Weather experts claim we are in the “wettest drought on record.” Does this mean we should bring a brolly and wear wellies while we use the watering can? Despite the wacky weather, Oxfordshire vineyards are using it to their advantage.
Bob Nielsen from Brightwell Vineyard said the weather is no problem. “The early dry spell allowed us to get a lot of chores finished, but we didn’t get to bud burst so no damage during the cold, wet spell. Bud burst happening now. The rain has replenished the soil reservoirs so it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t rain again for 4 months.”
Richard Liwicki from Bothy Vineyard was more worried about the warm days and freezing cloudless nights we had in early April. But he agrees the wet weather now has not been bad news. He says, “We took the opportunity to plant some 60 new vines which got watered in, and the wet weather, disgusting though it is, has dispersed the danger of frost for now.”
What if this weather keeps up? He continues, “Well if it goes on for many weeks, then there is a chance that our plants will be weakened by the cold weather when they should be shooting and putting on growth. But in the mean time, we are not too worried about the wet if it means that the frost is kept at bay. “ I am still hoping for a barbeque summer.
At the least I have a calendar of wine events to keep me busy.
The wine tasting dinner that was supposed to happen on the 9th of May has been delayed until 30th of May. It will still be held at 6:30pm, at the Oxford Blue, off of Iffley Road. The first one was fabulous with Plantagenet wines and an amazing miso marinated monkfish with Octo vinaigrette.
This one should be equally as good with natural and biodynamic wines hosted by Didier Cappa from Les Caves de Pyrene. £30 will get you five courses with matching wines.
The menu looks tasty. The course that tempts me is the Medley farm asparagus, soft boiled quail eggs, manchego served with Pouilly-Fumé, Domaine Alexandre Bain 2010. After getting my first batch of asparagus from Charlie Gee (son of the late Charles Gee) this past Saturday, I can’t wait for more. To book, ring Chris Murray- 01865 460215, email- email@example.com or pop by the Oxford Blue, 32 Marston Street, Oxford OX4 1JU.
Don’t forget the South African wine tasting at SH Jones in Banbury, 17th of May. To purchase the £5 ticket call 01295 672296 or visit any one of the SH Jones shops.
The Oxford Wine Company opened their fourth retail shop last week in Cirencester. Congratulations Ted Sandbach, Theo Sloot and gang for extending your value and variety of wine further into the Cotswolds. Cheers!