IN THE VINEYARD: Spring Plantings, Part 1

Spring is the Time to Plant.

Along with the glorious signs of spring, this has been an exciting week in the vineyard with new plantings underway. We have selected new clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and eventually Cabernet Franc to plant in our Hexham vineyard. All three are Entav clones, an acronym for Establissement National Technique Amelioration Viticulture, an organisation based in the south of France. This is where they select, grow, and test the best French clones. We have selected Entav 412 (Cabernet Sauvignon), Entav 181 (Merlot) and Entav 327 (Cabernet Franc). The fruit grown from these vines will be used to create a classic Bordeaux-style blend, along with supporting our current production of Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, The Butcher and Cabernet Merlot d’Soumah.


This patch of the vineyard will incorporate high density planting. We expect this format to have a positive impact on the fruit quality due to the increased vine competition and controlled yields. High density planting produces smaller berries and bunches, adding more concentration and depth of flavour to the resulting wines. It also assists with shade management in the vineyard. These techniques are more labour intensive which is why we are slowly trialling them in our vineyard; first with Viognier and Chardonnay, and now these varieties.


Once planted, it is a game of patience while we tend the vines over the next few years until the first harvest. We cannot wait to deliver the end results to you!