It’s a great time of the year to visit a vineyard and especially here at Sharpham. The season started off with an unusually late winter (remember the snow?!) and was followed by some typically damp weather. Things have certainly picked up recently and the UK is experiencing some great sunny and dry weather which is perfect for the vines. They’re working hard to find nutrients in the dry soils and this essentially leads to better quality fruit if conditions stay like this.
Yesterday we noticed the first signs on flowering in our vineyard, with the Madeleine Angevine really shedding its caps on the inflorescence and bursting into flower. Once the cap falls, pollen is released and dispersed and better release of pollen occurs in dry weather as rain and strong winds reduce pollen density. If a pollen grain lands on the receptive tissue of the stigma, it may germinate and produce a pollen tube. Cross-pollination is essential for successful fruit set.
There used to be a traditional view that it was 100 days from flowering to harvest but in our unique climate we will carefully asses and try and leave the fruit on vine for longer to ensure maximum ripeness.
We’re all praying for this run of weather to continue long into the summer as we feel most people are!