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Wayfarer March pruning

17th March 2021

Our vines may be dormant but there is plenty of work to do!

Over the past few months we have been hard at work winter pruning our vines, starting with a hard pruning of the new vines at Highfield Estate in Woodchurch, encouraging deep and vigorous root growth and giving the tender vines the best start for the future.

We wait until at least January to begin pruning our more established, crop producing vines at Pilgrims Way Estate. This allows plenty of time after harvest for all the nutrient reserves that have supported the fruit to go back into the trunk and root system.

Pruning is arguably one of the most important tasks in the vineyard, as vineyard Manager Matt Ashford explains “pruning lets us prepare and shape the vine, not only for the immediate vintage, but for years to come”

Different methods of pruning create different densities of canopy and allows us to control the number of buds on the vine. This in turn allows us to determine the yield we will have at harvest time. We assess each vine carefully, choose the most vigorous canes to support the coming years growth, and leave just enough buds to produce perfectly ripe fruit.

As still wine producers the driving force behind our pruning decisions is quality over quantity. It really is a delicate balance- leaving fewer buds on the vine means more energy can go into ripening the fruit and developing sugars during the last few weeks of the season, and allows the characteristics of each grape variety to be developed to their fullest potential.

Weather-wise, it can be tough on the vineyard in winter- we have faced bitter winds, snow covered ground and frozen fingers! But for Matt, it’s all worthwhile as it’s the first step towards creating outstanding quality still wines at Wayfarers vineyards!


Wayfarer Wines

Our first vineyard was planted in 2016, almost 3,000 vines at the rear of the family home, nestled in the rolling landscape along the beautiful Pilgrims Way in Kent.