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The weather outside is frightful, but our wine is still delightful

Storm Ciara, Storm Dennis and then Storm Jorge. The past two months have seen the vineyard take a real battering from wind and torrential rains.

The village at the bottom of Poulton Hill has had floodwater across the main road and the local Ampney Brook burst its banks.

But what impact has this huge influx of water and the high winds had on the vineyard and the vines?

Well, the winds did not make winter pruning much fun. But the vines are in a dormant, woody state and, now they are pruned, there is not much to be blown about.

The excessive water could be a problem at other times of the year. Heavy rain can wash the delicate buds or flowers off the vines in the spring. In autumn, the fruit would swell with water lowering the sugar content.

In the vines’ dormant state, the rainfall will have little impact. But the roots of the vines need air in the soil and if pooling does occur it can lead to root rot. So, we do work hard to ensure that the ground does not get waterlogged. This is helped by the fact that our vines are at the top end of a sloping field. The water will naturally soak down to the lower end, where we do not have any vines planted.

In this part of the Cotswolds we have a high clay content in the soil. This has a greater capacity to hold water, so soil and the nutrients in the soil are not washed away. The vines have deep roots and increased rainfall can push the nutrients down towards the roots.

So, sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of wine, safe in the knowledge that this stormy weather will not have impacted the 2020 harvest.

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