May in the UK has a Bank Holiday Weekend at both the start and the end of the month. These two events, mere weeks apart, couldn’t have been more different to each other in terms of the weather conditions.
The first managed to continue the glorious early run of uninterrupted sunshine and warm temperatures that we’ve seen, whereas the latter (which has just occurred as I write) was just a touch cooler but several degrees less sunny. There’s been mist, rain, and several prolonged thunder storms across much of the country.
To be fair, the general month of May has seen untraditionally high temperatures (generally 18-23°C) carry throughout the month in long uninterrupted periods. It’s amazing to see the advances on the vines versus last month now that they have been exposed to a good few weeks of sunshine.
Well on track despite the late April start, growth has accelerated, changing mere shoots in to fully formed trailing vines requiring early trellising, and buds have begun their transformation to grape clusters. As per every other year, my Chardonnay and Ortega vines have bumpy leaves left from mites, whilst the MVN3 manages to escape. As it is only a cosmetic malady it’s not too much of an issue.
Despite the current mist and dampness, the good news is that we are extremely far away from the May conditions of last year which saw the early development of the vines destroyed by late frosts.
The current projections for June’s weather are positive, with the sunny and warm days set to return.