Natural Vineyard Blog: February 2020

by / Friday, 07 February 2020 / Published in Uncategorized

As the vines lie dormant for the winter and restore their energies for the growing season ahead, we are about halfway through our winter pruning. Cutting off excess canes from the plant is critical, as it maintains integrity of the plant and prevents excessive leaf and grape density, which can weaken production.

Trial plantings of new varietals on the vineyard are already yielding some interesting results. With both whites and reds in the experimental plot, we are hopeful that some vines will be yielding fruit this harvest for tasting. Watch this space!

This is the perfect time to reflect on the positive effects of Denbies’ natural vineyard practices. With 265 acres under vine and 7 miles of footpaths within the estate, we at Denbies have a huge responsibility to protect the natural environment. Whilst we wish to promote the optimum growth of our grapes, we also have a duty to ensure that we do this in a considerate manner which protects the plentiful flora and fauna.

Our resident vineyard bats do a superb job of pest management, controlling the population of spotted wing drosophiliae, fruit flies which break the grape skins and lay eggs inside. This does considerable damage to grapes during the summer and autumn months.  With chemical pesticides largely ineffective at controlling these flies, due to their rapid breeding, we are delighted to have a natural solution to protecting our grapes.

Over the past 10 years, we have almost entirely eliminated any requirement for pest control here at Denbies. Instead of following a set schedule of spraying numerous times throughout the year, our Viticulturalist carefully assesses the vineyard and sprays only at critical times, minimising any adverse effects.

To further safeguard our natural vineyard, herbicide use has also been almost eradicated here at Denbies. We encourage the growth of natural grasses amongst the plants, to draw up water from the soil and stop the vines from becoming waterlogged. A perfectly manicured vineyard may look neat and tidy, however we believe that healthy plants and a healthy environment is paramount. Following similar practice to that of organic vineyards, sulphur ‘recovery spraying’ of the roots does take place where necessary and chicken manure is used to enrich the vineyard soil.

The whole team at Denbies continue to strive to promote and protect our natural environment throughout the seasons, for the enjoyment of all and importantly for many future generations.

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To Our Valued Customers

In accordance with current government guidelines,  The Hatch on the Lawn takeaway refreshments and the Wine and Gift Shop (which operates an off-sales licence) are permitted to remain open during the current lockdown.  

Denbies Online Shop is also open for deliveries and click & collect.

All areas open to the public at this time are fully COVID compliant and risk assessments have been independently verified.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE

If you have made a reservation which may be cancelled due to current government guidelines, you will be contacted via e-mail by Denbies Events Team.  Reception will be closed, therefore the telephones will not be monitored

Please follow government guidelines at all times - information here

Unfortunately due to the current government guidelines, the main visitor centre has to remain closed. As the Denbies toilet facilities are located within the building, they are not classed as public toilets and therefore must remain closed. 

Denbies operates an open access policy for visitor to make use of the vineyard for recreational purposes. If anyone has any concerns regarding the limited facilities at this time, we are updating the website regularly and also communicating via email to visitors who have signed up on our website.

Thank you for your consideration and patience at this time.

During this time the following will be open;

The Hatch on the Lawn (located at the front of the building)

OPEN FOR TAKEAWAY REFRESHMENTS

Daily 10am - 3pm

Saturday & Sunday 10am - 4pm

<SAMPLE TAKEAWAY MENU>

PLEASE NOTE - DUE TO GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES, DENBIES RESTROOM FACILITIES WILL BE CLOSED FROM SATURDAY 19 DECEMBER

Denbies Wine & Gift Shop

Daily 11am - 2pm

Saturday & Sunday 10am - 4pm

20% Off all wine purchases 6+ bottles/mixed case applies

On-line Shop delivery

Last Orders for Click and Collect  10am - 3pm

20% Off all wine purchases 6+ bottles/mixed case applies

On-line Gifts & Vouchers

Monetary e-vouchers ◊E-Gift Experiences


Apologies - we are unable to respond to phone enquiries during this period of time.  Please visit the website for future reservations.  For amends to existing reservations ONLY, please email [email protected]  We are only able to offer limited response at this time.

Please click here & visit our online shop for more information


Please continue to our website for information and visiting the estate.
Or click here and sign up to our newsletter to receive our latest news and updates for when we will reopen.