The buds are out. It is a great sight, and yet totally terrifying. During the winter months, i.e. post harvest, we have hand weeded, pruned, tidied up and burned the prunings, and tied down. Paul’s flock of Northern Mules ewes were in the vineyard and loved the grass, a perfect place for them just before they were due to lamb. It was a busy and lovely winter.
Now, on the cusp of the new season, everything looks neat and tidy. Clive has even started on one of the first of many rounds with the weeder. We have fine tuned and been creative and feel very ready for the 2016 season.
Only… we’re a bit worried about the weather! We compare favourite weather stations and portals, we log in to our own weather station and double check that the ‘it is nearly freezing’ weather warnings will arrive as SMS alerts during the night as the temperatures sink below zero. Clive owed up that he had his phone under his pillow last night – to make sure he heard it!
To guard against the frost we have hundreds of vineyard candles spaced out around the vineyard. They are large paint-tin sized metal cans with wax and a wick and when the terrifying bud killing frost arrives, we get the SMS alert and dash out and light the candles. Luckily, so far, we have not ever used our candles. Being six miles from the English Channel and 17 meters above sea level we are hoping that our location makes frost a rare occurrence at Oxney. We hope!