Saturday, 22 December 2012
It is often said that you learn most from difficult years - if this is the case then I'm now the fountain of all viticulture knowledge! 2012 wasn't a complete disaster for us but we will hope and pray that we don't get another year as bad for a long time.
The season started with a warm period which resulted in early bud break and we were woken by frost alarms no fewer than eight times in March and April. Fortunately the Boujies did their trick and we were able to prevent any significant frost damage. The weather was then cold and wet in May, June and early July, resulting in late flowering and very poor fruit set ... and some downey mildew to boot. The lack of summer sun meant that a lot of the fruit then didn't ripen fully and we ended up having to selectively hand pick the ripe bunches. Overall we harvested about 3.5 tonnes of fruit compared to the 15 tonnes we might have hoped for.
The good news is that we seem to have fared no worse than non-organic vineyards and the juice from the grapes we did pick is really good. As a result we are hopeful of releasing about 1200 bottles of Silent Pool Rose 2012 next May, less than we had planned but more than last year. We have decided to blend the sparkling base wines from 2011 and 2012 to produce a high quality fizz, which should be available for the summer of 2015.
We are now busy pruning 21,000 vines in preparation for a fabulous and sunny 2013.