After a lovely July, a mixed August and a dodgy start to September, we need sunshine. And, mercifully, the forecast looks good. In 2007, September sunshine saved the harvest (as happened in 2002), and although each and every year is different, it looks like the same could be true for 2008. The problem is that this will be a late harvest, and more than likely the latest we’ve seen. We don’t just need sun, we need three to four weeks of it.
We have one parcel which will be ready before all the others – this week in fact – a block of sauvignon blanc vines which we planted in 2004.
This year sees our first real crop from this part of the vineyard, and although yields for our whites will be feeble, partly as a result of an April frost, the potential from this parcel looks healthier. Daniel, our vineyard manager, and our old friend, Ronan Sayburn, check out the grapes. Ronan, who has come to stay (and work) with us during the harvest, was Gordon Ramsay’s Executive Head Sommelier, to give him his full, understated title. He managed Ramsay’s wine lists and team of sommeliers for eight years before taking a year out to further his knowledge of wine. This he achieved by scuba diving in Thailand traveling to vineyards around the world with his girlfriend, Corinne, a fellow former Ramsay sommelier.