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Grape Harvest Fast Approaching!


Wow! What a season for grape growing. This has to be the best year for grapes since planting the vines way back in 2007.


The vines have had a good early frost-free Spring, followed by perfect flowering conditions in early July. All that, combined with an Indian summer so far in September, has combined to produce the prospect of a great harvest.


Apologies for not having an open day in August for Sheepwash’s first wine release, but the perfect weather has delayed this until after harvest.


The fruit is about two weeks ahead of all previous years, and whilst it won’t be the biggest crop it’s looking to be the best in terms of quality.


One a weekly basis I’m measuring the ripeness of the grapes by taking a sample of a hundred berries from each variety. These go through a hand blender, and then the pH, acidity, and sugar are measured and recorded. These measurements are combined with a close monitoring of the weather, bird population, and wasp activity, to arrive at the perfect time for harvest.


Other vineyards in the Southwest are beginning to use contract grape pickers, often fromoverseas. I amhoping not to do this, but bring in individuals from Sheepwash (and surrounding villages) for a little jovial picking for about onemorning a week. Bottles of wine can be earned for a morning picking, and I’m more than happy to show anyone interested the other processes the grapes go through after picking.


You don’t have to be very fit to pick the grapes, just be able to fill a bucket with grapes, and carry it to the end of the row. If you’d like to get involved, please do call or email me.


Cheers!


Tim Torview Wines Tel: 07977 408829


Email: wine@torviewwines.co.uk 21


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