Saturday, February 25, 2017


We just ordered 50 vines (Solaris SO4) @2.60 ea from Derek Pritchard of Winegrowers Supplies in Somerset England.  They will be shipped in early April. We wanted to buy some chardonnay vines to test but he wouldn't sell us any saying they were too late ripening for our area. Curious that someone would refuse to sell us something we wanted to try. We'll get them from another grower.

Now that we've had 4 vines to experiment with, hopefully we'll make fewer mistakes with the next batch. This is exciting.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Finally managed to prune and train

Last week, we had a spell of beautiful weather after several days of strong frost.  As it's already February and things are starting to bud, I thought it was time to take the plunge ad prune. I documented my work by taking one photo of each vine so I can compare this year's growth to Next year's. Here we are.

Red grape vines (Rondo) 

The red grape vines were variable in their take. Two did well, two did poorly and one is mediocre.

White grape vines (Solaris)

 The white grape vines grew much more vigorously than the red.

Okay, time to buy more vines to plant a bigger crop. Here we go.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Wicklow Wines on RTE radio

Nice interview with Wicklow Wines, who are making fruit wines in Ireland. They started with strawberry, blackberry and elderberry, all of which grow naturally here. They don't make it with water the old wives traditional way, they press the fruit like grapes. Pam and Brett launched their limited edition strawberry wine at Bloom 2016, to good reviews. From meadow to glass, Móinéir wines reflect the unique characteristics of the Irish countryside... the terroir concept moves to Ireland.

Listen to the interview here:

Here is their website.

Where to buy or try.  Have to remember to buy a bottle at McCambridge's in Galway. Or we can go to Pantry & Corkscrew in Westport and try a glass there. Interesting that it's being carried by Aniar. JP must like it = quite an endorsement.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Finally, leaf fall

The weather in Ireland has been ridiculously mild this Fall. Few gales or storms. Way above average rainfall for September and below rainfall figures for October. Unusually, we had two days of intense all-encompassing fog which obliterated the world, then froze it in dendritic patterns.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dormant season

This week we had a cold snap. Ground frost and freezing fog turned the landscape into Narnia. The water froze solid in the containers the cats drink from and the glass in the cold frame was covered in gorgeous crystal patterns. So I went into the vineyard to see if it was time to prune the grapevines.

Interesting!  The red grape vines had dropped all their leaves, but the white grape vines were holding on tightly. Still fully leafed. So "not yet" was the answer.

I raked the leaves from the lawn instead. The trouble with planting deciduous trees is that they drop their leaves and make work. I think I'll go for more evergreen from now on.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fall in Daria's vineyard

The red Rondo grapevines have dropped their crimson leaves in our absence.  We were in Manchester for a few days and returned to see Fall in progress. The white grapevines are still holding on to their thick green foliage. I wonder if they will change colour yet before dropping to join their red sisters. We shall see. 

Whenever I visit the vineyard, I always have an escort of at least one cat. This time Thelma the crazy feral feline came along, winding around my legs in an effort to commit a crime against humanity by tripping me. It failed. But she nudged and nudged until I picked her up, which freaked her out as usual. 

We had several days of wet foggy windy days. Now we have southerly winds bringing in sunshine and warmth in the second week of November. So in a few weeks, if the cold does come and the vines begin their hibernation, I will begin the pruning. Until then, I watch and document and learn. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

NEW Wine for Seniors

NEW Wine for Seniors 

A glass before bed could assist with a good night's sleep.

Clare Valley vintners in South Australia,
which primarily produce
Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Grigio wines,
have developed a new hybrid grape
that acts as an anti-diuretic.
It is expected to reduce the number of trips
older people have to make to the
bathroom during the night.
The new wine will be
marketed as PINOT MORE.

Sorry, my cousin thought I deserved this so I'm spreading the news!