Spring is an exciting but busy time at Bolney. Our vineyard team have plenty to do ahead of the vines beginning to bud, and whilst we are all delighted to finally see the spring sunshine, the higher temperatures by day and low temperatures at night keep our team on high alert for frost.
We asked our Vineyard team what they're up to and why this time of year is so important for them. We also found out what wildlife they've spotted out enjoying the beautiful weather recently (our favourite topic here in the Bolney office team)! Here's what they told us:
There is always work to be done in the vineyard at Bolney, but now is the time where pruning is completed and the vines are warming, with the buds getting ready to break. Lots of the buds are at the “woolly” stage; they have broken through the bud scales and the green growth is close to breaking through. The Rondo variety is the closest to breaking, as we would expect, but bud burst is likely to be earlier than normal for 2021. Mid-April would be the usual time, but the recent warm weather has accelerated things a little.
Along with the excitement of bud break comes the nail biting prospect of spring frosts. Frost can and will destroy the tender young green shoots if it gets a chance, so protecting the vines becomes a difficult but necessary priority. Fingers crossed that protection will not be required, but we're all on high alert in the vineyard until frost season passes.
One big job that we have recently completed is the replacement of 76 rows of end trellis in the Eighteen Acre Vineyard. The old wooden end post assembly has been replaced with new metal end posts, which will help with the smooth running of harvest this year. Fingers crossed for another great vintage!
All of the vines in the vineyard have been pruned, the prunings “pulled out” and mulched, and the canes for this seasons growth have been tied down. Trellis repairs around site have taken place, with over seven hundred intermediate posts replaced, mainly as replacements for broken wooden posts.
If you visit the vineyard, you're likely to see a few Buzzards circling around overhead at this time of year. There are quite a few in the trees around the site. We also have a Heron who is a regular visitor, as well as Green Woodpeckers, Pheasants, Jays, and the odd Red Kite.
The vineyard is now ready for spring and hopefully another successful growing season ahead.