It has been a hugely exciting time at Lokkelebery Vineyard. During our autumn vineyard health check, we discovered a few bunches of grapes, most of which were pinot noir.

We were not expecting any fruit this year for a number of reasons. Firstly, the vines were only planted a few months ago, so we were not expecting fruit as they are still young and settling. Secondly, any fruit we had come across during shoot selection was mostly removed so as to concentrate all of the plant’s energy into root establishment. However, it seems that a few grapes managed to escape our notice or form later in time, as we have spotted a few lovely ripe grapes growing inside the grow tubes!

We were doubly surprised at this as the grapes seemed to grow well inside the tube despite not being directly exposed to sunlight, as grapes usually would be. The grapes were fairly small, but extremely sweet! It was a joy to taste our first mini crop, especially as it tasted quite delicious. This was also unexpected as wine grapes are not typically as palatable as table grapes. This is partly due to the fact they have seeds, have less flesh and quite thick skins (variety depending). However, once we were past that, the grape juice, which is what we are most interested in, was deliciously sweet and rich.

As farmers, we are used to growing crops and there is never a year which passes by that we are not proud to collect our grains of wheat, barley or oats, ready for sale into the food chain. Our grapes are no different, and it was hugely satisfying to have a small taste of what is to come, even if our first little harvest would have only provided enough to make half a glass of wine!