Oatley Vineyard: The Next Generation(s)

An overdue update…

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

Written by Ned, and posted in the:  StoryVineyard Category

Who’d have thought trying to sell a house, move across country, plant a vineyard and do a barn conversion, all with toddler twins, and now a beautiful puppy, wouldn’t leave much time for writing about it?  I know!

The biggest news is that FINALLY our house in Romsey is sold.  We accepted an offer so long ago I forget when, the sold sign went up and we even got as far as agreeing and us signing the contracts.  Then the bottom fell out of the chain.  Our buyers have a lockdown baby and are desperate to move out of inner Southampton into quiet leafy Romsey, so we gave them more time to find another buyer.  Another buyer was found quickly but that was gong to necessitate another 12 weeks of surveys etc, oh well, c’est la vie… Then after a couple of weeks, out of the blue, we received a message from our solicitors asking if we would like to exchange tomorrow and complete Tuesday next week?  Um, yes please!

The new vines are coming along nicely, despite the rather random weather this year.  It will be at least another two years, and ideally three or four before we get a crop.  The longer you leave them the better they can establish for a future of growing and ripening grapes (always a challenge in this climate).  Patience never was my strong point but this is a marathon, not a sprint.  I’ll keep myself busy endlessly mowing the rows and strimming between the vines.

In the mean time we have been learning the ropes on the old Oatley vines, keeping things shipshape and generally taking advantage of the combined 70+ years experience mum and dad have of growing grapes at Oatley.  We will put it to good use.

So here we are, proper Somerset folk, vineyard owners, grape farmers.  Gert lush (as they say here).

P.s. more updates on the twins and the puppy soon.  In short, in rude health and growing fast.


The new vines throwing out grapes already!

The clover cover crop putting in some serious competition for tallest tree.