Since we finished last year’s harvest in late October we have been inundated (literally) with over 300mm of the wet stuff.
The ground is full to the point of saturation and the alleyways are like a 1970’s winter football pitch, as I remember! Trudging up and down the 121 rows of dormant vines is hard work.
The characters who are playing their part in the annual battle to get this very important job done are the usual suspects, family of course, even though daughter no. 2 is always late to the start line and has arrived from London with a hangover! Little William, who is now 2 and a half is a bundle of joy, well behaved, undemanding and happy to swing his cut-down golf club whilst the pruners prune. His Mother & Father are putting in a proper shift but not helped by the three dogs, Figgy, Truffle & Hermione, endlessly performing a whacky races-esque display in and out of the vines. Mrs C is cool & calm and ensures no one goes under nourished.
There are 8,000 vines in the now 3 year old Cherry Orchard vineyard. Each vine requires 8-10 cuts to expertly shape the crown leaving a fruiting cane and two spurs. That’s nearly 80,000 clips with the pruning secateurs, very good for hand muscle conditioning!
The 4,000 vines in the Cricket Pitch vineyard were only planted last year, but after a very good first year it is decided that we should prune with a small yield in mind - thanks to our wonderful full timers, Peter & Danny, and over 20,000 secateur clips later the job is done for another year…phew!