It is set to be a busy spring at the Vineyard with vines to be tied, blending, filtering and bottling underway, the opening of the new Seasonal Suffolk shop, and after a successful weekend at Cressing Temple, we are gearing up for the start of the show season.
The mild weather has brought the vines forward and they are approximately a month ahead of schedule. In some varieties we are beginning to see the buds developing. If bud burst occurs too early, the vines can sustain frost damage. The buds put up a fight however, and young buds are surrounded by tough scales and a woolly covering for protection rather like the Dedham Vale Vineyard team in the chilly weather!
With pruning completed at both Dedham Vale and Mersea, we are clearing out the prunings to limit the spread of disease, and tying the canes onto fruit wires. It is very satisfying to see the neatly tied rows ready for the spring flush of growth.
The weight of the fruiting vines is considerable and high tension is required in the supporting wires. As we tie the vines, we tension those fruit wires – a job you hope is not accompanied by a snapping sound as posts damaged by the wet weather are revealed! When this happens, it is off to the wood pile to replace the stakes with new posts harvested from our woodland.
Alongside our seasonal jobs, if you visit the Vineyard, you’ll see two new areas of ploughed land. The first, a 3.5 acre site is to be put to grass for planting new vines, including Bacchus, next spring. Across the lake, Tom has been testing his ploughing skills creating a circular wildflower meadow which promises to be a beautiful sight throughout the summer.
In the winery, last year’s vintage is developing well. We are filtering at the moment, a process which has five stages and takes around six weeks. The press shown here is filtering at 300 microns;this may seem tiny, but there are several stages to go before the finalpore size of 0.45 microns is reached!
Ben has also been busy creating the perfect blends for the wines, known as ‘assemblage’. By blending the different grape varieties at Dedham Vale and Mersea Island, we are are hoping to introduce two new wines to our range. More news to follow once the blends are perfected…
With the summer show season fast approaching, Dedham Vale Vineyard reopens this Easter Weekend. Our Shop and Vineyard walks will be open, plus guided tours and wine tastings available. Soon we hope to be serving smoked platters and teas in our Tasting Barn; visitors will be able to enjoy the tranquillity of the Vineyard with a glass of Dedham Vale wine, excellent food and a view across the lake to our new meadow.
On Easter Saturday, Seasonal Suffolk launch their new ‘Foraged and Small Producers’ Shop. At what promises to be an action-packed launch, sample their fare, take part in a foraging treasure hunt around the estate ,wild food demonstrations throughout the day, fun for all the family and meet some of the lovely local farmers stocking their shop.
Plus, of course, we will be serving Dedham Vale Wine and Cider from the bar…where you may find these new arrivals hiding from Ruby and Tilly.
Finally, congratulations to Sharon Marshall who won our Easter wine competition on Facebook! For your chance to enter our next competition, click here to like our Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with the very latest news and competitions from the Vineyard.