Winery History

If you would like to come on one of our   Winery Tours click here. otherwise have a look below at an average year and how much goes into maintaining our vast Vine yard.

January

We have a rule that is all pruning starts and finishes in January, whatever the weather.
Previously working with only secateurs, in our quest to prune faster we now use hedge trimmers.
Pruning the trendril's back to the main spur from the previous year is vital for the growth of new spurs.

February

After the pruning all 8000 vines have to be straightened, wiring has to be mended and post-rot checked. With the vineyard holding 67 rows, each 115 metres long, there's one post every 5 metres, meaning roughly 500 posts are replaced annually.
Previously working with only secateurs, in our quest to prune faster we now use hedge trimmers.
Pruning the trendril's back to the main spur from the previous year is vital for the growth of new spurs.
It's not until the first week of March do you see the buds start to burst. At this time we remove the leys from all the tanks (what settles at the bottom of the tank after fermentation) and leave the wine for a month. Removing the ley is not only for cleaning but also useful for compost.

March

The buds will have burst. Depending on the weather, too much rain can cause Botrytis.
Problems such as Downey and Powdery Mildew can arise so to insure new growth stays healthy, sulphur is sprayed regularly to fight off diseases.
After leaving the wine to settle for a month, filtration begins. With the first filter sheets being the coarsest, over time the sheets get finer.


April

The vines are fully under-way. It is essential for them to grow along the first wire. As stems are removed from the base, we ensure any further growth on the vine concentrates itself at the first wire. Here at Buzzard's we call this 'rubbing off'.

May

We assure all of our equipment is maintained, greased and oiled ready to go for October. Using a mist sprayer for vine protection, we use a finer filter sheet for the second layer of filtration.
Usually having one final layer to filter through when bottled, unfiltered wine is great for leaving a soft floral back taste.

June

With the variation in climate throwing us different growth patterns every season if the foliage is left for too long it can result in problems for us getting up and down the rows.
We rectify this by using a machine that cuts along one-side and tops of the vine.

July

it's time for our harvesters yearly maintenance check. Greased, cleaned and checked over, it is essential for the harvester to be working as we can't afford breakdowns come mid-October.

August

constant monitoring and tending to the vines plays a vital part in the success of the harvest. At the time, wires holding up the vines can buckle under their weight. Maintaining the wires is highly important; if wires snap or a post breaks it causes a domino effect to which a majority of the row can be damaged.

September

we use a refractometer to measure the grapes for optimum quality, assuring the grapes are at their sweetest highest alcohol level.

This is important as ripe grapes can produce a backwards effect.

October

We use the Destalker. As the crops enter the top of the Destalker, leaves and stems are filtered out from the crop as they're passed through a revolving steel holed drum.

Grapes are then pumped and pressed into the tanks whilst all the must is recycled for compost.

Pressing 1200kg over the space of an hour, our press holds an internal canvas bag that blows up and down with the help of a large two way compressor to squeeze the grapes.

Holding 8400litres, the Red wine tank comes equipped with a thermal jacket for temperature regulating for ten to fifteen days storage.

This is where the wine produces it's tannins, colour and flavour from which the drums are constantly rotated for tasting until finally the grapes are pressed.

Equipped with a side pipe, the tank pumps juice from the bottom to the top.

Using a 'swizzler' six times a day, any juice that is pumped up is sprayed to stop the floated skins and pips drying out.


 

November

Only after the juice is pressed and taken to the winery, fermentation can continue. Our winery is equipped with two types of tanks. The first type we call an 'always full tank'.

This is because the tank is regulated to a level where the lid is sealed with a tube that is pumped until oxygen can't get to the juice.

The second is very much like a demijohn, just a lot bigger. When not full, C02 gas is pumped to fill the tank, again, keeping the oxygen from the juice.


December

we check the acidity and assure sulphur levels stay at 40 parts per million in the wine. All tanks are then gassed and sealed off properly.
After the last filtration and bottling, alcohol tests are performed so relevant information can be printed for labelling.