Bud burst began on 10th May for the Chardonnay vines in our most mature vineyard, which is one week later than normal, which meant we were able to miss the late spring frost. The vines are now growing evenly so we are feeling tentatively excited about this year's potential. (We're trying to keep our optimism in check so as not to jinx anything at this stage!)
The vines in our newer vineyards have also budded successfully and are now growing fast thanks to the plastic tubing surrounding their trunks that acts as a shield against local rabbits and other vineyard visitors, whilst also creating a mini greenhouse effect. We hope to have our first fruit from these vines this year.
Our office Purpurea vine is growing incredibly fast too - it grew y 22cm in just 17 days! This vine is now far outpacing the rate of growth of its cousins in the vineyard, as you can see by the 'before' and 'after' pictures below.
The vines haven't been the only plants coming back to life in the last four weeks. Our Ash tree has also been late to bud this year, which is a good sign according to ancient folk lore: Oak before Ash - in for a spash; Ash before Oak - in for a soak! So fingers crossed for a good summer and a bumper harvest in 2013.......
And finally, we had another wildlife visitor this month: a little finch came to pay a visit in the office, taking us all by surprise. After a few hair raising moments we were able to catch him and release him again to safety. Hopefully he won't let his curiosity get the better of him next time!