Never Mind the Weather!

I now feel like a proper farmer as I'm always complaining about the weather!

This year it has been pretty awful for growing grapes. The wind and rain at the end of June/early July resulted in poor fruit set, and we have had little sun since then to ripen the grapes. In July we had 12% less sunshine compared to the average of 1971-2000 and in August 20% less. Temperatures were also much lower and the average rainfall from June to the end of August has been more than 10% higher.

Comparison with 1971-2000 (Av)              June              July           August
Sunshine 11% -12% -20%
Temperature (C)   0.2 -1 -0.5
Rainfall 119% 106% 107%

Hopefully we will get some sun to ripen the grapes during the few weeks before we have to harvest. We monitor the grapes daily for disease, the main potential problems being powdery mildew and botrytis. Whilst some botrytis can be tolerated for still wine it is a big problem for bubbly.

If we can't get the pinot ripe enough it will be difficult to make a good still rose. This would set our marketing activities back a year as I'm adamant that the first wine we release will be something we are proud of. C'est la vie!