So I have to admit, I’ve been away on holiday sailing in the Caribbean. Many of you will be aware that last year I fulfilled a lifelong ambition and sailed across the Atlantic. As our boat was in the Caribbean it seemed foolish not go and explore the islands, so over the last few weeks we explored the islands of Antigua, St.Kitts, Nevis and Barbuda. We returned on Monday and drove through Sussex under bright blue skies to see what had happened at the Rathfinny Wine Estate.
Whilst away, Cameron oversaw the planting of a further 70,000 vines to the west of the Flint Barns. They look fantastic and the warm spring weather has led to an early bud-burst, as the vines break into life for the year.
The temporary windbreaks have already proved their worth. The trees in the shelter belts are thriving (see the picture above), and you can see a real difference in the vines, especially those closest to the windbreaks.
As you may have read in a recent blog by Richard James we are now working with the universities of Lincoln (NZ) and Sussex to develop the right biodiversity within the vineyard to help reduce disease risk and increase beneficial insects. Richard is also overseeing the building of the new entrance which has really moved on and is nearly at the road. We will all be pleased when we no longer have to deal with a 1:3 gradient on a blind corner!
Work on the Flint Barns has been very impressive – our contractor, Cardy’s, was held up by the poor weather earlier this year, but they are now working flat out to try and complete the building in time to the accommodate seasonal workers needed for our expected harvest this year.
Happy Easter to all – enjoy the spring weather and don’t grumble about the rain, we need that as well!