The grapes have now flowered and the fruit has largely set. Vine flowers are not pollinated by bees, as they are self fertile, which is just as well, as there is a huge reduction of bees this summer.
The vines require enormous attention at this time of year, as they grow prolifically and need to be constantly trimmed back. The natural tendency of a vine is to expend all its energy on leaf and shoot production and we therefore have to divert the vine’s energy into the embryo bunches of grapes. Vines are one of the fastest growing plants on earth and no sooner have we finished tying in, topping and side trimming one row than we find we have to start over again, a week later.
Our sales have been helped along by our vineyard tours and also from some new outlets in Carmarthen. Our first exports to Holland went successfully and it is quite salutary to know that it is cheaper to sell our Glyndwr wines to Amsterdam than to our home market town, just one mile away! But then Holland has approximately 22p excise duty a bottle and we have about £2.00! Their VAT rates are also considerably less.
We opened our gardens under the National Garden Scheme last month and treated the visitors to a glass of our sparkling rose wine, which was very well received. This is an excellent way to advertise our products whilst raising money for good causes.
We now need to be for ever alert to the ravishes of mildew, both downy and powdery as well as botrytis. A viticulturists work is never done, until the harvest in October. Then the pruning starts all over again!
by Richard Norris, owner and winemaker at Glyndwr Vineyards, WalesShare and Enjoy: