The first of the summer wine

I’m trying my best to have some kind of summer holiday at the moment.  This should mean less work, less stress and less blogging.  All it has really meant so far is less blogging, as the volume of the other parts of the puzzle has increased in inverse proportion to the number of students on campus….

The one thing that I am trying to spend time on is tending to my burgeoning vineyard…..

the yard


It might not look like much, but hidden in that foliage are enough grapes to produce my first vintage this autumn:

good bunchvines035


For those of you with an interest, I’m growing Bacchus grapes, a variety very suited to the English climate.  These are also grown at the Chapel Down vineyards, which are just down the road from me, so I have high hopes for a dry, flinty sauvingon-esque wine, once I work out how to make it not taste like brandy vinegar.  This is the third year of growth so they should be ready for their first harvest this autumn.  Like Chapel Down, my house sits on the same vein of chalk that runs through the Champagne region and pops up in Kent.  If this experiment works, I’m hoping to quit the day job and retire on the profits of contraband cristal.

The main question I get asked about my wine-producing plans is “how will you crush the grapes?”.  Well, I have two willing helpers…


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