This season has got off to a flying start!
The vineyard growth is at least a couple of weeks ahead of what would be considered normal, thanks mainly to well above average temperatures in Spring and in particular May.
Average temperatures for May, as well as April, were well above mean long-term average temperatures for most of the country, even Scotland! This is starting to become a bit of a trend in recent years (long may it continue) and is only positive for grape growing. Also with good rainfall in late winter/early spring the moisture content of the soil has been ideal to get things off to a good start.We are only just keeping up with the growth it’s been that fast, the team are currently shoot thinning to allow more light and air movement into the canopy, which helps reduce disease pressure. The first wire lift (to encourage the vines to grow where we want them to) is nearly complete. By the time we’ve completed that, the second lift will be well and truly due. It’s a nice position to be in, to be only just keeping up due to the speed of growth.
Not wanting to jinx the season with the curse of the commentator, but flowering this year is early, so with any luck we could be in for an early harvest. It is shaping up to be a good yield this year as well, the potential for a big crop is out there due partially to weather conditions last year. This years potential fruit actually begins forming about this time last season.
We have just started flowering on our Chardonnay earlier this week, you can just make out one of the first flower’s showing itself in the above image.