PLAY

NOVEMBER

It’s been an entire year since my last journal post: not for a shortage of things to write about, but perhaps a combination of the hamster wheel of life never seeming to slow down and it always seeming as if the next milestone is the next big thing to talk about.

 

As a farm, 2021 got off to a pretty crappy start, with an icy tinge in the air. We lit anti-frost candles (above), attempting to avert the worst of the damage. Twenty six frost events over six weeks delayed the season and affected yield too, unscathed we were not. Flowering was so so, but another major setback came with the onset of a wet summer, combined with warm temperatures: the perfect conditions for Downy Mildew (below), which also took its toll. Now we are in the last throws of harvest still, a month later than usual. The fruit coming into the winery has been clean, but yield and ripeness at lower levels than I would wish for. We will make good wines (and more cider than a normal year), but sparkling wines will feature more heavily and less red wine than usual.

 

Beyond the agriculture, the side of the business that currently sustains us financially and which I can best describe as ‘tourism’, has done so so well this year. Coming out of the blocks at a million miles an hour back in April, it’s been relentless: ‘2021 The Year of the Staycation’. A bit part cameo from our two new bell tents received welcome reviews, the curtain has fallen now on those until the May 2022 sequel. The entire team here, numbering over forty now, have had scant time off and continued to deliver, heroes all. We are currently expanding and opening more nights of the week, rooms open on Sunday’s from next week and we’re extending the food offer too, with pizza inside the bar for the winter and a set menu coming in on Friday lunches. Some of our beloved Mangalitsa pigs are soon to be heading off to you know where, to return celebrated on our menu, as fresh meat or in a few months time, delicious charcuterie.

 

Another big project about to kick off is the refurbishment of our iconic dutch barn. The strident rusty red columns will remain, with a new watertight roof atop. A solid floor and some vertical timber cladding will ensure we have a year round venue the weather cannot gazump.

 

The current releases in the wine shop on the website and some only available from the farm are showing well. A few new releases from 2020 are imminent, I am looking forward to sharing the 2020 Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, some of the finest white wines we have made to date. Watch out for magnums of these and of the Traditional Method 2018, popping up between now and Christmas.

 

I’ll sign off with a brief thank you to all those who have been down and partaken, to those who have purchased and swilled. For spreading the word and helping us to do what we do.

 

Till the next post, be merry.

 

BW

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