Monday, 15 March 2010

Our English adventure begins!

As I said in my last blog, whilst in Australia we signed for a 6 hectare plot near Marlow, where Kaye and I found ourselves after coming back from our year in France. It was a complete fluke I found this land, simply had a quick search on the internet and voila! Three weeks later we’ve signed and have put a deposit down for 20,000 baby vines. No turning back now!

It’s all happened so quickly, but I went up there today, the sun was shinning and I took this photo. I know it’s a picture of a field, but that’s all it is at the moment, a lot has to be done before we plant.

It’s a beautiful spot that overlooks the lovely river Thames below and the even more beautiful A404 to the left!! It ticks all the right boxes: south facing chalk slope, 50m above sea level and great exposure to both the east and west. Obviously there is a risk in growing in our climate, but many vineyards are now producing fantastic sparkling wine, and there’s no reason why ours should be any different. It’s a long term investment, and we won’t see the release of our first wine for maybe another 6 years, but I figure I’m still young and there is no time like the present.

We’re going to plant 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier, all with different clones and rootstocks, but all tailored to our chalky site. I hope to produce a vintage sparkling each year and then maybe a younger blanc de blanc and a house style that will be determined by how our vines perform and what we prefer to drink! But this could all change as the years go by.

First up we have to protect our site from the leaf-eating dear and rabbits! This will hopefully start next week and I can’t wait to get up there and smash some posts in!

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