Thursday 23 July 2020

A bad workman finally finds good tools

Vineyard workers will always tell you that trellising is a nightmare. Unless you want to throw a lot of money at it you will always be trying to secure 'down gyved' vines or branches of vines. A bit of wind and everything decides to go on the slant.

We've tried all sorts of ties. The common or garden Garden Wire mostly but also Max Tapener which proves a quick fix but not for long.

Due to years of inadequate support too many of our vines were growing practically horizontally so the first piece of kit was this Galvanised Steel rod from Derek Pritchard at Winegrowers Supplies.

 We managed to hammer quite a few of these into the rock hard clay ground with a sledge hammer this summer and bend the vines back to get supported by them. Very promising.

Next, these fantastic rubber 'Ancorties' from Vigo Vineyard Supplies finally allowed our bamboo canes to stay put on our trellising wires.

A bit fiddly at times but well worth the effort.

All this was revolutionary in comparison with what we've been messing around with for the last 25 years. Why did it take us so long?

The final touch is supplied by the lovely ecological paper covered twists also from Vigo. These are never too short and lovely to work with. They seem also much kinder to the vine wood than plastic coated metal wire.

As for protection against birds, we're trying these tinsel party curtains made in China of course. 2 metres by 1 metre, these will only protect one or two vines but we are hoping 100 of these distributed over the vineyard will deter the pheasants who have been stealing our grapes for the last couple of years. We might try to get a 'dancing man' too and maybe one or two fake birds of prey on tall wires. Anything to avoid last year's wholesale wipe-out, especially as our crop this year looks the best ever.