We were rushed off our feet getting the vineyard ship shape for English Wine Week - vines to tie down, prunings to burn and grass to cut. New interpretation boards were ordered and set up, lots of publicity in the local villages and towns. We got ourselves onto all the local listings and there was an article in the Herald. Thanks to the Wantage Herald. Also Round and About. This is what it looked like last weekend - our flowers in front of the shop in full bloom. We welcomed some 200 visitors, did hundreds of tastings and 6 tours. Had a great time.
Spring has sprung and the rabbit population is exploding with the primroses and bluebells. The rabbits dig beneath our vines and endanger their root system, whilst also making huge scrapes and burrows that are a hazard to workers and the tractor. This year, our Rabbit Man has brought a couple of furry friends to help control the rabbits. This delightfully soft and intelligent ferret should nevertheless, not be held next to ones face. Cute and effective!
Ed (below), who has been with the Bothy team for a year now, tied the knot with his wife Gemma last December.
Ed managed the vineyard whilst planting his own in East Hagbourne and also helped run the Bothy business. Gemma and Ed finally managed to get away in April for their honeymoon, after completing the winter pruning.
The first sculptures are beginning to arrive. Here is Lendon Scantlebury, our curator and organizer of artists, dwarfed by a giant fig (with two cherries too).
Lovely sunshine. We are all optimistic and excited. Masses to do.
Last weekend we finished bottling with the help of our bands of enthusiastic volunteers. There was fantastic team work in our winery. It was hard work, but the music, cheer and cakes kept them going. 3,000 bottles of Oxford Dry and Renaissance bottled - easily.
Sian Liwicki is one of the Bothy Vineyard partners. She has worked with the UK Vineyards Association, in the nature conservation and scientific research. She loves documenting the fun, the challenging and the absurd, in the vineyard landscape.