2024 (so far)

by Chris Haywood

Apr 25

It’s always fun and games when it comes to English grape growing. After a remarkably dry January, it feels like it hasn’t stopped raining since. We’ve experienced some wet vintages since our family moved in in 2017 (2021 comes to mind), but this winter has been something else. We are a remarkably well drained vineyard, but it has taken until this week for it to be truly dry underfoot.

Thankfully we are planted on Triassic sandstone which alleviates many of these problems. As you drive to us, you will pass these huge sandstone walls (evidence of the Midlands Sandstone Plateau we are planted on) – this causes much of the rain to simply pass through and go down into the River Severn. Without this geology, our vines would have drowned by now. Was this luck, or good planning when we were established in 1971 🤔

But funnily enough, in between all the rain, the warm days have in fact been incredibly warm. Recent days have felt more like early summer than spring; which has encouraged the vines to grow (and grow, and grow). We are at least 2 weeks ahead of our average; which raises the potential of the vintage massively. Obviously late frosts are still a risk, but we haven’t had any serious warnings yet. Also, our old vines (20-53 years old) understand that this vintage is early, so many have held back so as to save their precious buds and growth.

So overall, 2024 has started strangely; albeit not in a totally bad way. The vintage isn’t over until we pick these grapes in September & October, but right now we’re pretty happy. JUST NO FROST PLEASE!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format