Where to start in these most difficult times? The current uncertainties caused by the interdependent pandemic and economic crises seem to be topping off the most difficult vintage since 2011 when we chose not to make wine.
The Spring of 2019 began with eight weeks of incessant winds that thrashed the foliage leaving bruising on the leaves and shoots. A dry but cool Summer followed with many dull days. Despite the lack of rain, humidity around Christmas triggered a persistent powdery mildew outbreak. Throw in a hoard of vine weevils and grasshoppers and I thought we had faced nearly everything nature could dish up to challenge us.
As we entered Autumn, the rain has returned which is a great relief for the garden and the new plantings of white grapes that went into the ground in winter 2018 and 2019, but the dip in temperatures and the potential of unwanted botrytis mould puts this vintage in question.
We have netted the vineyard and started monitoring sugar levels and at this stage, vintage is about 3 weeks behind the exceptional 2018 and 2019 vintages.
On a brighter note, we bottled the 2019 vintage 2 weeks ago and I can say that the entire range has the depth of flavour that will impress those familiar with our wines. So if this vintage goes pear shaped, we can’t complain with a number of good vintages safely in storage.
The rapid lock down of restaurants, bars and hotels will have an immediate effect on our sales so now, more than ever, we rely on support from our Wine Club and online sales. Maybe if those of you who have enjoyed our wines would consider encouraging any friends and family they’ve shared our wine with to visit our website & either join up or purchase online during this depressing time, it could help us and also lift some spirits when there is little joy to share. We have a number of ‘taster packs’ which are heavily discounted and are freight free (limit one per customer) and have introduced free freight for orders of 6 bottles or more.
I am in total agreement that a complete lock down of most venues where people come in close contact is necessary to slow the spread of the corona virus to a rate that our health services can cope with, the length of time before a gradual easing of restrictions will have to be judiciously managed. What will be left of our hospitality and Tourism industry?
Bob (& Rita)