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A diary from the Front: writings from our viticulturist in Wales.

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Keeping us all updated with news from the front line of wine making is Richard Norris from Glyndwr Wines, Wales. His monthly reports (often knee deep in mud) are exclusive to Barrels & Bottles and offer a remarkable insight into the hard work, love and attention which goes into every bottle of wine.

“2009 has begun with sub-zero temperatures, by day and night, but the pruning has to go on. With thermal underwear, two layers of jumpers and a Barbour jacket, an old ski hat and gloves, we brave the elements. Pruning is a slow job at the best of times and one’s feet almost seize up with the cold. We console ourselves with a run around the vineyard (7 acres) after completing a row. The present rows are thankfully short with 32 vines to a row, spaced 4ft apart. It takes one hour a row and we have 6,000 vines!”

“As the sun creeps up low on the horizon, the frost casts a million twinkling, blinking jewels over the gnarled old vines. The tranquility and beauty are awesome. Some varieties, such as Seyval Blanc, are better pruned on warmer days as they crack and split on being tied down.”

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