grapes growing

Here are the first signs of a first harvest! We spent yesterday tending the vineyard - and what a business it is. This may perhaps be an 'England only' task, but our job of the moment is to seek out all the grapes and then cut away the leaves that have been hiding them, so that they can have full access to the sun. (What sun? you ask. Well it's certainly blazing here today.) So suddenly, from out of a dense wall of leaves, small clumps of grapes appear, clinging on for dear life and looking somewhat nervous about being thus exposed. (Remember unwrapping on the beach for the first time?). Working on the vines made me ponder the effect of the climate on our lives (see Alexandra Harris on this topic at the Wells Literary Festival in October). There were vineyards in the parish in Roman times apparently, and then again when the Dean of Wells owned land up here on Mudgley Hill in the 14th century, but more recently the area's been known for farming. Do we have climate change to thank? I wonder if grapes in the south of France need opening up to the sun as ours did. The bunches may look small, but our agronomist was extremely optimistic...


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