Glass Half Full. 2012 Vintage.

Thanks to Liz Weber for the Picture.

Thinking back on the difficulties of  growing grapes in 2012 anybody sane would have just put the secateurs away, polished the tractor and opened a bottle of 2011 Ros√© in memory of sunnier times and then sat in front of the telly for the whole "summer". All the way from late April to the end of September it has been like a stuck record - as long as the weather improves from now then all will be well but, it never did. Twice the work for half the crop. That just about sums up 2012 for us. But looking back we do have reason to be quite happy. The site has withstood all the ravages of the worst summer for 100 years and still produced 1.5 tons of clean ripe quality grapes that will make quality wine. This is remarkable considering some illustrious names have made nothing at all and others are up to 90% down. You can always tell that it's a low volume year when we drop off the crop at the winery. There are normally stressed people in various states of sleep deprivation from 14 hour days pressing and pumping juice but this year it was all very relaxed with plenty of time to plan the wine making and  have a gossip with Kev the cellar manager.
Thanks Celia for the picture.
It's also great to say that harvest itself is becoming a joy. Everybody has a good time and it's great for us as for the rest of the year it's just the two of us working together and all of a sudden you have the sounds of lots of happy people amongst the vines. For the first two years I think my prevailing mood was the stress it being the climax to a whole years hard graft and all the things that could go wrong.  Now we have done it a few times we have a two week timetable of preparation that means that once we get to the day itself you have a chance to relax a bit more and get into the spirit of things.

The few days post harvest are strange. You have yet to kick your five times a day Accuweather habit and planning your weeks around spray intervals. Without the grapes the vineyard instantly looks bare and has a very different feeling that is hard to explain, autumn has now begun. Inevitably, your mind starts to think about next year and I found myself picking grapes whilst also looking at where I would make the winter pruning cuts. 2013 starts here.


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