After pruning each vine so just one branch remains we have to pull all the rest of the old wood off the wires. then tie down the one remaining branch. For our 40,000 vines that takes about 4 months in all.
In the meadows next to the stream we have the rare snakeshead fritillaries as well as a lovely display of cowslips, primroses, wood anemones, milkmaids' smock, violets and dogs' mercury - one of the few plants with green flowers. there is also the pretty parasitic toothwort that grows on the roots of hazel or alder trees (bottom picture) The deer come out for a midday graze in the sun.
We manage the meadows for hay which helps keep them rich in flowers which would otherwise be swamped with rank grass. it also means we have a very sustainable way of adding organic matter to the vineyard as we unroll the huge hay bales down between each vine row
Sue Temperley writes the Wine and Wildlife blog. Humphrey's passion for winemaking and Sue's for wildlife breaks through the repetitive tasks of the vineyard year. Her photos are not that great but maybe with the incentive of this blog they will improve.