Summer; ripening
A period of rapid growth in the vineyard whenever the average daily temperature is above 10°C. The vine canes can grow several centimetres a day in warm weather provided the roots can access water.
Flowering is a critical period, as too much wind or rain will spoil pollination and hence reduce fruit set, resulting in a very small crop. Too much moisture during warm weather may cause mildew to develop, requiring occasional anti-fungal sprays. Without these, fruit quality can be badly compromised.
Mowing the mid rows is a regular occurrence during summer - potentially harmful insects such as the light brown apple moth enjoy the broad-leafed weeds that inevitably grow here, so by keeping the grass short the weeds are kept at bay, and pest pressure is kept low.
As the fruit starts to ripen, we reach veraison- the changing of colour from green to purple.  Birds notice this, and begin to sample the berries for ripeness. We use nets to keep the birds off the grapes. Without nets, we probably wouldn’t have any fruit left to make wine. Timing is everything here, as we cannot apply anti-fungal sprays after the nets are in place; we pray for warm, dry weather after the final pre-netting spray application. Then there is little to do but wait until the grapes are ready for picking.
December - February