Sitting down at the end of the day with a glass of your own wine overlooking your vineyard

Yup - that's one of the most frequent motivations you hear along with "livin the dream". Fine, a great ambition but, are you really sure that's enough -  can you answer these questions -
- Do you like being outside year round in all weathers?
- Are you happy repeating the a task 2000 times?
- Can you stand repeating the same task 2000 times because you got it wrong the first time?
- Are you prepared to work all year for nothing if frost hits your crop?
- How are your back/shoulders/wrists and joints in general?

For me -
- By being outside all year round you see things that you would never otherwise see, changing seasons, animals and birds that come to treat you as part of the landscape.
- Doing a simple task that requires a little thought each time can lull you into a zen like state and you find your mind wandering in the same way that it can when you do along walk.
- A frost or hail storm is part of the risk of planting in a marginal climate and you should draw on your zen like calm developed whilst pruning to overcome the pain.
- Getting that task wrong, no there's no diguising that, it's tough
- As for the physical demands, there is the use it or lose it school. There are instances of rsi but for each of these there are people in their seventies and eighties bounding up rows of vines secateurs in hand fit as a fiddle.

If you do want to do it then plant very little, half an acre could give you 500 bottles in a very good year and even this will require year round attention so that you don't lose a crop to mildew or botrytis. Maybe rent a few vines? It is easy to get absorbed in growing grapes and it can be rewarding but on a larger scale it can be hard work as there's only so much you can mechanise!

So, why should you plant a vineyard? To make money? This continues to be the subject of deabte which, considering people have been doing this with varying amounts of seriousness for around 40 years yyou'd think that the answer would be obvious. I will come back to this when the mood takes me but for now, I think that you should be able to make some sort of living with a hectare or more if the site is right but, the old wine trade adage always comes back to haunt me - if you want to make a small fortune then start with a large one!


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