John Hemmant Vineyard diaries

John the owner and winemaker at Chet Valley Vineyard is putting pen to paper to give everyone an insight into his daily life as a winemaker.

- Today is mainly wet with some perky blue sky here and there. There is a quietness now in the vineyard only disturbed by the wooden wheel  three note sound of a green woodpecker and course gaggle of a magpie.. The last of the yellow leaves are now falling silently from the vines.

- I am working on our new landscaping around the winery, I have planted an apricot tree, two amalanca trees and three alstromeria, the amalanca and apricot strengthen the permaculture theme of the site, offering berries and fruit as well as beauty.

- In the winery I have been making up a sugar solution, about 65% in order to feed my bees, we had a good crop of honey for the family this year and it is being eaten voraciously., The bees need to be fed this time of year with sugar solution, there is little nectar around and they need this suppliment in order not to starve, I left some honey behind, but not enough.

- Today I also analysed the Solaris wine to check the SO2 levels, about 11ppm, very low, this is intentional, as we have previously inoculated with lactobacillus in order to reduce the acidity of the wine and introduce some buttery flavours. Having undertaken a microscopic analysis I am not convinced the little fellows have done their job, so shall see if there has been any change in acidity by analysis tomorrow.

John Hemmant”

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