Hot, hot, hot!

Fiona Shiner, Founder

 The vines have been loving this glorious weather, flowering has finished and there has been a good fruit set in most varieties. On the other hand, with highs of 32 degrees in the vineyard this week the vineyard team have been wilting. They are starting at 6 in the morning and finish at 2 in the afternoon. If it is too hot, they come into the cool winery to help with labelling.

At the end of flowering the vines get their first trim starting with Bacchus. We are just trimming the top of the vines at this stage, the shoots which have grown above trellis height. These will soon flop over which will make them more difficult to trim and the drooping vine shoots cause shading. The topping of the vines diverts the energy of the vine downward and can prompt the growth of lateral shoots, so we leave this until the end of or just after flowering. 

Canopy management continues with tucking the vine shoots into the foliage wires and leaf stripping on the east side of the canopy to expose the fruit to the morning sun and allow air flow. This is an important part of our disease management strategy. It will reduce the risk of diseases such as downy and powdery mildew which thrive in moist shady canopies. There are mechanical leaf strippers, but it is generally agreed that manual leaf stripping is the most effective, which is what we do at Woodchester. 

By our August News letter we should have a good idea of the potential yield from the 2022 harvest.

Fruit Set, July 2022

Disgorging in the winery, June 2022

Sparkling wine bottling, June 2022

From the winery

Jeremy Mount, Winemaker

 We are now entering the time of the year when the production side of the winery has calmed down for a while. The tirage bottling at the end of June was successful and all the 2021 sparkling wines will be roughly half way through their second fermentation in bottle. The tanks are now empty with the tank room cleaned and quiet, only visited by the daily tours.

This month, all focus is on disgorging and labelling. During these summer months the sparkling wines are very popular so it’s a continuous process of making sure there are enough bottles labelled. We plan 6 months ahead for sparkling wine releases so we’re currently disgorging as much as possible for the run up to Christmas. Now is the time to get everything done outside of actual wine production, because after a holiday break in August, we’ll be going straight into the next harvest and early indications are looking like there’s going to be a fair amount of fruit this year. Exciting times ahead!


We’ve also just released our first single varietal Ortega – watch Fiona & Jeremy introducing it here


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