Vineyard Update – Budburst, Frost Nights and the Start of the 2020 Vintage!
We hope you’ve all been taking the time to enjoy the warm weather we’ve been having recently. We certainly have and so have our vines as budburst has now begun, signifying the start of the 2020 Vintage!
Whereas much of the Old Wine World begins their season in March and early-April due to the warmer climates on the European continent, our season typically begins towards the end of April. This year, with the higher than average temperatures over the past few weeks, our vineyard has woken up almost a full week earlier than in 2019.
Whilst these extra days can be great for our vines to really maximise their growth through the additional days of sunlight and warmth, it presents the added risk of our vines experiencing more overnight Spring frosts susceptible in the middle of April.
This has been particularly true so far this year, with seven nights of high risk temperatures across a ten day period from the 14th to 23rd April, which has led to some late nights and early starts for our vineyard team and some beautiful photos of Sunrise on the Estate!
Vineyard Work in May
As the season has now begun, the pace of work is beginning to pick up. Throughout the coming weeks we’ll be cleaning the trunks of every vine by hand of unwanted shoots to concentrate new growth along the canes. As the desired shoots begin to grow we’ll then reposition the wires on every trellis to ensure the vines grow upright and straight, creating the optimal canopy and climate for our grapes.
This will be combined with an organic manure fertilisation to enrich the vines with nutrients and boost their growth.
The vines aren’t the only thing growing however, and a rigorous weekly programme of mowing and soil cultivation will now be necessary to ensure a tidy undervine environment, free from competitive grass and weeds.
All of this will ensure our vines are healthy and in shape to begin the next crucial period in the season, the beginning of flowering, which we’ll expect to begin towards the end of June.
Until then, we hope you’ll continue to stay safe and hopefully it won’t be long before we see you all back at Hencote again soon!
Best wishes from Mark & the whole team at Hencote