins and delicious foods to compliment.
Our brand new Sparkling Blanc de Blancs "Flying Circus" shone through with its quirky label being one of my personal favourites.
Some more exciting news coming out of the Estate, we recently received a bronze medal at the Global Cider Masters competition for our "Hardcore Cider". I have to admit I wasn't expecting this at all but with this year's cider harvest just around the corner, it's exciting to think if we can emulate or even succeed this.
Straying away from the Cider, we've brought out two Beers, as part of the Motley Cru Micro Brewery Collection, "Motley Brew" and "Band of Brothers". If you haven't had the chance to check out the labels yet, you can see them on our social media channels and they will be available online soon! As always Bryn Parry has done an extraordinary job in bringing our vision to life.
WINE in the WILD has been a huge success! We've had some brilliant adventures over the summer this year as we brought out our "WINE in the WILD" Experiences for guests staying in the Wine Lodge on the Estate. Highlights included an awesome surfing trip to Saunton Sands where guests were treated to a gourmet BBQ with a hamper basket full to the brim of goods, not least a few bottles of fizz which were enjoyed in the dunes as the sunset on a brilliant adventure.
We were lucky enough to be treated to a spell of fantastic weather and so vineyard campouts with the fire pit burning, homemade flatbreads and ciders all around were called for.
We're very lucky to live in such a stunning area of outstanding natural beauty. The opportunities here are endless, almost anything you could think of doing, somewhere around here you can do it. During the summer months, in particular, you'll never find yourself short of an exciting weekend! Don't forget to book your next stay with us and we'll show you just how awesome the area is!
This month I also competed in the infamous Scottish Coast to Coast race organised by RatRace. A gruelling 105-mile run, cycle, kayak that seriously tested me. I would describe it as one of those things you hate when you're doing it but looking back on it you know it was an incredible experience. The weather was horrific and made it twice as difficult but in a way it brought everyone closer, banded together by a mutual sense of pain. Thousands of people all struggling through the elements together it was something to behold and I will be competing next year for sure, aiming to get my time down from 12 hours which I think is very doable in better weather. I would seriously recommend anyone reading this to join me and I'll see you out on the trail.
Looking ahead we've got a few things coming up, as I mentioned earlier, just around the corner is our apple harvest, our cider has been a real hit this year and long may that continue so I'm hoping for as smooth a harvest as possible.
Many of you will know earlier in the year we had a ram lamb, "Gerry" we've decided to have him castrated as not to have to separate him from the little family we have out there. They're such a tight-knit group it would be a real shame to see them apart so the poor guys in for a bit of a shock on Friday but I'll be there to hold his hoof.
Finally, we'll be attending the Dartmouth food festival again this year, we love this show and hope to see as many of you guys there as possible!
Until next time, Cheers.