Our yields improved dramatically this year, up six-fold from just under a metric tonne (1000 kg) last year to nearly six tonnes this year. This improved yield is a result of our maturing vines, our improved vineyard management (thanks to all our fantastic volunteers and our star vineyard operative, Ed Mitcham) and thanks to a particularly good growing season.
Following a wet and miserable August, September and October were outstandingly warm and sunny, enabling our grapes to reach good sugar levels and ripen well. Most of the grapes were very clean and disease free again this year, though we did experience a problem with powdery mildew for the first time on some of our Bacchus grapes in one very sheltered and low lying area of our vineyard. We hope to mitigate against this next year by improving our canopy management, ensuring good air circulation around the vines, spotting any disease early and removing affected bunches from the vineyard straight away to prevent the mildew from spreading.
We again experienced problems with parakeets feasting on our delicious Ortega and Pinot Noir grapes. This was in spite of the use of kites, nets and bangers. If you have any ideas on how to deter our feathered friends next year please get in touch!
Our wine maker Will Davenport reports that the fermentation went very well, that the wines are tasting good and are ticking over nicely in the tanks.
A huge thanks to everyone who joined us for the five harvest sessions in September and October including FHV volunteers and friends, FHV sponsors and members of the North London Organic Gardeners.