As the end of one decade passes the start of a new one brings exciting plans here at Hencote – where everything starts in the vineyard.
The weather in January has been unforgiving at times and our vineyard team has battled the elements as they go through the pre-pruning phase.
This process involves trimming the vines back to the arms which will eventually bear the fruit. It’s a tough job, especially when the weather is unfavourable. Lately, we’ve had lots of rain and on occasion strong winds which whip across the vineyard.
Once the pruning is done the tying down begins and this is all done by hand to each one of the 24,000 vines on the estate.
Elsewhere, Gavin, our winemaker will be making the most of the organic waste or ‘grape marc’ as it’s called, from the vineyard and the winery and turning it into compost.
This is then regenerated back into the vineyard come the autumn which helps with the carbon content of the soil and microbial growth. Using the ‘grape marc’ in this way means everything goes full circle and there is no wastage.
In the winery itself, a close eye is kept on the Amphoras which house our 2019 Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and the Pinot Meunier for the sparkling rose – we cannot wait to launch all these in 2020.
Looking ahead to February we will also be disgorging the next vintage of our Evolution sparkling wine. The disgorging process involves removing the sediment from the wine after fermentation.
So despite the quiet lull around Shropshire after Christmas and New Year things are very busy in the winery and vineyard and with lots to look forward to in the coming months.