So no English wine harvest this year?

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Primrose
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So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby Primrose » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:19 pm

Another effect of our appalling English summer:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... ather.html

I checked our own modest Reisling grape vine today. It has fewer bunches and the grapes are still like little hard green peas. We no longer make wine from it but in a good year the grapes are pleasant enough to eat. This year I doubt whether even the blackbirds will be bothering with them.
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby Nature's Babe » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:44 pm

same with our outdoor grape - those in the lean to conservatory have ripened very late and gave an excellent crop, will be putting the surplus in the drier to make raisins lol. usually in a good summer we have an early crop inside and late crop outside from the same old vine - just not enough sun this year.
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby alan refail » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:23 am

I reckon that quite soon we'll be more worried about the effects on basic foodstuffs and forget about English wine.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19890250
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:29 pm

I've just finished making two gallons of wine from the greenhouse grapes, Pink Chasselas, and after reading this have been to see what the outdoor ones are like. They are Madeleine Angevine and there are lots on, but only about the size of medium sized peas and they are no where near ripening, so I very much doubt they will be worth picking - unless we get a warm sunny November!

Regarding Alan's comment about the price of other foodstuffs, I've just stocked up on mixed bird seed, sunflower kernels and peanuts from a farm supplier and they have all gone up by 30% since I last bought some. If the basic grains etc have already gone up by so much I dread to think how much bread and everything else will be costing us.
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby Johnboy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:54 pm

Hi Primrose,
I suspect that it is very dependant on the variety of grape because twice this week they have had wine makers on 'Farming Today' and they say that they may be down on quantity but they seem to have enough grapes to produce sufficient wine. So not the write-off of the poor fellow in East Sussex has had which made the BBC put out false information.
The BBC assumed that everybody was in the same boat.
That is why it is wrong to assume! :wink:
JB.
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby Westi » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:59 pm

Phew Johnboy - worried there for a bit :D :D :D Might have had to change my profile pic!

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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby The Mouse » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:25 pm

We've got about 3 gallons of gooseberry wine and 6 gallons of rhubarb wine brewing at the moment (with enough fruit in the freezer for at least 6 more gallons), and it tastes very promising. Who needs grapes? :wink: :D
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby Primrose » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:26 am

Well, what to do with my grape crop this year is now totally academic.
I checked the vine again yesterday to see if the grapes were now ready for picking. Couldn't believe my eyes. It had been totally stripped bare. There was literally not a grape to be found. So they'd obviously ripened sufficiently since my check last week for the birds to decide to raid them. This has also happened to my redcurrant, blackcurrant & gooseberry crop this year (which happened while we were on holiday) so I'm not at all pleased.
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby Primrose » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:55 am

After my grapevine incident I've just received this email from somebody living nearby: "We and another neighbour have recently suffered stripped fruit trees - one Bramley and one plum - all fruit gone [including any which might have been expected to be fallen under the tree]. Do you happen to know if anyone else in the district has experienced a similar problem?"

Looks like the birds are having a field day round here but I'm surprised that apples as large as Bramleys are being taken, unless we have an army of human fruit thieves in the area. Has anybody else on the Forum with fruit trees had this problem?
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby Colin_M » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:38 am

Hi Primrose, what a pain!

In a previous house, we had to net the grapes, as it turned out that the birds waited until they were at optimum ripeness, then stripped them. Sadly they were a bit more organised at checking than I was, so always beat me to it :(

Our current vine doesn't suffer from this problem, though I can't explain why as we have plenty of birds in our garden,
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby Monika » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:29 pm

Primrose, I wonder whether the problem is worse this year because the wild berry harvest is so poor this year? Birds here are already eating the holly berries which are only half ripe, the wild cherries were not pollinated and did not set and there are virtually no haws on our hawthorn bushes.

But your Bramley disappearance sounds more like human activity. Otherwise you would surely find half eaten apples on the ground.
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby Colin Miles » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:41 pm

Monika - our cotoneasters are loaded with berries this year and the blackbirds are gorging on them. Rather strange as everything else is so poor and the bees didn't seem to be that active when the blossom was out.
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby Johnboy » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:35 pm

Hi Monika,
I rather think it is where you live as to the crop of wild berries you get. Hereabouts you couldn't get another hawthorn berry on any of the mature hedges. Absolutely loaded with food until the Redwings come in and they will almost strip the plants of all berries.
JB.
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby Monika » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:53 pm

We usually get lots of haws, Colin and Johnboy, but this year there was a particularly cold spell here when the hawthorns flowered - hence no insects, no haws. The same applies to most of the apples and bird cherries but not crab apples of which we have many this year. Well, you win some, you lose some.
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Re: So no English wine harvest this year?

Postby oldherbaceous » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:33 am

We have had a very late, but much needed crop of blackberries here, which seems to have been very much appreciated by the wildlife.
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