Vines & Wines: the perfect gift.

Father’s Day is days away (18 June in case you’ve forgotten)  and it’s a struggle to know what to get for the man who has everything… But, if he likes gardening and wine, then look no further, as we have a genius idea that can’t help but bring a smile to his face.

The Polgoon Vineyard Shop is currently selling two varieties of grapevine: the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir and they’re relatively easy to care for.  Here’s our short guide to ‘Giving A Grapevine A Good Home’.

What makes a grapevine happy?

A good spot:

  • Grapevines are long term plants that can live between 50-100 years, so making sure you choose the perfect permanent location is important.
  • Grapevines thrive in sheltered, sloped and hilly areas that offer up plenty of drainage and sunlight, so where possible, plant your grapevines on a downward slope on a south facing hill in an area clear of other trees and large plants.

Well drained soil – no soggy bottoms! 

  • Grapevines are a little picky about their soil conditions, they like soil that’s slightly rocky, chalky or sandy and if you want to get technical, they like a soil with a PH of just above 7.  They don’t like to have soggy roots, so amend drainage accordingly.

Freedom to climb:

  • Grapevines love to climb and crawl – plant them by a wall or build them a trellis and they’ll be happy.

Sunshine – they hate frost ( and winemakers hate a late frost)

  • Choose a frost free day for planting – late winter or early spring is ideal.

Water – but not too much:

  • Your vine doesn’t like heavy water or rain, so after it’s first watering keep the amount you give it to a minimum.  Small amounts on a regular basis will be just fine.

Pruning:

  • Heart-breaking we know, but don’t allow the plant to produce any fully matured fruit in it’s first year as these will damage the young vine.  Cut back all fruit, as well as the vines except for the strongest few that branch off the cane.  Always prune your vine when it’s dormant otherwise they will bleed sap and lose vigour and mojo!  Do this in late winter when it’s no longer frosty outside.
  • Keeps weeds at bay.
  • Cover your vine to keep birds away if necessary.
  • Create maximum airflow around the vine leaves to prevent powdery mildew and other fungal diseases – a big problem if airflow is minimal and the weather is damp.

Insects:

  • Most insects are a good thing, especially ladybirds because they eat aphids which can be a problem for grapevines.  Vines are quite hardy so only a little pest control is required.

Last bit, but best bit!

  • You probably won’t have strong edible fruit for about 2-3 years and harvest is typically early to mid October. Taste is the best indication of ripeness.  Even if the grapes are rich in colour and a good size, taste the fruit from different areas and if they’re sweet, pick away.  Remember, grapes don’t continue to ripen after picking so be sure not to pick prematurely.

So, do you think he’s up to it?  If so, pop in to the Polgoon Vineyard Shop and give your Dad a grapevine on Father’s Day.  It really is the gift that keeps on giving!  But, if this all seems like too much hard work, a bottle of our Pinot Noir Sparkling Rosé 2013 will be just as good https://www.polgoon.com/shop/pinot-noir-sparkling-rose/

Chardonnay and Pinot vines – £10 available from the Vineyard Shop or you can order by emailing us at cheers@polgoon.co.uk as we can send vines by post!

Polgoon Vineyard Shop : Rose Hill | Penzance |Cornwall |TR20 8TE