The launch of the first sparkling was a great success. We had a huge amount of people on the day and through November and December sales rocketed culminating with Ben and I dashing around London for a hectic day offloading boxes of fizz. Lots of lovely reports of Oxney featuring heavily on the Christmas menu. A great end to the year.
From the frothy world of parties and tastings January came pretty brutally with Clive deep in to pruning assisted by Nick pulling out. ‘How is your wood’ is a question you often hear in viticulture circles this time of year. The wood in question is the growth on the vines from last year – preferably low on disease and good and balanced vigour.
Our wood was pretty good but aided by renowned viti expert Duncan McNeil we are pruning back harder than ever to ensure the energy in our young vines are concentrated on a few canes and bunches. Less fruit on a vine = more concentrated flavour = better wine. High yield is great for the bank balance but not always for the flavour.
2017 is our sixth growing season and we’re getting our heads around the work. 32,000 vines demand a special kind of concentration which Clive has in spades.