A quick check in on my vines in what has proven to be an interesting month weather-wise. The beginning of September saw continued sunshine and temperatures hovering around the early twenties (Celsius), and the heat culminated mid-month with the hottest UK September day since 1911!
This proved to be a peak though and temperatures lost ten degrees virtually overnight. My base of Newbury was at the epi-centre of a spectacular storm which included some of the loudest thunder I have ever heard. Such was the intensity and proximity, lightning actually obliterated a portion of the road in the street behind my house leaving something of a pot-hole.
The rainfall for the 12 hours of the storm actually exceeded the average full month total such was the intensity, and flooding caused disruption to the local area.
As I write this note towards the end of the month, we’ve passed the autumnal equinox (on the 22nd) and the weather has followed suit meaning that you can already sense the difference, and the wind and cold are starting to be more keenly felt.
My vines continue much as they did last month, with the later maturing Chardonnay probably about to come in to its own and the Ortega doing thoroughly well with numerous bunches of well-formed grapes of decent sizes.
My MVN3 still shows substantial difference in the berry sizes, but we have a decent number of clusters and are just starting to see some of the berries developing their true colour. You may recall from previous blogs that this is the reason I can conclude that it isn’t the Cataratto variety I was intending to purchase, in that it is the wrong colour.
Speaking of colour change, a few of the lower leaves are now starting to show their autumnal hues. Pests are also increasingly to be found buried within the knotted vines and I notice that I’ve lost a fair few grapes to them since I last looked.
Hopefully they won’t attack too many more as the overall yield is a bit less than expectations.