As is usual for the time of year, we’ve been bent over double pruning young vines - this year weighed down by several kilos of glorious mud which keenly attaches itself to our boots!
I do love a spin around the vineyard in the tractor, but due to the excess moisture in the soil, it’s a bit tricky at the moment. The tractor’s quite heavy and the chunky tyres make a bit of a mess of our manicured headlands and rows.
Despite not being able to tend to the vines as much as I would like, they should be fine. The chalky/flinty soil is really well drained, so the vine roots won’t be sitting in saturated soil as they might be on heavier clay soils. This means they will warm up faster when the spring finally makes an appearance and all the juices start flowing.
All the wet weather does have a habit of flushing some of the goodness out of the soil, but when it dries up we’re going to add lots of tasty recycled green waste under the vines, which should give them something to munch on for a year or two.
It’s been fairly mild this winter, so we could expect bud burst reasonably early this year - perhaps first or second week in April. This could lead to a danger of frost on some sites. Fortunately Westwell is blessed and we don’t seem to suffer from frost.
Famous last words...!