Blog 2 – Bud-Rubbing

Growing anything on a steep slope can be hard work (you need strong legs and a strong tractor!) but the vineyard’s choice of site is paying dividends. As hoteliers would say, it’s all about: “location, location, location!”! Last week saw heavy frosts across England but as warm air rises, so the cold air in our field fell mostly below the line at which Fairmile Vineyard planted its vines. Although some of the lowermost leaves suffered, they will quickly put on new growth. Over the centuries, the best soil and nutrients leached downhill to create a balancing effect.

Today, a gang of workers equipped with nothing but gloves is “bud-rubbing” - running a hand up and down the trunks. Surplus buds are removed that would otherwise turn into unneeded leaves and rob the plant of energy along the horizontal fruiting wire. Back-breaking work, but worth it to help vines flourish!

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